Sunday, March 14, 2010

Taco Seasoning

My family loves Mexican food. Taco meat is easy to make, but the packaged seasoning is chock full of MSG. AllRecipes.com has a popular 5-star recipe for homemade taco seasoning. The recipe contains onion powder, which can be omitted without doing too much damage, but onion powder is often tolerated by people sensitive to onions. Onions are a trigger for my wife, yet onion powder is not a problem. A co-worker of mine goes into anaphylactic shock if he eats onions and even he can tolerate onion powder.

Brown and drain some hamburger or other ground meat, add about 1/4 water or stock (chicken or beef) and sprinkle on the seasoning to taste. I'd start with 1 1/2 tablespoons per pound. Bring mixture to boil and then simmer to desired consistency. Taste, add more seasoning and liquid if needed, and continue cooking down. You can add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon flour with the seasoning if you like thicker gravy-like consistency.

This meat is great for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or nachos. You can add color and texture by adding in sauteed peppers and/or shallots. If you are using low fat meat such as ground sirloin, you can just cook these items with the meat without fear of getting it greasy. Canned or thawed frozen corn also add some color and sweetness.

The seasoning is also good to sprinkle on pork tenderloin or chicken that has been brushed with olive oil prior to baking. Although not technically a fajita seasoning, it can be used to pan fry fajita meats with satisfactory results.

My favorite thing about this seasoning is that it is simple but versatile. Mexican food can be served "taco bar" style, allowing the migraine sufferer to avoid their triggers, while other family can add their favorite cheese, tomato, onion, guacamole or sour cream without making anyone sick. It's a win-win for everyone.

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