I love tacos, especially the ones you get from the greasy Mexican fast food restaurants that use canned Queso instead of real ingredients. There is just something about the crunchy, oily taco shells, the spicy shredded beef, the tangy sweet cheese, and the somewhat wilted iceberg lettuce. I take a bite and orange grease drips down my fingers. Unfortunately, I cannot replicate these tacos at home, for if I did I might eat them every day!
HERE'S WHERE MY LIFE GETS COMPLICATED!
As a Weston A. Pricer on a Candida diet (look at my About Page for more info on WAP and Candida), I don't dare go into one of those restaurants. Not only do I not know how the food is prepared or where it comes from (We all know that fast food restaurants use the cheapest ingredients; whereas, I like grass fed beef, organic vegetables, and raw cheese,) but if I were to compromise my WAP habits, I could only eat the meat and the lettuce because of my Candida diet. (Who would want deconstruct one of those tasty treats? You either eat it as is or not at all.)
So instead, I try to replicate the tacos at home, at least the meat (well, I use ground beef instead of shredded beef, so I somewhat try to replicate it). Usually I fail. I never quite get the spices right—the meat is either under-spiced or I use too much and I'm left with an over-spiced, gummy concoction, thick with paprika or something else.
On my cooking quest, I decided to go online to look for some recipes. Now I could just go to the store and get a package of the taco spice I grew up with, but most prepackaged spices contain sugar, flour, and even MSG. I read somewhere that anything labeled “other spices” could contain MSG.
So, I decided to go to some of my favorite food bloggers, ones who also follow a traditional WAP diet. It didn't take me long before I stumbled on one at Naturally Knocked Up (http://www.naturallyknockedup.com/). In her blog, Donielle writes about the connection between food and fertility which obviously interests me.
DONIELLE'S RECIPE FOR TACO SEASONING:
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 5 tsp paprika
- 4 tsp cumin
- 3 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt just a dash a cayenne pepper
“Mix all ingredients together in a jar and shake them to mix. I normally use about half this mixture for each pound of beef we use, but start with a couple tablespoons and go from there to match your own taste!
*one little note – depending on the chili powder you use, you may need more or less than the 2 Tbsp. I bought some expensive stuff once and it was a lot spicier than the cheaper store brand powder. So if yours is either really fresh or really potent, you may want to cut back a bit!”
WHAT I DID
- 1 pound or more ground beef (depending on the amount of people you are serving)
- 1 medium onion
- Cabbage or other vegetable to serve with it
I then browned my meat with the onions. Afterwords, I followed Donielle's recommendation and used a little more than half of what was in the jar because I made 1 ½ pound of meat. After I poured in the spices, I added about ½ cup or more of water to really help the spices mix in with the meat. I let the water reduce.
At the same time I sauteed cabbage for myself and cut up some cilantro to put over the meat.
If you are not on a Candida diet, use whatever fixings that you want! We obviously don't use taco shells or tortillas. I do recommend using organic ingredients and raw cheese if you can find some (more on the benefits of this another day).
Although this meat would have been great with cheese, especially since it was so hot, I was just as happy with my bed of cabbage topped with my very spicy, yet delicious taco meat, some cilantro, and some cortido which is Latin American sauerkraut.
If you really want to know, it was hard to give up cheese, but after being on the Candida diet since July of 2010, I'm okay with having given it up!
If you have a favorite taco seasoning recipe, add it here! I'd love to try another variation.
Lastly, please check out Naturally knocked Up. There's a lot of great information there.