If your family does an official Taco Tuesday, I am coming over next week for dinner. As for me though, taco day is any day. It is so simple to make a great meal with anything you can scavenge from the fridge, wrap it up in a tortilla, and call the creation, “taco.” Whether left over chicken, beef, or just veggies from dinners throughout the week, you can throw it all in a pan with some oil, couscous, taco seasonings and peppers, and dinner is served. (Your fridge is thankful for some newly acquired breathing room, too.) Today’s dinner is a simple Taco Fiesta that your family will love because each family member gets to assemble individually. Even better: It can then be turned into an egg creation for your child’s lunch the next day. We will be using ground beef, but truly you can use any meat you want (pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, etc.) If you are a vegetarian, saute up every veggie you can get your hands on. Squash, zucchini, peppers, tomato, and onion make up my favorite taco topped with guacamole and extra spicy salsa.
-Salt, pepper, and taco seasonings (I am attaching Whole Foods’ recipe for homemade taco seasoning)
-4 ripe avocado
-2 cans of corn
-1 can black beans
-1 small can Rotel
-Corn or Flour tortillas
-4 Ripe avocados
-Salt and pepper
Peel and pit the avocados. Mash all the ingredients together with a fork or potato masher until the guac is a consistency you prefer. (Chunky, smooth, or in between) This is a fun job for a little one itching to get their hands in the kitchen!
Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
-1 Can of corn
-1 Can of black beans (Sodium Free)
-1 Can Rotel (You can pick the heat level)
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Chili powder to taste
-Purple onions (If your kiddos are up for it, but it definitely makes a yummy difference!)
How easy is this? It is one of my favorite combinations, and you don’t cook a thing. Open the cans, drain well, and mix. That is it! The purple onion is best thinly sliced- a little purple onion goes a very long way.
-Lean, grass fed ground beef
-1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
-1.5 tbsp. Taco seasoning
Place in ground beef atop the extra virgin olive oil on a low-medium heat skillet. Immediately break up the ground beef to a texture you want. (I prefer it very fine, which is good for the next recipe.) Saute until it is browned. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
Here we have it! Place out bowls of each item, add some shredded cheese, cook your wheat couscous according to the box, and we have a fiesta! (Feel free to include sombreros.) Although there are quite a few pieces to this puzzle, they are all very simple. Most importantly, it can all be thrown into a tortilla. (With plenty of nutritional value for your little ones!) Now, keep that left over ground beef for lunch.
Eggs are a power food of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins. I eat at least 2 or 3 a day. Yolk runny, scrambled, hard boiled… I love it all. Best part about eggs? You can use them for your child’s lunches. We don’t often think of an egg as a lunch item, but they are great to send in a lunch box! So, today we are making Taco Egg Muffins for lunch.
Taco Egg Muffins:
-Left over taco ground beef
-1/8 cup of milk (Whole, Non-fat, or Almond. You pick!)
-Veggies of choice! (Cooked broccoli, spinach, or shaved carrots work best with this recipe.)
-Dash of added taco seasoning to egg mixture
Alright, this is so easy you will just swoon over it: Preheat the oven at 350. Whisk the eggs and milk. Adding in your meat and veggies, continue to mix (adding in the seasoning) until it is evenly dispersed. Next, place sprayed/oiled muffin liners in a muffin tin, pouring the egg mixture into each slot. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. When they come out they look just like muffins, but are delicious mini taco omelets! For added cheesy goodness, the last few minutes you can add shredded cheese to the tops of your muffins. This is a yummy addition (and will hide any evidence veggies are inside.)
Send whole wheat tortilla chips with some left over black bean and corn salsa to accompany this treat, and your kid’s lunch will surely be envied by all the other children at lunch time. It’s a fiesta, amigos!
Hannah Cheves is a D Moms intern.