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DIY Salt-Free Taco Seasoning

taco season

I have quite a collection of herbs and spices, so instead of buying preservative and salt-laden seasoning packs, I make my own. It’s frugal, and less expensive. And with taco seasoning, you never know if it’s going to end up being spicy. I love spice, but my kids don’t. I add salt while cooking the beef initially, before adding the seasoning. You can play around with the recipe according to your tastes, but there is my recipe for taco seasoning:

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps. dried minced onion

Mix all ingredients and store in dry, cool place.

I add the beans to incorporate leaner protein, and to save money. A few cups of beans can turn two pounds of ground beef into three meals for a family of four. I use 90 percent lean ground round from Costco at $3.17 a pound. I get my dried beans at Aldi – – two pounds for $1.67. That’s the best deal I’ve ever found. I also add dried red bell peppers to the filling. While the meat is still pink, I add the dried peppers so they can start hydrating. I dehydrated red bell peppers this summer, when I got them for 24 cents each.

dehyrated bells

 

taco red pepper

I make taco bean and meat filling in triple batches and freeze the leftovers. Taco meat and beans are great in taco soup, soft tacos, taco salad, and nachos. I dirty a pan once, and make enough for three meals. This is in the same spirit of my ground beef crumbles and chicken chunks — fabulous and economical meal helpers to have on hand.

The other night I made taco salad with my taco meat and beans. I offered my family avocado (59 cents each), roasted corn (which is from this summer for 8 cents an ear), black olives, tomatoes, onions, light sour cream, pickled jalapenos,  cheese, and crushed tortilla chips. My girls and I just made homemade pasta the night before, and wanted something lighter. Doesn’t it look great? (Although, maybe not so light?)

taco-salad

Before buying seasoning blends, see what herbs and spices you already have on hand. Learn to experiment and find your own signature seasonings.

 

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