I don’t spend much time on the inner aisles of the grocery store any more. You know the aisles I’m talking about, the ones displaying an army of boxes full of nutrient stripped, highly processed food containing preservatives, chemicals, trans fats and genetically modified ingredients.
One of the items I used to reach for regularly was the Taco Kit or Taco Seasoning packet. It felt so convenient, everything together in one box, or just open the packet and sprinkle it on. And it tasted pretty good.
But if you take a look at the typical taco kit, there are serious reasons to leave it on the shelf. The Old El Paso Taco Dinner Kit contains the following:
TBHQ – A butane based preservative that is the main component of lighter fluid. Yikes!
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil – A deadly trans fat. These engineered fats are a major contributor to coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in men and women in the U.S.
Ethoxyquin – A controversial preservative. Some tests have suggested that high levels carry carcinogenic potential.
Fortunately, you can upgrade your tacos. Look for organic corn taco shells, like Garden of Eatin’ brand. I like the blue ones. They’re organic, so you can be confident there are no chemical preservatives, GMOs, trans fats or other questionable ingredients. And they’re pretty.
Next, upgrade your Taco Seasoning: Mix 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼-1/2 teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Yields 2 Tablespoons.
Finally, upgrade the taco filling. Go with a half ground beef or turkey and half pinto bean mixture. Brown a ½ pound of ground meat in the skillet as you usually would, then add a can of drained and rinsed pinto beans. Add 1/3 cup water and taco seasoning and simmer until hot and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Fill your organic blue corn shells with your new delicious taco filling, and top with your favorite toppings. At our house, we love shredded lettuce, avocado slices, sour cream, diced tomato, sliced black olives and shredded sharp cheddar. Yum. Dinner disappears and you can feel good about the quality of the nutrition you just provided your family.
Have you ditched the taco kit? Share your comments below.