Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I've gotta tell ya - I love Taco Tuesdays! Way back when I started planning family dinners weekly, I quickly coined Tuesdays as "Taco Tuesdays." I could eat Mexican food every meal of every day for the rest of my life and be completely satisfied. Sometimes Taco Tuesdays consist of enchilada's, carnitas or when I'm really busy, quesadillas and beans. But tonight was a sincere Taco Tuesday Night. Now, I've been trying to cut back on my fats and eat a little lighter while always hiding lots of hearty vegetables so my kids will eat 'em. Add beans to any plate and my little girl is a happy camper.
TEX MEX LIGHT GROUND BEEF TACOS
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
4 oz firm tofu
1/2 bell pepper chopped finely
1/4 medium onion chopped finely
Steak Seasonings (garlic, salt, pepper)
Taco Seasonings (like Lawry's)
Pace Picante Salsa as needed
1 can Pinto Beans
1/2 cup Shredded cheese
iceberg lettuce chopped finely
Optional: Sour Cream, Guacamole
1. Start by chopping all the veggies. Tonight I had a mixture of red, yellow and green bell peppers. Choose whatever is in season.
2. Ground Beef - Heat a large pan on medium heat and add 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil. Start sauteing 90% of the vegetables in the pan. Add 3-4 dashes of steak seasonings. Add ground beef and tofu chopped into small pieces, break apart and stir while cook. Add taco seasonings and Pace Picante to your liking. Continue to stir until fully cooked.
3. Beans - Heat a medium sauce pan on medium heat, add 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil and sautee the rest of the vegetables with 3 dashes of steak seasonings in this pan. Rinse and drain beans in colander and add to sauce pan. Heat on medium heat until warm, then keep on l ow until ready to serve. If you prefer refried style beans, mash these up a little and they will be a healthier version of your favorite fried legume.
4. Taco Shells - it's easy to find the pre-made taco shells in most grocery stores. And to tell you the truth, I don't mind them - they remind me of my childhood in the 70's. But for an authentic taco shell, pick up some small corn tortillas. In a small to medium frying pan heat 1-2 inches of Vegetable Oil on medium high until it reaches 350'. With tongs, add one corn tortilla to the oil until it starts puffing. Bend in half and continue cooking for a few more seconds until lightly golden. Remove from oil and place on towels to drain.
Now, you'll want to stuff the fresh taco shells while they are still warm. I prefer a layer of beans, followed by the ground beef, sour cream, shredded cheese, Pace Picante and lettuce. It seems to hold everything together nicely. But fix however you and your kids prefer. This is a fun meal to let kids put together themselves. Just give them the pieces and let them go to town. Tonight my son ate his taco upside down and my daughter removed all the contents from the shell, mixed the beans in with it and ate it with a fork.
Dinner Planning Tip - pick whatever theme's you like and assign them to a night. Then when you start planning, you have an outline to go by. Here's a few I use: Spaghetti Sundays, Asian Wednesdays, Meatless Mondays, Pizza Fridays, etc..