Taco Bowl Night! ((and the very best seasoning blend for taco meat))
Friday night. Those simple words illicit happy thoughts, freedom from the schedules and responsibilities of the week & a time to slow down and enjoy some of the things that have been rushed for too long. At least that’s what Friday Nights mean in our home! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate all the things Friday night offers, than to have Taco Bowl Night!
The best thing about Taco Bowl Night ((besides how yummy it is)) is that everyone builds their own taco bowl. Some may love lettuce and tomatoes, others (insert everyone 8 and under) may cry at the sight of green. Some love onions & jalapeños – others hate beans…You get the idea, I am sure!
Another great thing about Taco Bowl Night: it is the perfect meal to serve guests! It is hard to know everyone’s list of food loves and hates, so this type of build-your-own meal takes the pressure off of the cook and the guest!
One more bonus with this meal: there is a lot of food for very little $$. Beans, rice, lettuce, salsa & a cup of shredded cheese are such inexpensive ingredients. I plan on about ¼-lb of ground beef per person, making each serving just a few bucks!
Of course there is no limit to the items to include in your very own Taco Bowl Night, but here is the list of what I served:
- 2-lbs taco seasoned ground browned meat
- 1-lb beans, simply seasoned with cumin (I prepared them from dry, using a pressure cooker, go HERE to read how I use the pressure cooker to prepare beans)
- 1 ½ c dry rice, cooked on the stove top
- 1 c shredded cheese
- 2 homegrown heirloom tomatoes
- corn chips
- sour cream
- pickled jalapeños
I served the beef, beans (which I seasoned and mashed on the stove so that they resembled refried beans) and rice from the stove top & allowed everyone to fill their own bowls. I placed all of the toppings in the center of our dining table and served them family-style.
I hope this idea inspires you to look for small things to celebrate and bring family & friends to the dinner table. No need to make it fancy, complicated or expensive. It only needs to be tasty & inviting.
- 2 lbs ground beef, browned & drained
- 1 T paprika
- 1 T Mexican oregano
- 1 T of each Hatch green & red chili powder (we prefer mild)
- 1 T cumin
- 1 T garlic powder or garlic salt*
- 1 c crushed tomatoes
- 1 c water**
- 1 t freshly ground place pepper
- 1 t sea salt
- Once the beef has been browned and drained, add the seasonings to the skillet and allow the spices to heat over medium flame for 1-2 minutes in order to fully develop all the flavor these spices have to offer.
- Next add the crushed tomatoes and water** & stir until combined and bubbly. Allow the meat to continue bubbling for 5-10 minutes.
- Serves 8.
- * I used garlic salt, because of that I adjusted the amount of salt I added at the end. Be sure to taste before adding additional salt. Another option is to add 2 cloves of minced garlic (which I do often).
- **increase of decrease water in order to reach desired thickness.
- **fresh cilantro is also yummy, add up to a cup of chopped cilantro if you have it one hand.