Taco Tuesday, a school lunch tradition for many of us who grew up in the 70′s and 80′s, has occurred with semi-regular frequency at our home, thanks to the imaginations of The Kitchen Divas in Training. Each incarnation of Taco Tuesday is unique and based on what’s in the fridge, what’s leftover, and what flavors the girls would like to enjoy. Black beans are always served in some form, as are copious amounts of cilantro, lime, and New Mexico Red Chile sauce. The rest is entirely up for grabs.
What I love about Taco Tuesday is that everyone in the house contributes to the decision-making process and the creation of the meal. The girls shred cheese and veggies, select and add the spices, while my husband and I brown or reheat the meat and do the heavy knife-work. The girls do some knife work, but I don’t let them handle my precious chef’s knives just yet. All meals contain fresh vegetables- gotta get those greens! In fact, I like to call my tacos Hand-Salads!
This is as quick and easy as it gets around here- usually we’re ready to eat in less than 30 Minutes- take THAT Rachael Ray! We serve buffet-style so that everyone gets to choose what goes into their taco and in what proportions. If you’d like to try Taco Tuesday at your house, please take inspiration from the brief ingredient lists below, and remember the possibilities are endless. Enjoy, and have fun cooking with your family!
Although I don’t call for this in the recipe below- we have used additional spices like cumin, mexican oregano, garlic powder or fresh garlic, sometimes salt & pepper. Use your imagination!
1 lb of meat (could be ground beef, ground turkey, chicken, pork, shrimp)
1 small can of tomatoes (sometimes we use the ones with green chile)
1 chopped bell peppers (if you have them on hand)
1 can of diced green chile
1 tsp (or more) of chile powder- we like New Mexico Red or Chipotle
Directions: Saute the onions, add meat and other stuff, heat through until meat is cooked, remove to a serving bowl.
This changes each time we serve it, but here’s what we did this week. This proportion serves 4-barely. If you like lots of beans or want leftovers add an additional can.
2 cans of black beans (if you soak your own, about 2 cups soaked)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (we’ve used all kinds, but Jack Cheese is our preference)
1 generous tablespoon of Cumin
1 generous tablespoon of Garlic Powder (We used Herbed Garlic Powder)
Directions: Drain beans, place all ingredients in a small pan and heat through on medium.
Again, this is just what we made this week. The fresh greens change constantly. We’ve used kale, Napa cabbage, arugula, fresh lettuce (not the tasteless iceburg- blech!) spinach, thinly sliced bell peppers etc…
1/2 purple cabbage, thinly sliced into ribbons and chopped fine
4 small carrots- shredded
1 large bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs cider vinegar (other vinegars will work just fine too, maybe not balsamic..)
juice of 1/2 lime (small)
Directions: Mix in a bowl and serve
1 or 2 sliced avocados
fresh cilantro (chopped or not)
New Mexico Spicy Goodness (could be red chile sauce, enchilada sauce, green chile sauce, salsa etc.)
See? I told you this was easy!! Did I mention it’s delicious and nutritious too?