Tacos are a favorite around here and so easy to make that I generally like to make up a big batch of taco-seasoned meat and then use it throughout the week in other dishes. I also make up my own taco seasoning mixture in bulk for two reasons – 1) I haven’t found any taco seasoning mixes that don’t come loaded with sugar, white flour and/or corn products and 2) it’s easier to make it up in bulk and use it the next few times I make tacos. I’ve included the bulk seasoning recipe below. Don’t sweat it if you don’t have all these ingredients – tacos are very forgiving. And if you have a sugar-free, flour-free seasoning mix you can eliminate all of the spices including the salt and pepper.
You’ll set aside half of the seasoned meat to make a Taco Salad the next day for lunch and Taco Eggs for breakfast or another dinner.
I like fresh tomato salsa way better than the jarred stuff, however I like the consistency better when it’s roughly pureed. Drain off some of the juice and dump the remaining salsa into your Magic Bullet or blender and pulse a few times until the consistency is more like a chunky sauce than diced tomatoes in liquid. Add some of the liquid back if needed. Any leftover liquid can be added to tomato soup or make up a quick salad dressing by stirring it into sour cream or yogurt.
Don’t sweat it if you don’t have all the ingredients listed below. Tacos are very forgiving. If you have a sugar-free, flour-free seasoning mix you can eliminate all of the spices including the salt and pepper.
Tacos are also a great way to have a family dinner when not everybody is interested in eating healthy or low carb. But beware, some low carbers I’ve talked to have assumed that there are no carbs in taco meat but there are a lot of spices that go into making the taco meat, enough to give this recipe a carb count of ½ carb per ½ pound of meat. That’s not a lot, but if you’re in Phase 1 of a low carb eating plan 1/2 a carb is worth accounting for. I’ve included the carb counts for all the recipes here, although all of these recipes are just plain delicious and healthy whether you’re eating low carb or not.
There are 8 servings in this recipe, 4 to serve for dinner and the other 4 to set aside for 2 more meals.
Taco Meat Ingredients:
2 pounds lean ground beef, pork or turkey
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (medium hot) or just eliminate them for a milder taco
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup water
½ cup tomato salsa
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
16 romaine or butter lettuce leaves
Cook ground beef on medium heat until no longer pink. Drain well and return to pan. Stir in spices and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside half of the taco seasoned beef for lunch tomorrow.
Spoon about ¼ cup meat mixture into one lettuce leaf. Top with 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 tablespoon salsa. Roll up and secure with a toothpick. Or skip the toothpick and eat immediately after rolling.
Taco Seasoning Mix
¼ cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Use 2 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat.
2 servings = 9 carbs per serving
This is a bit carb heavy for a Phase 1 lunch, however if you go light on carbs for the rest of the day you’ll be fine.
If this isn’t enough food for your lunch you can add up to 2 cups shredded lettuce for a mere ½ carb for the entire 2 cups.
¼ recipe Mexi-Cauli Rice (half of the leftovers set aside)
½ Haas (California) avocado
2 tablespoons black olives, sliced
¼ recipe Beefy Tacos (half of the leftovers set aside)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche
In a medium bowl layer Mexi-Cauli Rice, avocado, and Beefy Tacos.
In a small bowl stir together spices, citrus juice and sour cream. Pour dressing over salad. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt if needed.
1 serving = 2 net carbs per serving
½ cup egg whites
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon water
½ pound taco seasoned meat or ¼ recipe Beefy Tacos
¼ cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
Beat egg whites, water and cream in a small bowl until blended. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and push the cooked edges toward the center. Microwave until egg is almost set, about 15 to 45 seconds longer, stopping every 15 seconds to push the cooked egg toward the center.
Top with taco meat and microwave for another ten seconds. Remove from microwave and top with cheese.