As I’ve mentioned time and time again on my blog, I have not always been a cook. In fact, I used to detest cooking. My husband still refers to our early days together as “back when you couldn’t cook” (nice, isn’t he?).
As my ability to cook has evolved, I still have my old stand-by recipes that I turn to when I’m looking for something quick and easy for a weeknight meal. Stir-fry, some version of tacos and spaghetti are three things that you can normally find at least one of on my menu on any given week. The difference between now and “back when I couldn’t cook” is that instead of automatically reaching for a jar of spaghetti sauce, stir fry sauce or taco seasoning to make these various weekly menu staples, I have turned towards making my own. It may take additional time, but the extra little sense of pride I feel for knowing that I don’t have to rely on pre-packaged items and can whip up our family favorites with items I usually have in the pantry, makes me really happy!
Below my menu plan for the week, you’ll find my go-to Taco Seasoning Recipe. This recipe will usually season 3 pounds of ground beef or ground turkey. I often double the recipe and put the extra in a tightly sealed container and get it out when I need it. Once you realize how easy it is to make your own pantry staples, you won’t want to buy packets of spices or jars of sauces again!
- Monday: Beef Tostadas with Black Beans, adapted from Taste of Home Magazine
- Tuesday: Glazed Pork Chops from Simple and Delicious Magazine
- Wednesday: Crockpot Italian Roast Beef Sandwiches from Recipezaar
- Thursday: Aleppo Pepper Chicken, Asparagus and Pasta from Dine & Dish
- Friday: Black Pepper Shrimp from Paula Deen
- Saturday: Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken from Recipezaar
- Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner…pancakes, eggs, sausage
Taco Seasoning Adapted from All Recipes
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (Do not substitute table salt!)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container. When you make your taco meat, use approximately 2 Tbs of seasoning per each pound of ground beef.
I always brown my beef, add a little flour and water to the pan and stir in the seasoning. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Taco meat is ready once most of the liquid is absorbed.