Taco Seasoning Mix

Taco Seasoning 1

How pretty is this colourful group of seasoning?

Ever noticed how many ingredients you can’t spell or pronounce on those premade taco seasoning packs??  Stop the madness with this mixture.  A little bit of flour makes the ground meat have a wee bit of a saucy texture.  Don’t stop at ground meat for goodness sake (pun? word play?)..  Sprinkle this over vegetables and roast them up – drizzle with a little lime crema and you’ve got an amazingly tasty dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (use less if you aren’t keen on the heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Mix all this up in a small bowl, and then have it on hand to season meat or vegetables.  You’ll be so glad you took a few minutes to get this ready.

Taco Seasoning 2

To use this for ground meat tacos, brown your meat in a fry pan, then add 2 tbsp mixture for each pound of ground meat and add about 2 tbsp water, stir and cook just until meat is cooked through.

If you want to leave the flour out altogether that is just great, that makes it even more versatile:

Salad Vinaigrette:  1 tbsp mix to 2 tbsp lime juice and 7 tbsp olive oil.

Vegetable (or chip!) Dip: 1 tbsp (or to taste) with 1/4 cup each plain yogurt and good mayonnaise.

Grilled Shrimp:   Sprinkle a generous amount over shrimp before grilling.

Taco Seasoning 3

I like to mix up 3 x this recipe and just keep it on hand.  Try it, you’ll do the same thing!

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Fall is a great time for getting a few meals out of a roasted chicken …. the house smells great 2 days in a row.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
 

In a roasting dish combine:

beets – quartered

turnips (optional!) – quartered

onion – halved and cut into wedges

carrots – thick slices

squash – peeled and cut into wedges

leeks – cut into pieces

garlic cloves – whole

Season everything with olive oil, crumbled dry basil, oregano and parsley.  Toss well and season with salt and pepper.

Place cut pieces of chicken into a bowl, along with the same herb blend, salt, pepper, olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp of dijon mustard – this can be pretty versatile so if you prefer feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or if you would rather use a vegetable stock for the soup just roast vegetables on their own.  

Roast in a moderate oven (375) until all vegetables are fork tender and ready for dinner, and the chicken is cooked through.  

This is a great fall or winter weather dish – fill up your roasting pan with as many fresh vegetables as you can find and roast away.  It does take quite a while for the vegetables to soften, so just keep testing them.

For a complete dinner, whip up some mashed potatoes and you are good to go!

The next day, take all the leftover vegetables (of which I hope there are lots) and simmer in either chicken or vegetable stock.  Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.  If you want a little more flavour in there, simmer a parmesan cheese rind or drop in a little tomato sauce.

Pulverize everything with an immersion blender, or a standing blender.  If using a standing blender, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO HAVE A SPACE FOR THE STEAM TO VENT – OTHERWISE YOU RUN THE RISK OF BURNING YOURSELF AND MAKING A DISASTER OF YOUR KITCHEN!!!.  

Taste again and adjust for salt and pepper.  Serve with some freshly baked biscuits for a great fall dinner.

Jalapeno Roasted Broccoli

Roasted broccoli gets such nice crispy bits on the florets, and really intensifies the flavor with it’s crunch.  Love it!

In a ziplock bag, or well sealed bowl blend:

1/2 minced jalapeno (seeds if you like it spicy)

1/2 garlic clove, minced

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp dry mustard powder

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Taste this marinade and adjust seasonings to your preference.  Add enough broccoli florets to feed 4.  

Toss well and allow to sit at room temperature – the longer the better but it works well if you don’t have time to do much more than toss and roast!

Put on rimmed baking sheet and roast in a hot oven (425) just until florets get crispy bits and are nice and crunchy.

Roasted Vegetables

P1100664

This works really well all year long in a hot oven, and even better on a grilling basket on your barbecue.

Preheat oven to 400. Use any assortment you like of vegetables, I usually try to go for color and cut the items so they cook at about the same rate – i.e., onions, broccoli and cauliflower take a little longer to cook so either cut them smaller or put them in the oven first, adding the peppers, zucchini and tomato after the first 15 min of cooking time.

Once you have all your vegetables prepped, toss in a generous amount of really good quality extra virgin olive oil, a couple cloves of crushed garlic and a good handful of fresh herbs.  Season with salt and pepper.

Turn vegetables out of oil seasoning onto roasting surface.  Reserve bowl that the oil and seasonings are in.

Roast until just tender and little brown carmelized bits appear.  Anywhere from 30-45 minutes.Toss again into the olive oil, seasoning mix just to brighten up the flavours a bit – taste for seasonings and dust with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.