Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tasty Tuesday - Homemade Taco Seasoning

Lindsay hosts Tasty Tuesday over at Our Lives in a Nutshell...you know, when she's not on bed-rest or dealing with the worst flood in over a hundred years. So far their basement is staying dry, but one look at the pictures she's posted and you can see first hand that her town has quite a fight on their hands. May God continue to protect your precious family Lindsay!

We are slowly but surely trying to weed out the additives, preservatives, and unpronounceable ingredients from our diet. When it came to Taco Tuesday* night I was dropping the ball. The packets of taco seasoning you buy at the store have MSG in them. It bugged me that I was knowingly putting it into my family's bodies.

So on my last trip to the grocery store I bought a few new spices and tried making taco seasoning from scratch. It wasn't hot by any means, but it was certainly tasty enough. I think next time I mix a batch I'll add more cumin and possibly more chili powder. Don't want it to get too spicy with little kids in the house and all.

This recipe is the equivalent of 2 store bought packages of seasoning.

Taco Seasoning

1 T. chili powder
2 t. onion powder
1 t. cumin
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. paprika
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. powdered oregano (no need to use powdered if you ask me - I didn't even notice the bigger bits)

* I plan our menu with a specific type of food for 6 days of the week. It helps me not feel so overwhelmed when I sit down with my cookbooks. We don't necessarily eat the meal on the 'correct' day, but at least all the ingredients are in the house for 6 dinners. Rather than say "what are we going to eat this week?" I say, "Ok, time to find a chicken recipe."

Monday - chicken
Tuesday - Mexican
Wednesday - Italian
Thursday - Breakfast foods
Friday - Homemade pizza (still searching for the perfect crust recipe)
Saturday - Crock Pot meal
Sunday - leftovers

Next on my recipe wish list is a substitute for "Cream of (take your pick) Soup" Anyone out there know a good one?

For my other Tasty Tuesday posts click here.

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Cathy March 31, 2009 at 1:03 AM  

About the cream of ( ) soup recipe...
I have a bloggin friend who makes a lot of things from scratch and just recently posted on how she makes the cream soups!

Here's the link to that post..

Aspiemom March 31, 2009 at 7:35 AM  

I just tried a substitute for onion soup mix for the same reason this weekend.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom March 31, 2009 at 8:02 AM  

I do this too! It lasts longer, and is much cheaper.
Here's a cream soup recipe from my dining for a dime cookbook:

2 c. dry milk
1 1/4 c. cornstarch or 2 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. chicken bouillon powder
2 T. dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. thyme (optional)
1 tsp. basil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients and store in airtight container. If the mix is made with cornstarch, add 1/3 c. mix to 1 1/4 c. water; if made with flour, add 1/2 c. mix to 1 1/4 c. water. This makes a concentrated casserole consistency. For soup consistency, double the water.

My note: you could swap out the chicken bouillon for beef, and add chopped mushrooms for cream of mushroom. I've never tried this one--if you use it, let me know how it works!
I'm going to e-mail you my bread machine pizza crust recipe--we love it.

Mocha Mama 24 March 31, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

I've been concerned about the taco seasoning packets recently too, not only the MSG but the levels of sodium too. I'm not brave enough to mix things together on my own so I'm glad you did it for me.

4 Little Men and Girly Twins March 31, 2009 at 9:50 AM  

yummy! That is very similar to the spices I put in our chili... I use Cinnamon instead of sugar. :)


Jenny March 31, 2009 at 11:22 AM  

I will have to try this instead of store bought..

Saw you were in search of a good pizza crust. This blog is always talking about Artisan bread and she made a pizza with it, but I think you have to buy the book for the recipe:)http://lichtyfamilyblog.blogspot.com/search?q=Artisan

Penny March 31, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

yummy! I will have to try this. I am also trying but guilty a lot of the time......

We also hear "what are we having for dinner around here. I actually kind of stress out everyday about 3 thinking that I am going to pull off dinner. I hate to cook..... sigh.... working on it but struggling a lot.

jen March 31, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

Hi there! I'm new to your blog - came across it via MckMama's - and I'm really enjoying it!

Here's a pizza dough recipe we've been using at our house lately...
(Enough for two 10-12 inch crusts)
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast (I use hodgson mill for whole grain)
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1 cup whole wheat graham flour (I use bob's red mill)
2 Tbsp olive oil (I have a garlic infused grapeseed oil that I use instead and that gives just a little bit of flavor)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar

I'm guessing that if you're already making dough at home, you don't need the steps. I mix it up in my stand mixer and knead with the dough hook for about 10 minutes.

If you have questions, please feel free to email me: jennyfay76@yahoo.com

Also wondering if there is anything I can do to help MckMama. I'm not sure where you all are, but I have a hunch that I live on a near by frozen tundra based on the weather in your pictures; )

Have a great day!

Jenney March 31, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

Wow, I was going to share our 2 pizza crust recipes, but it looks like you have plenty to choose from!
I am so glad you shared the taco seasoning recipe..I recently noticed that the brand we use started adding silica gel to prevent caking. You know when (or for us IF) you get new shoes, that little white packet that says "do not eat"? Apparently it is now acceptable to ingest if you wish to dine on Mexican fare, Disguisting.

Lindsay March 31, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

Thank you SO much for mentioning Tasty Tuesday and for praying for my family/house - that means more than you know. And you are right - so far we are DRY! Praise God! As far as Tasty Tuesday - thanks for posting...it has been WEEKS since I've done anything - mostly because of the things you mentioned, but also because there have only been one, maybe two participants the last few times I put up Mr. Linky, so I didn't know if I should continue or not. I may have to do a little poll and see what "the people" would like to do. :-) There are only so many recipes (most) people have in their recipe books, anyway...

:-) Thanks again!

Faith Hope Love Mama April 5, 2009 at 3:36 PM  

I never buy the cream soup thing because Ian suffers from migraines and we took MSG out of his diet to try and avoid them. I make my own cream of whatever when a recipe requires it. I don't have all the measurements but it goes something like this.
1/2 stick butter (yum)
saute it in a pan, add a couple of spoonfuls of flour bring to boil then add milk (1/2-1 cup)
add chicken broth(1/2 cup) and let simmer.
You can add whatever flavoring you want, salt, pepper, garlic. It's great and very inexpensive.

Thanks for the taco seasoning info. We use McCormick because it doesn't have msg in it but I would love to do my own seasoning.
Hope you are hanging in there. Is there anything I can do for Jennifer's family? Let me know. Thanks.

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