Friday, March 14, 2014

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning Recipe

Gluten Free Tacos
 Gluten Free Tacos
Photo by Sher Vacik

Planning meals on a budget is challenging by itself, but meal planning becomes tougher when you have to cook gluten free. You might consider fixing  your family’s favorite Mexican foods at home, from scratch. Mexican food can become a gluten free fiesta with simple, inexpensive ingredients.

One of the nice things about many Mexican dishes is that meat becomes a side, rather than the main part of the meal. Many Mexican recipes call for beef, chicken or pork; using the ground versions of these meats make your meat stretch farther. You can stretch the meat out even farther with the addition of simple ingredients, such as cheddar cheese, rice, lettuce, tomatoes and more. Such sides and toppings can make a Mexican dinner very healthy and low-fat, too. Mexican food adds a  nice variety to your gluten free diet with a mix of flavors and textures not found in other foods.

You can buy taco and enchilada seasoning packets at the store; however, many of these contain wheat. To save money and avoid the wheat/gluten, make your own taco seasoning at home. Here’s a simple recipe that is versatile and tastes much like the taco seasoning you find at the store.

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning Recipe

1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

In a small mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container. This mix is about the same amount as store-bought taco seasoning packets.

This is a versatile seasoning recipe—it’s easy to increase or decrease certain spices to fit your family’s taste preferences. This recipe is also easy to make in batches, and then freeze individual portions it in ziploc bags (2-3 tablespoons/bag) ready to use the next time you want to make a Mexican dinner.

Cooking Directions
You use this taco seasoning mix in the same way as the store-bought versions.

1 pound ground meat (beef, pork, chicken or turkey) or chicken, sliced thinly
2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
¾ cup water

1). Brown meat in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Drain fat.

2). Stir in 2-3 tablespoons (more or less, according to your preference) and the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3). Spoon meat into warmed taco shells or tortillas, then serve with assorted toppings.

Gluten free Mexican dinner side dishes.
Suggested sides for your Mexican dinner.
Topping ideas 
Grated cheddar cheese
Sliced lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Sour cream
Mexican beans
Spanish rice
(Note--Always be sure to read the labels on all food items and ingredients you plan to use. Manufacturers sometimes change their recipes without notice.)

You can use this seasoning to make tacos, burritos and much more. In addition, you can buy corn tortillas or taco shells, and buy regular tortillas for the gluten-eaters in your home.

That’s all for today!

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