Homemade Taco Seasoning

Hey there everyone!  I think spring has officially sprung!  We had some serious rainfall last week (48 straight hours!), but the sun has been shining this weekend, the temperature is rising, and flowers are blooming everywhere.  In the spirit of summer, we had a belated Cinco de Mayo celebration today.  Instead of rushing to the store for some supplies, I opted for homemade taco seasoning from the spices in my cabinet.

In a perfect world, all of those pre-made seasoning packs would be salt-free, but unfortunately that is not the case!  With this homemade seasoning, you’re cutting out massive amounts of sodium that you’d find in your favorite packs from the grocery store.  On top of that, you can adjust the heat as needed (just reduce the red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper!).

I’m excited for the week and even more excited for the meals to come…we’ve got curry chicken and Chinese lettuce wraps on the calendar!  Hopefully I can share them with you all soon.  I’m off to go eat some of these crunchy, delicious tacos with a side of Fool-Proof Guacamole and enjoy the sunshine!  Have a great Sunday 😀

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Author: 
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 tacos
 
Skip the grocery store and make this homemade taco seasoning - packs a flavor punch! Homemade tacos are at your fingertips.
Ingredients
For the seasoning:
  • 5 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1.25 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2.5 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2.5 tsp. cumin
  • 3.75 tsp. onion powder
  • 8.5 tsp. chili powder
  • 1.25 tsp. cayenne pepper
The rest...
  • 1 pound of ground turkey, beef, or chicken
  • 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
Instructions
  1. Combine all of your spices in a tupperware or mason jar for storage.
  2. Sauté 1 pound of ground turkey, beef, or chicken (your choice) in a saute pan until browned.
  3. Add 1 to 1.5 tbsp. of the seasoning mix with 1 cup of water and 8 oz. can of tomato sauce.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or so. You want most of the liquid to be absorbed.
  5. Enjoy on tacos! Try different toppings like avocado, red onion, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese.

 

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl

Feel the Tropical Breeze!

Feel the Tropical Breeze!

This week I was feeling tired of my classic winter breakfast of peanut butter toast or oatmeal topped with cold milk – the way my dad used to make it when I was a kid, the ONLY way.  I had to introduce some fruit into my life and decided to go summer-style with a smoothie bowl.  Topped with peanut butter and chocolate OBVIIIOUSLY.

I know half the country is stuck in their house – a perfect reason to bring out the frozen fruit in the back of your freezer you’ve been *meaning* to bake into a pie all year.  I used strawberries and bananas, but any fruit combinations will do.  Add in a handful of spinach if you’re feeling healthy-ambitious.  I’m thinking a blueberry mango bowl is in my very very near future….

The protein powder and Greek yogurt will keep you feeling full and the frozen fruit factor makes this heavier than a quick drink.  If you haven’t any protein powder, add extra Greek yogurt for your protein boost.  And cacao nibs are optional – but maybe sprinkle some chocolate chips on there 😉  I gotta say, the melty peanut butter makes all the difference though!

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend – rain, snow, or sun!

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Whip up this smoothie bowl for a light lunch or a filling breakfast. It'll make you dream of summer weather!
Ingredients
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 handful strawberry slices, frozen
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup cashew milk (Or your milk of choice)
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. Combine banana, strawberries, protein powder, milk, and Greek yogurt in a blender. Blend until smooth and well-mixed.
  2. Put peanut butter in microwave for 15 seconds, or until melty. Be sure not to overcook or it'll turn into a weird texture
  3. Pour into a bowl. Top with peanut butter and cacao nibs.

 

Cajun Seared Salmon with Asian Spiralized Salad

How FRESH and HEALTHY!

How FRESH and HEALTHY!

Lately I’ve been strugglin’ with getting into a serious routine.  Which is a *Grade A Problem* because soon I’ll be back in medical school, doing rotations, and my life schedule is largely determined by -NOT- me.  AKA…I show up no matter what day and what time if the doctors need me to help out.  Don’t get me wrong!  I’m super excited – I miss medicine.  Which is good or else I totally picked the wrong profession.

BUT I feel like I need to train myself back into being super efficient.  Which means waking up early to go to the gym before the day starts, Sunday food prep days, assembly line laundry sessions, you catch my drift?  Any tricks of the trade would be greatly appreciated!  Since I can’t live off of Easy Mac, I’ve got to gather an arsenal of quick, easy, healthy meals I can make after a 12 hour shift.  And what’s quicker and easier and healthier than salmon and a bomb-diggity-not-boring salad?  NOTHING!

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Healthy Zucchini Noodle Ramen

Delicious nutritious soup - a remake of an old classic!

Delicious nutritious soup – a remake of an old classic!

I’ve had this a draft of this recipe written since September – but for various reasons I haven’t posted it yet.  The only pictures I had were in a purple bowl and I’ve decided purple is an unappetizing color.  I thought people would find the egg + soup combination strange.  Using the college, orange-wrapped noodles seemed like cheating.  But, *ALAS*!  I have found just the tweak this recipe needed!

I finally bought a spiralizer and have completely fell in love.  I started with the classic spiralized veggie – ZUCCHINI!  The “zoodles” ended up great – they didn’t get mushy in the soup and added a *crunch* component to the soothing broth that turned out really well.  I couldn’t be happier!  And now I can’t stop spiralizing.  I couldn’t fall asleep last night because I was trying to come up with something to spiralize for breakfast — Update: I still haven’t thought of anything.

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Easy, Healthy “Bi Bim Bop”

Finished, Delicious Bi Bim Bop!

Finished, Delicious Bi Bim Bop!

I’m sure when everyone looks back on their college years, they have a few “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” moments.  For example, I wish I woulda snuck onto the Big House field like a few of my senior year companions.  I shoulda went to a Michigan hockey game.  I wish I coulda attend a few more biology classes – that would have helped during medical school.

But one of my biggest regrets is never going to the small Korean restaurant below my apartment sophomore year.  Every day, multiple times, I’d walk by Kang’s Korean Restaurant with its giant red sign.  My roommate, Hannah, LOVED Kang’s.  She’d frequent the restaurant, bringing back leftovers that smelled delicious.  But I never once took her word for it.  And I seriously regret it.

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Asparagus, Red Pepper, and Bacon Frittata

vscocam-photo-1 (14)

A make-ahead frittata for a savory breakfast choice!

We’ve had Gino, our 9-week-old Golden Retriever puppy for 11 days.  I haven’t posted on here in 11 days.  That pretty much sums up what the last 11 days have been like.  Puppy bite marks on my hands, the carpet covered in towels and blankets, an entire bottle of cleaning spray gone, 4 pounds of puppy food eaten.  I found myself yesterday talking to Buckeye cable on the phone to fix our bad internet, holding Gino in my arm, and cleaning up poop with my other hand.  Now I know what moms feel like.

But, I can’t complain.  I have more videos and pictures of this fluff ball and his big sister cuddling, rolling around on the floor.  I’m greeted with pure joy when I get home at night.  And I now have 8 feet pitter-pattering behind me every single step I take.  I usually am living by the mantra of, “When he sleeps, you sleep!”, but I decided to fill you all in on this fantastic frittata instead.  Because if I make this on the weekend, I can sleep for 10 more minutes during the week, knowing breakfast is ready in the fridge.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Ancho Chipotle Pepper Cream and Bacon Crumbles

THIS.  This bowl of SOUP.  Is amazing.

One Bowl Wonder

One Bowl Wonder

Update on the life:

  • Sorry for no TGIF post this week.  We’re picking up our new puppy, GINO!, tonight.  He’s an 8 week old golden retriever, weighing a hefty 13 pounds, and I’m busy puppy-proofing the apartment today.  Stay tuned for Gino Pupdates!
  • I was under the weather yesterday and my local Urgent Care patched me right up.  I had matzo ball soup from the delicatessen for lunch (yum) and LUCKILY had this butternut squash soup in my pantry that I was going to try and be inventive with for dinner.
  • While I made this gourmet squash soup, Dan preferred Taco Bell.  Full disclosure – I had him get me a deluxe soft taco.
  • Do yourself a favority favor and make this IMMEDIATELY.
  • Side note – anything I add ancho chili peppers to is immediately better.  It’s got a spicy punch behind it, so go lightly if you’re scardy of the spice!
  • If I was overzealous, I would have made some cornbread croutons to put on top of this for a little more crunch!  If you’ve got spare cornbread laying around (Who has spare cornbread laying around…?), then go for it!

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Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken

The goodness that is easy, 3-ingredient shredded chicken.

The goodness that is easy, 3-ingredient shredded chicken.

MONDAYZZZ. Ugh. I shouldn’t even be complaining.  It’s Fall break, which means no class for 2 days.  It was sunny and 65 degrees out today.  Football Today had a new podcast out and they continued to rave about the Packers.  I made my childhood favorite meal (Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole) on a whim today.  And it was just as good as I remembered.

But, today was one of those days I needed a Diet Coke at 5PM and I don’t even drink pop unless it has Jack Daniel’s in it.  I didn’t even wear mascara today. *Gasp*.  Before I was writing this, I was reading a book about patient case files and realizing how much I have to study before medicine starts back up again next summer.  My biggest accomplishment was tying my tennis shoes today.

And for days like today?  And I know everyone has them.  CROCKPOT.  Buy one.  Use it.  I’ll make it easy for you: CROCK POT.  Even better? Throw 3 ingredients in there and you’ve got a delicioso meal that will last you FOREVER.  Okay, like 3 meals, but that’s pretty good.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cilantro So Crisp! Avocado So Creamy!

Cilantro So Crisp! Avocado So Creamy!

Soup season! *GROUP CHEER*  Since tacos are one of my main food groups, it only makes sense to put all the taco toppings into SOUP and call it a day.  I’ve made three Mexican dishes this week and I ain’t even mad about it.  Maybe I’ll mix in some breakfast burritos and I can have Mexican food for every single meal of the week.  Maybe I’ll open up a Mexican restaurant out of my apartment.

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3 Ingredient Monkey Bites

Marvelous Monkey Bites – delicious, nutritious, and easy to make!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t go to bed unless I’ve had some sort of chocolate-peanut butter-sumthin’sumthin’.  Downside?  Most sweet treats have a ton of sugar, fat, and calories.   UNTIL I invented these marvelous little treats!  They satisfy the craving, are the perfect size, and you can have TWO and still feel bomb diggity about yourself.

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