I broke the rules… I made tacos on Monday. What now, meatless Tuesday!? The whole week’s been thrown off. But how could I resist those strategically placed Old El Paso Taco Dinner Kits so neatly lined up forming a yellow wall of taco boxes right at the Aldi checkout line?
I went in there for “just toilet paper” but came out with Valentine’s Day candy and tacos in a box. Is it me, or is it fairly miraculous that the tacos manage to stay in tact despite the long, strange trip from Wherever Boxes of Taco Shells Come From, to our friendly neighborhood grocery stores? And yet I can’t seem to remove them from the packaging without the edges cracking off.
Our beef and black bean taco dinner was born from the following:
- 1 pound of grass-fed ground beef from Highland Hills Farm in Flemington, NJ (no, we don’t always eat grass fed beef!)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 small onion
- 1 Old El Paso boxed hard shell taco kit
- 1/3 packet of taco seasoning from the box
- 1/2 cup leftover tomato sauce that was used on spaghetti 3 days ago
- 1 small can black beans
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- several cups shredded cheddar
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 cups salad greens with oil and vinegar
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- Jarred salsa, or if you have the ingredients, make your own using tomatoes, onions, peppers if you like them, lime and cilantro
- 4 jalapeno slices from a jar (that was all we had left)
Heat oil in a large skillet on the stove top and add ground beef. Cook on medium high for a few minutes, using a fork to separate the ground beef chunks and keep the meat moving around the pan. Add onion pieces and taco seasoning and lower the heat down to medium. Pour in the tomato sauce and add a little water if necessary. If you have not already chopped the cilantro, you can add it whole right to the pan and then use kitchen shears to chop it up quickly (this is pretty much how I chop food now).
Cook for about a half hour and then add the can of black beans. Place each of the remaining ingredients such as shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, yogurt and jalapenos in little bowls. Arrange taco shells on plates or in bowls, handling carefully so as not to break them. I like to put forks and spoons out in case things get messy. Layer meat, cheese, salsa, and any other toppings into each taco.
“Pass the Old El Paso…” Taco bout delicious. Eat and enjoy.