Homemade taco seasoning for beef (and plenty of others things too) is really one of the simplest ways to cut out unnecessary additives such as preservatives, gluten, and sugar from your favorite Taco Tuesday meals. You can make a huge batch using only leftovers and freeze it all year long, so that you can use it as a spice in salads, soups, tacos, pasta sauces, etc. If you enjoy being able to make tasty beef chili, consider spicing it up by adding chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, Cayenne pepper, and more. These ‘secret’ spices will give you that perfect blend everyone loves.
You don’t have to be a Mexican chef to be able to whip up some great homemade meals. The secret is making the ‘right’ combinations of flavors that complement one another. Don’t feel limited to buying pre-packaged foods with seasonings already included. Feel free to develop your own technique and create your own flavor combinations. That’s what makes it fun, anyway.
One of the easiest methods for creating your own seasoning is by buying in bulk. Bulk pricing is usually cheaper than buying individual items in containers. If you buy in bulk, you will also get discounts on the spices you purchase. For beef, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, consider buying small bags of these. Also, bulk spices work well in other dishes such as pasta sauces, bean dishes, dips, soups, etc. You may not be able to find the exact spices you need in your local grocery store, but you should be able to find them online.
Most folks love beef, but they don’t always enjoy the tangy, spicy taste of taco seasonings. If you’re concerned about over-tartarizing your tacos, consider buying a jar of garlic powder or other seasonings at your local grocery store instead. Garlic powder (or whatever you use) can be mixed with water to make a paste for applying to your ground beef after chopping. If you’re looking for something a bit more mild, try using a teaspoon of onion powder or paprika to make a rub for marinades or other recipes. Seasoning with a little Cayenne and red pepper flakes will give your food a nice kick, but be careful that you don’t add too much.
As far as sauces go, there are plenty of options out there. From a simple salsa to an exciting chimichanga, most recipes for Mexican cuisine involve some variation on a basic salsa or chimichanga. Chicken is also a popular choice, with many people creating unique chicken chili sauces for tacos as well as just cooking chicken in general. If you’re looking for more spice in your tacos, consider including some dried oregano, chopped tomatoes, a jalapeno, and a variety of other seasonings.
If you’re looking for more than chicken, though, the possibilities are virtually endless. Consider cooking corn, squash, cauliflower, onions, olives, bell peppers, cilantro, serrano chilies, or even habanera pepper for your next batch of recipes. Bell pepper is particularly great with both cumin and chipotle-spiced salsa, while squash works well with both hot and cold sauces. Other vegetables you might consider are radishes, carrots, potatoes, peas, mushrooms, spinach, and cauliflower.
Once you get to experiment with various seasonings, you’ll quickly realize just how versatile the ingredients can be. Because they’re very high in fat content, seasonings can actually help you make better use of whatever vegetables you decide to use. For example, onions work wonderfully with chili, helping to draw out the flavors of the peppers and chicken, while green chilies will provide an intense heat. Red peppers will provide a lovely, spicy taste, while spicy cauliflowers will bring out the flavor of all the other vegetables in your salsa.
Of course, you won’t know the results of your experiments without trying them. But that doesn’t mean that you have to start throwing away traditional store-bought salsa. If you experiment by making your own seasoning at home, you’ll find that there’s no better way to enhance the flavor of what you’re already eating. And who knows?