Real Food. Real Family. Real Midwest.

5 Rules. 5 People. 5 Weeks… and counting.

Taco Night!


Everybody does Taco Night at their house, right? No big deal. Super popular with the kids. Relatively easy. Just for “fun” I’ll give you the rundown on our most recent taco night and describe how I make it as “real” food as possible. It’s easy (and cheap and healthy) to do it without resorting to any highly-processed or sugar-laden spice packets, seasoning mixes or pre-shredded ingredients. Here are the standard “fixings” at our house (I do mix it up or add different stuff — like spinach, cilantro, chopped green onions, etc. — depending on what’s in the fridge):

Meat. Sometimes ground turkey, sometimes ground beef (grassfed, etc.).

seasoned ground beef

seasoned ground beef

Browned, then seasoned with our own version of the McCormick “Taco Seasoning” packet.

seasoning mixture

seasoning mixture

  •  3 1/2 t chili powder
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 2 t paprika
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 2 T of salsa (organic, no sugar added)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little water to moisten

Also (organic, local when possible):  shredded cheddar, chopped tomatoes, black olives, corn (frozen, defrosted), avocado, chopped romaine lettuce, black beans (from a can), salsa, Greek yogurt (I started using this years ago, instead of sour cream, and much prefer it). And Tabasco — I doubt that it’s organic and I KNOW it isn’t local, but I just love it and have never found anything that tastes the same.

shredding the cheese (a good task for kids!)

shredding the cheese (a good task for kids!)






"olive fingers!" -- the youngest son's favorite part of taco night

“olive fingers!” — the youngest son’s favorite part of taco night


oldest's creation

oldest’s creation

my salad

my salad


I try very hard to toss a humorous nugget or two into all of my blog posts (into everything I write, actually). (“You do?? Since when??”. Haha. Very funny.)

So … taco night was rolling along and I was plotting in my little brain the post’s organization, how much to describe, which photos I wanted, blah blah blah…. Yet a constant nagging thought in the back of my head was: “There is not a single damn funny thing to say about Taco Night! Darnit!”

Then this happened. Ole!

(OF COURSE, it’s the middle son –who else would it be?!)


Author: Beth Behrendt

freelance writer with particular interest in food, urban development, architecture, technology and history

5 thoughts on “Taco Night!

  1. Ole!! In regard to your hot sauce options: I am a Tabasco fan as well, but I am sold on a local hot sauce that I have picked up at the Main Street Farmer’s Market on Friday afternoons. It is called Alexander’s and our favorite flavor so far is “Pit Viper”! There are lots of varieties of heat/flavor to choose from!

  2. I agree about the Greek yogurt! I can’t even eat sour cream anymore. Whenever something calls for sour cream, I get the yogurt instead.

  3. Great post Beth. I am sure the “taco fingers” and the costume added to the fun!

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