Friday, May 7, 2021

Tacos and Spanish Rice

Good Friday afternoon, my friends! Are you ready for the weekend? I know I am! As a stay-at-home wife 
it might seem that weekends wouldn't be much different than any other day of the week, and I suppose to some degree that's true. But in my efforts to live intentionally I set aside the greater part of Saturday and Sunday for rest from the busier tasks that fill the rest of the week, so I look forward to them, too. 

One of the things I do to simplify the weekend is cooking meals ahead of time. I enjoy cooking, but I am thankful to be at a place in life where it isn't required that I cook dinner every night. With Bill traveling and Kate working or out spending time with her friends, most nights it's just me. That being said, I typically cook 2-3 meals and either freeze the leftovers or stretch them over two days, but on the weekends especially, I try to make sure that dinner is prepared ahead of time.

I mentioned in my previous post that I am currently working on putting together a meal planning and recipe binder. I have kept a recipe binder for years, but it's looking a little shabby and it was time for an update. I'll be sharing more with you on that subject in the days ahead, but for today I wanted to share two recipes from the first section of my binder labeled, EASY DINNERS, because who doesn't love easy any day of the week, right?

The first recipe I am going to share with you is for my favorite BEEF TACO MEAT.  For years and years I seasoned our taco meat with store bought taco seasoning, and maybe you do, too, so no shame! But after making this recipe I've never looked back! It's just so easy and so good, and without all the preservatives, so better for you!


1 lb. ground beef
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
4 ounces tomato sauce

Add ground beef to a medium size skillet. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain the grease and add the seasonings and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Use in tacos, burritos, taco salad or breakfast tacos.

I encourage you to give this recipe a try! Just this past week I cooked up three pounds of meat, had tacos for dinner one night and froze the rest in 1 lb. portions. Now when I get hungry for tacos again, which is almost daily, the meat is ready and just needs to be thawed! Nothing could be simpler or taste better!

But of course if you're going to have taco's then you typically want the traditional sides of rice and beans to go with it.  I've shared my recipe to GRANDMA'S TEXAS STYLE PINTO BEANS before, and this is my go-to for any Mexican meal I prepare. I suppose you could re-fry them, but we like them just as they are. But it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I finally found a recipe for spanish rice that mimicked what is served at most restaurants, and the rice has always been my favorite! I made it just as the recipe called for, until one day I realized I didn't have tomato sauce and so I substituted salsa instead and the rest is history! But the real key to the flavor is browning the rice, it really makes all the difference!


2 cups long grain rice - long grain is ESSENTIAL for restaurant style quality!
1/8 salsa (or tomato sauce)
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp minced garlic 
4 cups lower sodium chicken broth 
Dash cumin 
Dash garlic pepper

Heat oil in large frying pan on medium heat. Add rice and cook until golden brown.  When rice is brown, add broth, salsa OR tomato sauce, salt, garlic, cumin and garlic pepper to pan.

This rice is just so good, and in addition to the meat and the pinto beans, you can make up a big batch and freeze it which makes putting together a full Mexican meal so easy, just pull it all out of the freezer, heat it up and enjoy!

If you like Mexican food then I hope you'll try out one or both of these delicious and easy recipes! They are perfect for a simple weekend meal, and even if you don't make it ahead of time, it all comes together so quickly, you'll be out of the kitchen before you know it!

And now I'm off my friends, and I do hope that you enjoy your weekend! The days are longer and sun is brighter, summer . . . is just around the corner!

Cherishing the days,

For a chance to win my blog-relaunch give-away, leave a comment on this post.
You get one entry for each post you comment on, but as an added bonus, share
your favorite go-to easy dinner recipe in the comments for an additional chance to win!
Winner will be announced on May 17!


Anonymous said...

I will definitely give your Spanish rice and taco seasoning a try! I've actually been looking for a go to recipe for Spanish rice. We are big Mexican food eaters here!

My favorite go to and easy dinner recipe is "burrito bowls." I cook black beans in the crockpot, only adding salt, so that's super simple. We spoon that over rice (cooked in a rice cooker) in a bowl. Then I set out toppings for everyone to top their beans as desired. Grated cheese, salsa, tomatoes, avocados- sliced or sometimes guacamole, green onion or red onion, and sour cream. all my kids love this, as do my husband and I.


Kimberly Lottman said...

I hope you ladies like the spanish rice, especially! Let me know! And Terri, I LOVE "Homespun Hugs", I might just adopt that! <3