When we're having a crazy hectic week, or when I just don't feel like cooking, I usually go for one of our favorite standbys- tacos. Taco night in our house is a laid back affair, where my kids usually just eat tortillas with a scant dabble of meat and an enormous pile of cheese. I try anything to get them to eat more of the vegetables and meat we have on offer- but our picky pests prefer cheese and carb laden yumminess. I made these fun homemade taco boats and one pan veggie packed tacos to try to get them excited to actually fill their plates with more food.
The best part of this is that the meat and veggies all cook together in the taco seasoning, so you get a rich, delicious and smoky flavor throughout your dish. The veggies aren't small enough to be entirely un detectable, but blend in with the flavors of taco meat. This helps get kids used to eating veggies and seeing them in meals, and hopefully leads to them trying more and more.
In theory this works for us, but we just try to be patient with our kids picky eating (especially my son's). I try to remind myself everyday my incredibly veggie-loving healthy brother (who is currently playing professional baseball in Australia) only ate chicken nuggets and cheese tortilla roll-ups as a kid. I'm hoping we can expand Finn's palate with fun dishes like this, but we keep looking for more and more ways to introduce him to unprocessed meat and vegetables and help him realize they can really be delicious.
You can use prepackaged taco seasoning (use the whole packet if you go this route), or you can use a homemade seasoning like we do. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alton Brown's Taco Seasoning #19. If you use his, halve the salt and be sure to use kosher salt (or celtic salt like I prefer to use).
- 6 to rtillas, medium size
- 1 large portion aluminum foil
- 1 cup dry pinto beans
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 to mato, diced (reserve 1/2 diced tomato for garnish)
- 2 tsp taco seasoning
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
- diced cilantro, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Lay tortillas on a table.
- Shape foil into a long boat shape.
- Add tortillas into foil.
- Place beans in tortillas to help shape them, fold any extra length of foil over tortillas.
- Place tortillas in oven, check every 5-10 minutes as you cook taco meat. You don't want the tortillas to brown- but to bake into a boat shape. Check occasionally to ensure tortillas don't brown or burn- remove them if they do start to brown, and let them sit in the foil until ready.
- Heat pan on medium heat.
- When pan is hot, add ground beef and start crumbling it using a spatula.
- Add diced onions, stir occasionally until beef is almost all browned and onions begin to get soft.
- Add diced bell pepper.
- Continue to heat meat, onion and pepper until meat is completely cooked and vegetables are slightly browned.
- Add 1/2 of a diced tomato.
- Stir in taco seasoning. If the tomato didn't give off enough liquid to stir in taco seasoning, add water 1 tsp at a time to have just enough to evenly spread taco seasoning without flooding the dish.
- Add taco mixture to bowl, top with cheese, other 1/2 of diced tomatoes, and cilantro.
Amount Per Serving Calories 428Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 91mgSodium 296mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 6gSugar 2gProtein 33g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.