I'm taking ya'll with me as I seek to expand our regular menu selections. Last time it was Garlic Cheddar Chicken, which my husband declared a restaurant-quality meal.
Last night we tried Taco Soup, which I loved and even had for lunch today. But let me warn you...it's mighty spicy! Try decreasing the cumin to make it more child-friendly.
There are a couple packaged-food items included in this, but below the recipe I'll give you whole-food friendly substitutions for those.
Crockpot Taco Soup
1 pound ground turkey (93/7 lean; or ground beef)
1 packet ranch dressing mix (I will substitute for you below)
1 packet of taco seasoning (substitution below)
1 can corn (I used a whole bag of steamed corn)
1 can of diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of Rotel (a salsa-like tomato and onion mixture found in the mexican section)
1 can of water
2 cans of beans, not drained (I used 1 can black beans, 1 can pinto beans)
1 T cumin
2 tsp. minced garlic
1. Brown the meat a little, and then add the garlic and cumin to blend the flavors.
2. Dump meat mixture in the crockpot with all the other ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or simmer in soup pot for one hour). It will look like chili to you, but really, it comes out as a unique soup.
Yeah, it's that easy!
I had never used Rotel and it took time for me to find it in the store, but Walmart did have it. I don't know if that made it so fiery, or the cumin, but if you find it too spicy, you can reduce one or the other.
I served with grated cheese to cut the spiciness, and with honey cornbread. You could serve with cheese quesadillas, or homemade bread, or tortilla chips.
I suggest vanilla ice cream with berries on top for dessert, to wash away the spiciness, too.
Okay, now for the substitutions:
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix (Store it and use for every recipe calling for taco seasoning mix. Use 2 T per 1 pound of meat. I usually triple the batch for greater convenience, but these measurements are for a single batch.)
2 T chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 T cumin
2 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
Ranch Dressing Mix (Makes 1 T; use for recipes calling for 1 packet of Ranch dressing mix)
1 tsp. dried parsley
3/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
Honey Wheat Cornbread (the wheat and honey make this delicious)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1 T baking powder
1 cup milk (I use the kids' 2% milk, but I've seen similar recipes written with 1 cup heavy cream instead of milk)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x9 inch baking pan.
2. In large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder. Make a well in the center, and add the milk, oil, honey, and eggs; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
* Image credit given above is for a good picture of taco soup, and shows ideal garnishes, but I didn't get this recipe at that sight. The recipe shown at that sight sounds equally good, though, and is for a larger batch.