It’s Turkey Taco Tuesday.
If it were up to my husband, every night would be taco night. Me, on the other hand? I can only handle so much Mexican food. But I must say, I do enjoy me some turkey tacos at home. There’s something festive about them, and I love how everyone can build their own creation.
I also have a confession. I am the worst taco/burrito builder. I get way to excited, stuff as much in there as humanly possible, and half of the filling ends up falling out the other end as I eat it. Not pretty.
Meanwhile, my husband’s tacos are perfectly stuffed with just the right ratio of meat to veggies to rice to cheese.
How about SLOW DOWN Laney! I’m sorry, I can’t help it. I’m a face stuffer.
So like I said, taco night is awesome for a party of 2, 3, 5, or 10. You get to prep all the toppings, and let people fend for themselves. And if their taco ends up looking like mine, then it’s their fault, not yours. At least it will taste good.
Personally, my favorite part of these tacos is the onion, pepper, and bean mixture. It takes a little time and patience to make, but totally worth it in the end. It’s just a matter of slow cooking the veggies and beans until they become super soft and flavorful. Mmmmm, get. in. my. face.
Another extremely important factor of course is the taco seasoning. Don’t feel badly if you walk down the spice isle and pick up the pre-made packets of taco seasoning. I’ve been doing it for years. Little did I know how easy it is to make it yourself! So I gave it a shot, and I scored. Who knew I was a professional spice mixer? I’m not, really. But I promise you can do it too.
Oh, and the rice. Generally I like the traditional spanish rice, which I’m still a huge fan of. This time I tried something a little different. Something on the healthier side. Cilantro lime brown rice.
I’m not offended if you hate me for using brown rice in my tacos, or even cilantro for that matter. But if you feel like going a little lighter, this rice is a great alternative, and still delish.
For the rice
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- Chicken stock (used for rice and bean mixture below)
- Large handful of cilantro (chopped)
- 1–2 limes (juiced)
For the bean mixture
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 bell peppers (sliced in thin strips)
- 1 small onion (sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
For the spice mixture
- 1 pound ground turkey meat
- 1 tablespoon chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Cook rice according to package, using chicken stock in place of water. Once rice is cooked and still warm, add the chopped cilantro and fresh squeezed lime juice. This way the rice will better absorb all the flavors. Set aside.
- While rice is cooking, heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add peppers, onion, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until veggies begin to soften.
- Turn heat to medium/low, add the beans and little bit of chicken stock (about 1/4 cup). Stir to combine and let the veggies and beans slowly simmer with the chicken stock. As the chicken stock begins to reduce down, add more about 1/4 cup at a time until the veggies and beans become super soft, almost like a bean and pepper mash.
- Meanwhile, in a separate pan begin to brown the turkey meat in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. While meat is browning, combine the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Once the meat is no longer pink, add the spice mixture with 1/4 cup of water or chicken stock. Add more water if necessary 1 tablespoon at a time to coat the turkey with the spices. Cook meat until fully browned and cooked through.
- Serve with warm tortillas, and toppings of your choice! I love to add fresh avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa! Put everything in separate bowls and let your family and friends make their own creations!