Homemade Taco Seasoning + Low-Carb Taco Boats

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In addition to craving Chinese food lately, tacos have also creeped their way up to the top of my must-eat list. Nothing sounds better right now than a straight up hot & crispy taco with tons of ice-cold toppings and infinite amounts of shredded cheddar cheese. RIGHT?! (No, I’m not pregnant!)

At the same time, I also have a craving for fitting into my bikini next month, and have been attempting to cut back on carbs starting this week. It’s…not going well.

Everything has carbs!

Well, everything I like, anyways. Cereal, fruit, cereal, Chobani, cereal, popcorn, cereal, the 12-packs of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Ben won’t stop buying on his way home from work, and did I mention cereal?

RIP Whole Hearts.

Still wanting to satisfy my latest craving, I met myself halfway and whipped up a hot and crispy taco for dinner tonight, but traded carb-laden taco shells, for low-carb endive leaves.

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I’m calling them Low-Carb Taco Boats, and they are JUST the ticket! The endive leaves are super crunchy and actually hold up better than regular corn tortilla shells, which can get soggy and fall apart. Plus their mild taste really lets the toppings shine through.

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Start the taco boats by getting the endive “boats” ready. I picked up a pack of endive from Trader Joe’s that included two regular heads and one purple head. Since we’re need a pretty sturdy “boat” to hold all the taco fillings, I stuck to the regular endive as the purple is tre delicate.

Cut the stem end off the endive and peel back the leaves, then wash and pat them dry. That’s it! Boats = ready.

Next, prepare the taco filling by browning and crumbling 1lb lean ground beef. I use a potato masher to get my ground beef uniformly crumbly, btw. I don’t know how or why this works – all we need to know is that it does. :)

Drain the cooked ground beef, return it to the pan, then hit it with a homemade taco seasoning blend that combines chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder with other seasonings like cumin, paprika and oregano. Sprinkle the blend in with 1/4 cup water, and mix it with the ground beef.

Taco Boat assembly is next! Lay out a variety of toppings, taco-bar style, which could include tomatoes, salsa, cheddar cheese, green onion, red onion, and crumbled goat cheese.

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Spoon some taco meat into the endive leaves, then add any combination of toppers that you like!

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

Print this recipe!

Seasons 1lb ground meat

Ingredients:
2-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

Mix together seasonings, then add to 1lb hot, cooked and drained ground beef with 1/4 cup water. Mix well.

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Crunch-tastic, people – and so fun to eat!

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I loved that I could enjoy a bunch of topping combos, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I only had 2 or, let’s be real, 3 regular sized tacos.

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Crunching into them like regular tacos was awesome, but piling the ground beef and toppings onto a plate and using the endive leaves to backhoe them into your mouth also works great. I’m guessing. ;)

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Loving this low-carb meal!

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In other news, this is the kind of March madness I can get behind! 8)

It reached a crazy-high temp of 74 degrees this afternoon (!) and although the wind was blowing something fierce, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hit the trail and run a challenging 4 miler outside after work. It was paradise!

Hot sun, cool breeze, and half the city alongside. I’ll know I’ll hate myself in the morning when I wake up with stiff knees from running on uneven, hilly ground for the first time in ages, but it was totally worth it. ;)

In case the weather isn’t as favorable where you are, try this treadmill routine I’ve been running over and over (and over and over) at the gym lately. It’s just hard enough, goes super quick, and incorporates an awesome 10 minute HIIT section which allows your body to blast calories long after you’re done.

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As glorious as my trail run was today, I’m sure I’ll be back in the gym running through this guy tomorrow when the rain and snow are supposed to return. Oh, Midwest, you fickle wench! ;) Until then, Ben opened up the front and back doors, and the most luxurious breeze is airing out the house. Ahhh, it feels so good to have the heat off!

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Think we might head out for a nice, evening walk. :)

Have a great night!

~~~~~

Cast your vote! Hard shell, soft shell, or taco salad?

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