Growing up, my family had Taco Tuesday almost every week where we’d get together with family friends and watch American Idol followed by Glee. It was one of my favorite things to do during the week.
Since then, I’ve always had a love for tacos. They’re awesome because they’re so versatile. You can really make this meal work for almost anyone because everyone assembles the fillings themselves.
One person can make a taco salad with a bed of greens in place of a tortilla or chips. Another can load up on the rice and beans (or add meat!) for more protein. And another can add more fat in the form of avocado. This mixing and matching makes it easy for families and people with different dietary needs.
So if you’re in a family with picky eaters, or just have different food needs (I need lots of greens, Todd needs way more of the hearty rice and beans, meat eating friends can have them with ground beef), tacos are a great option. Plus, you can throw leftovers together to make an entirely different meal later (i.e., a salad, breakfast tacos, a burrito bowl, etc.).
Crowd Pleaser Tacos for All Eaters
A super versatile meal – throw leftovers into a salad, taco, or breakfast burrito!
- 1½ tbsp ghee or butter
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 cup cooked basmati rice (or cook it while you wait for the onions to caramelize)
- 1 can beans (pinto or black beans)
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- A few handfuls of baby greens or chopped lettuce
- A few handfuls of cilantro, chopped
- Any other vegetables you want to add!
- 1 lemon or lime
- 1 avocado
- fresh salsa (if buying, watch out for salsa that has sugar added)
- 4-6 taco shells (make sure to buy/make shells made without vegetable oil!)
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
Rice and Bean Filling:
In a large pot, caramelize onions in ghee or butter until brown. This will take some time, but you can prepare everything else while they cook and stir every 5 to 10 minutes. Stirring them too often actually won’t allow caramelization, so don’t feel like you have to hover over them, stirring the whole time.
If your rice isn’t yet cooked, you can do this while the onions caramelize. Use a 3:1 ratio water to rice for cooking.
Add cooked rice, beans, and spices to the pan after onions have caramelized.
Toss together greens and any chopped veggies you’d like. Slice lemon/lime and avocados, if using. Chop cilantro, if using. Prepare the salsa, taco shells, salt, and pepper, to serve, if using.
You can get creative here, and have everyone assemble the tacos they want. Some might want a taco salad with lots of greens in place of taco shells. Others might want to load up on the rice and beans. And some might want lots of avocado or salsa. Their versatility is what makes tacos such a crowd pleaser!
COOKING AND MEAL PREP TIPS:
1. Keep the Rice & Bean Filling and the other veggies and toppings separate to throw together taco-inspired dishes for the few days following.
2. Then you can get creative with how you want to eat the leftovers: in a shell, as a salad, with or without rice or beans.
3. You can also make it into a breakfast burrito by adding eggs!
Enjoy, and remember to get creative in the kitchen. You don’t have to follow a recipe perfectly: make it however is best for YOU!