Making your own Mexican seasoning is so simple. There is no need to use the store-bought packets that contain flour, sugar, food acid and anticaking agents. When I read the ingredient list on my packet of taco mix, I was shocked. The first ingredient was sugar and the second was flour, no thank you (I just wanted the spices). Use 2 tablespoons of Mexican Spice Mix with 500g of beef or chicken mince when making tacos or 3 tablespoons for Chilli Beef or Taco Soup. It's always best to use organic spices if available.
* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.
Add all the above ingredients to a glass jar with an airtight lid and stir to mix well. Seal and store in the pantry for up to 6 months.
For Tacos: 2 tablespoons is equivalent to 1 packet of taco seasoning.
For Chilli: 3 tablespoons is equivalent to 1 packet of chilli seasoning.
Mexican Spice Mix is also delicious sprinkled on fish, pork, beef or chicken before grilling or baking.
TACO RECIPE (serves 4):
1 sml - med onion, finely diced
500g beef or chicken mince
2 Tbsp Mexican seasoning mix
3 Tbsp organic tomato paste
80ml filtered water
METHOD: Heat a pan on medium and add coconut oil or olive oil. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the meat and cook for 5 minutes or until brown. Sprinkle over the spice mix and add the tomato paste and water, stir well. Cook simmering, for 8 - 10 minutes. Serve in Paleo tortillas or wraps with salad, salsa and fresh coriander leaves. Check out my Sweet Potato and Cassava Flour Wrap recipe HERE, or you will find a tortilla recipe in my Paleo Bread Cookbook HERE.
Cumin is a medium - hot spice which blends well in curries and is the main spice in the Middle Eastern dip, hummus. It is being studied for potential anti-oxidant and anticancer effects.
Coriander is also know as cilantro. The fresh chopped green leaves in large amounts are a good source of vitamin C. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many Indian, Thai, and Mexican dishes. They are usually tossed through just before serving as the heat can diminish the flavour. The dried fruits are known as coriander seeds, the seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed. The word coriander in food preparation may only be referring to the ground seeds not the plant.
Chilli is the spicy fruit of plants that belong to the capsicum family. It is eaten fresh or dried. Chilli powder is dried and ground red chilli peppers. They are members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Red chillies contain large amounts of vitamin C and are a good source of most B vitamins, they are also very high in potassium, magnesium and iron.
Oregano is an important culinary herb. It's used for the flavour of its leaves, when dried the leaves are more flavourful than fresh. Oregano has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste and is popular in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. I prefer to purchase an organic brand, Simply Organic.
Paprika is a relative of the chili pepper. Smoked paprika is used to add a sweet mildly spicy flavour to dishes and it adds a warm natural colour. Use organic smoked paprika, my favourite brands are Simply Organic or Frontier (I purchase online at iherb).
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Onion powder is ground, dehydrated onion. Where possible purchase an organic brand that doesn't contain anti-caking agents or fillers. I buy the 'Simply Organic' brand.
Garlic powder is ground, dehydrated garlic. Where possible purchase an organic brand that doesn't contain anti-caking agents or fillers. I use the 'Simply Organics' brand.
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
Cayenne pepper is a powdered form of red hot chili pepper, cultivated from the capsicum family (a nightshade vegetable). Cayenne pepper is high in vitamin A, it also contains vitamins B6, E and C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese. Cayenne can speed up the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin.
Black and white pepper both come from the fruit of a tropical vine. Black pepper is the cooked and dried unripe fruit, know as a peppercorn and white pepper is from the ripe fruit seed. Pepper is usually coupled with salt, sprinkled over or added to food.