Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RECIPE: Taco Platters

It's summer. It's hot. Cooking seems like too much effort - and I definitely don't want to turn on the oven unless absolutely necessary.

Taco platters to the rescue! These are so yummy that just looking at the picture makes me want to run into the kitchen and whip some up. Seriously, I always get the "best mom ever" award from my kids whenever these appear on the dinner table. And what's more, they don't even involve a lot of effort. I made this dish last week using the grass fed beef we bought from VG Meats, and it was so good I think I could eat it for dinner every night all summer long! 

This recipe is a very loose guideline, and you can substitute or add whatever toppings you have on hand and happen to be in the mood for. You could easily use refried beans or black beans to make this vegetarian (or add the beans along with the meat for an even heartier meal).


1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water

1 recipe Zesty Cheese Sauce, made extra-thick by adding an additional tablespoon of flour (I also omit the onion and garlic as there's already enough mixed in with the beef)

1 pound bag of good quality tortilla chips (I like Que Pasa, they are an organic brand priced comparably to non-organics; the chips in the photo are their "O Canada" variety - and don't worry, the red ones are coloured with beet powder, not red dye!)

Sour cream
Green onions
Other chopped vegetables as desired

In a medium frying pan, saute the onion and garlic in oil until onion starts to soften. Add beef and cook until no trace of pink remains. Combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, cornstarch and water, stirring until well combined. Add to ground beef mixture and cook over medium heat until sauce has thickened.

To serve:

Arrange about 1/4 pound of tortilla chips on a plate. Spoon 1/4 of beef mixture on top, then pour some of the cheese sauce over top. Add remaining desired toppings. Repeat three more times to make 4 servings.

Dig in!!!

I shared this recipe at Full Plate Thursdays.

What are some of your favourite go-to meals for hot summer days?

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  1. I love doing this whenever we do "taco night". taco salad night is also fun, as well as omelettes. I'm with you on not using the oven!

  2. I use my crockpot lots in the summer. We have a screened in porch that I can put it on and not heat up the house. We also enjoy tortilla pizzas that I do on the griddle, wraps, large salads with some protein,chicken salad, or just plain ole leftovers heated up in the microwave. I steam veggies in the microwave from the garden....very easy.

  3. I have a version of this I call "Lazy Mama" dinner. When I'm too tired to cook, I heat up vegetarian refried beans topped with cheddar, and serve that with whole grain tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa, etc.---whatever is on hand. If I'm getting fancy, I'll put some fajita seasoning on the beans. See what I mean about it being lazy? ;-)

  4. Hi Karen,
    That looks like a platter of pure comfort to me, we would just love it! Hope you are having a great holiday week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


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