11 ways to plus up your Taco Night at home.

My friend Alejo can eat four bowls of Black Beans. Top that.

Does your family have a Taco Night? We're in Texas, so the answer in the Stundins household is "DUH!" Thank you Homer Simpson for that lovely addition to my children's lexicon. Taco night is a great opportunity to have friends and neighbors over too.

Let us extol the virtues of Tacos for a moment, shall we?
1. If your toddler just wants cheese in said taco, he may just have cheese. If he just eats the tortilla, still a win.
2. If your husband likes them spicy and you do not, don't put the spice in the meat, just hand the big lug a jar of salsa.
3. You think crunchy shells are going to be a disaster in your house? Opt for the soft flour tortilla to wrap that mess up in and fold it neatly into a little pocket of taco goodness.
4. Think about a form change: tacos are messy for your kids? How about tiny Taco Tarts made in Tostitos Scoops, which look like tiny bowls.
5. Lots of topping choices means everyone is happy. And, no one is throwing food on the floor. *Yes, Luka I'm talking to you.*

Taco Tarts: Tostitos Scoops, Refried Beans, Guacamole. Add cheese, sour cream if you like.

How do we make tacos special at The Stundins Casa? And, by "special", I of course mean NUTRITIOUS. Besides the fact that your ordinary taco usually contains goodies like cheese, lettuce, and tomato, you can pump up the nutrition in several underhanded, sneaky ways. Cuz that's the kind of mom I am. Ways that your kids will never notice. That your husband will never guess. Of course you have to keep them out of the kitchen when you do this, or the jig is up.
1. Use some ground turkey in with your ground beef. They'll never know. And to make your life easier in the future, cook up a BIG batch of ground meat, then freeze it in individual meal ziploc bags. Next time's taco night will prepare in a snap.
2. Add sweet potato puree to the meat after you cook it, when you sprinkle in your taco spices. Adds Vitamins A and C. Can't taste it.
3. Sprinkle ground flax seed over the ground spiced meat when you cook it. Adds fiber and Omega 3s. Can't taste this either.
4. Add avocados to the list of toppings. Dude, what is a taco without avocados a.k.a guacamole.
5. Add colorful side dishes like Calabacita. Calabacita is just a can of corn, a chopped up zucchini, a chopped up red pepper, a bit of chopped garlic and onions, and some salt, pepper, and margarine all cooked in a skillet.
6. Chop up all your toppings into tiny bits, and put them in tiny bowls to choose from, so children will not be intimidated and perhaps try more things on their taco. Tiny things are cute. Cute things usually end up in their mouth. *Mother Logic*

Calabacita: corn, zucchini, red pepper, salt, pepper, margarine.

If you're in Texas, be sure to shop for your fresh vegetable ingredients at your local Fiesta Grocery Store. If you've never been, you'll be SHOCKED I TELL YOU at the prices of the produce. Ridiculously inexpensive Mexican Avocados. The best kind.

Mommy's Wish List Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Avocados from Mexico.

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The Cluck Wagon said...

Mock tacos - Mockos!
This is a nice option for meatless tacos that taste just like the real thing.
Container of white button mushrooms chopped fine (about 3 cups), can of black beans drained and rinsed, 1/2 of an onion diced up. Throw in a skillet and warm up. Taco seasoning 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 14 tsp crushed red peppers, 1 tsp paprika, 3 tsp cumin, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper. Throw in 1/2 cup taco sauce and 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. This makes enough for 8 tacos.

The Cluck Wagon said...

Mock tacos - Mockos!
This is a nice meatless option that tastes just like the real thing.
Container of white button mushrooms chopped fine (about 3 cups), can of black beans drained and rinsed, 1/2 of an onion diced up. Throw in a skillet and warm up. Taco seasoning 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 14 tsp crushed red peppers, 1 tsp paprika, 3 tsp cumin, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper. Throw in 1/2 cup taco sauce and 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. This makes enough for 8 tacos.


Suburban Sweetheart said...

What a fun contest! My mom & I had a Taco Night this evening, actually. We cooked Morningstar Farms meatless crumbles with finely chopped onions & some Ortega taco seasoning, then put out little bowls of toppings to choose from: spicy salsa, saffron rice, black beans, shredded jack cheese &... yes, guac!

My guac recipe comes from a blogger friend, & it's kind of AMAZING even though it sounds, at first read, like it'll be disgusting:
You need:

- ripe avocados (how many you use depends on how much guac you want!)
- any brand of Italian dressing - yes, really!
- any kind of Cajun seasoning (I use Tony’s)
- sour cream (I use lowfat)

After you mash up the avocados, add a splash of italian dressing & as much Cajun seasoning as you like, all to taste. Add a dollop of sour cream to make it creamier... & there you have it! Cajun Italian Guac. Amazing, right?

(And if I should win, you can find me at suburbansweetheart at gmail dot com)

Unknown said...

There is nothing like fresh Guac! My recipe varies depending on what I have in the fridge...but here is a typical one I whip up (We eat guac at least once a week...we're addicted to Mexican food!!)

Fresh Guacamole

3 ripe avocados
1 tomato, diced
1 ear of fresh grilled corn on cob, kernels removed
1/4 red onion, chopped
Juice of one lime
Salt and Pepper
Fresh scallions for garnish
Chips for dipping

Scoop out avocado and mash with a fork - but leave it kind of chunky. Mix in tomatoes, corn and red onion. Then add in lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with scallions and Enjoy!!!

Great contest!

Kathleen said...

4 avacados
tablespoon of ranch dressing
1/2 cup of gouda cheese shredded (weird I know but GREAT)
1/2 cup of smoked tomatoes
1/4 drained rotel for spice
fresh garlic (to taste)
1/2 an onion grilled
1/2 tbs of lime juice
salt, pepper, cumino (to taste)

Mix it all and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes at least.


Kathleen Porche

Anonymous said...

Fish Tacos

Two avocados from Mexico
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 pound firm white fish cut into 2-inch chunks
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil for frying
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
4 flour tortillas

1.Cut avocados in half, remove pit, and peel. Cut in chunks and sprinkle with lime juice. Toss shredded cabbage with salt and pepper.
2.Mix flour, salt and pepper in a deep plate with a fork. Dredge fish chunks in mixture. In large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Add fish chunks, cook until browned on all sides.
3.Divide cabbage mixture between tortillas. Top with fish chunks, avocados and garnish with cilantro and additional lime or lemon slices.

bigorangecat said...

Guac, Sarah style

1 ripe Avocado
2 T finely chopped tomato
1 T finely chopped onion
1 T lime juice (or more if desired)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 t salt
1 small Jalapeno, minced

Mash Avocado in small bowl with a fork. Stir in the tomatoes, onion, lime juice, salt, garlic, and jalapeno. Add more lime juice as needed.
Can easily be doubled.


Angie said...

we live in Tx too, so we eat tons of tacos here!!!!!

A twist on regular tacos, are taco BOWLS!

Brown up your meat (we use ground turkey and cant tell the difference!) with taco seasoning.

Get a can a Grands biscuits and a muffin tin. CLEAN THE TIN on the underside. Now turn it over, spray the underside with non-stick and take each Grands and press it over the tin cup part. Bake at the same temp and time it calls for on the biscuits. When it is done, you have little bowls:)

Add in your meat and top with cheese, lettuce, guac, sour cream, etc. kids love these!!!

rennieangie at gmail dot com

One Frugal Girl said...

Avocado Contest Recipe:

* 3 ripe avocados
* Juice of 1 lime
* small red or yellow onion chopped
* 2 garlic cloves minced
* 15 cherry tomatoes diced (they give extra sweetness)
* 1/4 tsp cumin
* 1/4 tsp hot sauce

Mash avocados and combine all other ingredients. Delicious!

John S. said...

My favorite taco recipe includes Mexican avocados.
Season favorite meat with:
chili powder
and chlis to taste.

Then load taco shells with these ingredients and add lettuce, tomatoes and avocados. These avocados need to be mashed. Add:
diced yellow onions
lime juice.

Wonderful! Thanks for the chance.

Sarah Partain said...

YUM!! I want to make it taco night tonight!
We do burrito night sometimes, and most nights to make it easy, we go vegetarian.
It's a "recipe" we made up in the early days of marriage:
Black beans
Avacados From Mexico
Sour Cream

Super easy--the beans and corn were from cans and everything else we usually had on hand.
This would go great in a taco shell, too, I'm sure!

my email is ladypartain(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah! Texas right here!

We like our tacos nice and simple.
1lb. ground turkey seasoned up with some ground red pepper.
black beans thrown into the meat.
some shredded spinach leaves.
shredded blend of Mexican cheeses.
and a good heap of salsa on top.

In the words of Rachael Ray...YUMM-O!


Julee said...

Taco Layer Salad/Dip

This recipe is my own take on the seven-layer dip that is populates potlucks and social gatherings. Fun and simple to make, it feeds a crowd and works well as left-overs--if you can stop eating it!


8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. salsa (reserve 3 Tablespoons)
1.5 pounds ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1/2 head lettuce, shredded
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 can pitted black olives, sliced thin
1 avocado from Mexico
jalapenos (optional)
2 large bags plain tostado chips


Brown Beef, drain
Mix taco season per directions and simmer 15-20 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature
Combine sour cream, cream cheese and salsa with mixer.

Layer is this Order: (I use a 13"x9" pan)

Sour Cream Mixture
Ground Beef
jalapenos (optional)
Reserved salsa
Black Olives

Garnish with chips and Avocado from Mexico.

Put remaining chips in a bowl or basket.

This makes one VERY large platter.


Thabal said...

I make a simple salad: mix in chopped avocados, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle some lemon juice on the top. Tastes like heaven. Mangoes, black beans can be added, if in need. Thanks for the giveaway.

thabal628 (at) gmail (dot) com

CSeppala said...


1/2 cup finely chopped white onion, rinsed under cold water
1 1/2 or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno chile with seeds
Fresh minced garlic to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 ripe avocados from Mexico, pitted and peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Mix first 6 ingredients in small bowl. In a large bowl, coarsely mash avocados with fork. Add onion mixture and lime juice. Stir until mixed.
Serve with tortilla chips!


CSeppala at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

My favorite is really simple: BLAT wraps: bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, ranch dressing on a spinach tortilla-style wrap.

cindi said...

I love to grill tilapia, add some julienned purple cabbage, chunks of avocado, and a jalapeno ranch dressing (bottled ranch mixed in a blender with lime juice, 1-2 fresh jalapenos and 1/4 c cilantro), throw it all in a warm corn tortilla and serve with a side of roasted potatoes and some fresh corn. YUM!


Sarah said...

Potato tacos! So easy...

Diced white potatoes (one medium potato per person)
Half an onion
1 TBSP Olive Oil
Cumin (to taste)
Red Pepper (to taste)
Shredded cheese

Sautee potatoes in olive oil until browned, add onions. Add spices. Put in tortillas, sprinkle with cheese, add your favorite toppings. Eat!

orson55 at hotmail dot com

StephanieC said...

• 2 medium ripe avocados
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped
• 1/4 cup jarred salsa
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Peel and chop avocados; place in a container along with jalapeno mixed in.
2. Sprinkle with lemon and lime juice.
3. Add salsa and salt; mash coarsely with a fork and top on tacos, nachos, or burritos!

scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

My favorite guacamole recipe is very simple:
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp salt
2 tsp finely chopped yellow onions
2 tsp minced jalapeno
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped plum tomato (1 small tomato)
2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
Mash together 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, 1 teaspoon of the onion, 1 teaspoon of the chile, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the bottom of a medium-size bowl.
Add the avocados and gently mash with a fork until chunky-smooth.
Fold the remaining cilantro, onion, and chile into the mixture.
Stir in the tomato and lime juice, adjust the seasonings to taste, and serve with a basket of warm tortilla chips.

Christie said...

Easy corn salsa:
1 can of corn with peppers
1 T taco seasoning
some chopped cilantro
dash of honey

c allen said...

i love all of these great recipes!

easy avocado taco topping
3 avocados from mexico
8 oz. cheese dip (jar)
½ cup sour cream
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tbs. garlic powder
½ cup pimentos, diced
1/3 cup water

Mash avocados; add cheese dip, sour cream and garlic. Combine all other ingredients, thoroughly mix.
Add 1/3-cup water to hold the green color.
Salt & pepper to taste. Cover & refrigerate.

thanks clallen at ntin dot net

Anonymous said...

We love ground turkey tacos at my house!

I use 1 pound of ground turkey
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of fresh ground cumin
2 pinches of turmeric
a quarter jalapeno pepper (diced)
half a teaspoon salt
half a teaspoon black pepper

Brown the ground turkey, season it with the seasonings listed above. Mix in some jalapeno peppers (if you like it spicy!)

Top your tacos with chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, sour cream, shredded monterey and cheddar cheese and enjoy! :)

jewel97234 at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

How could I forget the BEST PART? :) Top it all of with fresh sliced Avocados from Mexico!

~dab said...

My favorite guac recipe is adapted from Alton Brown's recipe. Everyone RAVES about it.

3 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, zested and then juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice and zest, toss to coat. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash to your desired consistency (I leave it a slightly chunky). Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Hetal said...

We have Thursday as taco night. We are vegetarians, so we have shells, refiend beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and they are topped with Avocado from Mexico of course.

Emily N. said...

My taco recipe is multi-grain or whole wheat tortillas filled with fresh diced tomato, shredded lettuce, cooked black beans, mild salsa, and topped with slices of Avocados from Mexico sprinkled with season salt.

emilynwins[at]gmail dot com

Shannon's Tales of Motherhood said...

Avocado Tacos:

1 ripe California avocado, peeled and seeded

1 medium onion, julienned

2 large green peppers, julienned

2 large red peppers, julienned

1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1½ cups fresh tomato salsa (see below)

12 flour tortillas

non-stick cooking spray

Fresh Tomato Salsa

1 cup tomatoes, diced

1/3 cup onions, diced

½ clove garlic, minced

2 tsp cilantro

1/3 tsp jalapeño peppers, chopped

½ tsp lime, juiced

pinch of cumin

Spray skillet with cooking spray. Lightly sautè onion and green and red peppers.

Cut avocado into 12 slices. Warm tortillas in oven and fill with peppers, onions, avocado slices and salsa. Fold tortillas and serve
This recipe will serve 12..

Have fun and enjoy!
shannpf1977 at yahoo dot com

itsme said...

http://clarissaneiding.blogspot.com/2010/10/instead-of-dressing-on-salad.html how i use avocado salsa (recipe included) instead of dressing

Jeff said...

Easy taco salad:

1 can refrieds (heat 'em if you like)
1 head lettuce
8 oz. shredded cheese
1 Burger King Whopper crumbled up (including tomatoes)
Stir & eat

Mmmm, that's living!


JoeyfromSC said...

I LOVE avocados!! I also love having taco night at my house! My fave recipe is here:

Mushroom and Avocado Salad

(it's really good!! lol)

12 Italian bread slices, grilled
6 lettuce leaves (I use romaine!!)
1 medium avocado
1 lb white mushrooms
12 oz red bell pepper, diced
12 oz green bell pepper, diced
1/2cup of sherry wine vinegar
1/2cup of basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup of whole grain mustard
1/8 cup of olive oil

In a bowl, mix the mustard, vinegar, basil, bell peppers and olive oil, then set that aside

Wash and slice the white mushrooms

Add the mushrooms to the dressing and marinate for 15 minutes

Place each salad portion on a lettuce leaf

Slice the avocado and place it on top

Serve with two slices of grilled Italian bread

EAT!! lol..yumo!!

Thanks for the chance to win!!


*WOW, Jeff! lol

Admin said...

My recipe is soo easy!
2 mexican avacados cut up
2-3 cups grapefruit cut up
4-5 tbs honey(haet it slightly to toss easier)
dash salt fresh mint to taste

just combine all ingredients,toss lightly to coat and..eat!
I add cold grilled chicken in the summer to make a main dish.
tattgiff at centurytel dot net

Anne said...

Here is my recipe for avocado salsa
My recipe:
1 avocado,
1/4 c. red onions
8 cherry tomatoes
1 lime
1/4 c. coriander

Directions: chop avocado and squeeze lime over it. Chop red onions, tomatoes and coriander. Mix everything together.

ewalsh40 said...

I do vegetarian tacos
Zatarans Black Beans and Rice Mix
Red Pepper Flakes
Mexican 3 Cheese Shredded Cheese
Taco shells
Just cook the black beans and rice as directed on the package and pile on the rest of the ingredients to taste. You can add in any other ingredients you prefer.
The avacados and tomatoes are good for you, It’s easy, and vegetarians don’t have to miss out on all of the taco goodness. I make them when I make regular meat tacos for my family.

Filam said...

Here's my favorite recipe for Avocados from Mexico!

Creamy Guacamole

2 ripe Avocados from Mexico
1/4 cup Cream cheese spread
2 tblsp. Finely chopped onions
1/4 cup Finely chopped tomatoes
2 tblsp. Lime Juice
1 Minced garlic clove
1/8 teasp. Salt
1 dash Black Pepper

Mash the avocados in a medium-sized bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Makes 12 2-tablespoon servings.

Mari said...

My favorite recipe is quite simple. just take 2 avocados, add chopped onion, cilantro, tomatoes, a small amount of lime juice, and a bit of sea salt. If you like it spicy, you can add a sliver of habanero pepper (very hot) or jalapeño (mildly hot).

runningmatey at hotmail dot com