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El Crocko Taco (or Nacho, Burrito or Salad) (GF)
A Mexican night meal is always muy bueno but going south of the border when it’s andele time requires being crocked! Try this for a game night, church night, party or any night that your gonna be pressed for prep time. Ironically, this is a quick and easy way to make dinner using a slow-cooker! Especially during the month of Crocktober!
In the morning, at lunch or even 2 hours before you want to eat – just throw some hamburger meat into a slow cooker. I usually use 2 or 3 pounds if it’s just our family eating. I like to start it on high for a little while and turn it down to low once it’s up to temp if I’m around but if I’m not going to be around I just set it on low and let it go. I simply plop it in there and then crumble it up after it’s done.
Once it’s done and you’re ready to eat add taco seasoning (my homemade, gluten-free recipe below!) and mix it in well.
Set out an assortment of your favorite taco add-ins like lettuce, salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, taco shells, tortillas, nacho chips, black olives, etc. It literally takes 5 minutes to put on the table. We help our plates buffet style and each put it together in whatever way we like best – as tacos, burritos, nachos, or my personal favorite, taco salad!
Here are my healthy-choice suggestions for the ingredients. I have links to some that are products so that you can see what they look like and read about them – for your convenience – only 1 is an affiliate link:
• Hamburger meat – use grass-fed, pastured beef raised without hormones, antibiotics or GMO feed. If you don’t have a local side of beef in the freezer then my affiliate U.S. Wellness Meats is an excellent source.
• If you have lettuce in your garden or have a farm stand nearby use fresh lettuce, if not get packaged field greens or spring mix type lettuces instead of iceberg “white” lettuce which has no real nutritional value and is hard for many to digest.
• Fresh homemade salsa is quick and easy and oh so delicioso! Just chop up tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, etc.
Want one better? Did you know you can easily make fermented salsa at home? It’s even loaded with naturally produced probiotics and digestive enzymes too! Watch my videos called “Making Cultured Vegetables” part 1 & 2 to learn how the process works then simply use the salsa veggies instead of the veggies in the video! That is the most amazing salsa you’ve ever tasted and undoubtedly the healthiest!
If you don’t have those ready and in the fridge you can buy salsa at the store but PLEASE don’t buy the stuff on the shelf in the aisles! Not good OR good for you. Look in the produce department in the refrigerated cases for fresh salsa.
• Sour cream and cheddar cheese – we have our own milk cow that is happily pastured and healthy but I don’t always have time to make homemade cheese. My 2nd favorite options are from Organic Valley. My favorite is their raw milk cheddar cheese but another handy option is their shredded Mexican blend. They also have good sour cream. (Always choose regular over “low-fat” it’s much healthier for you!)
• Tortilla/Nacho chips – Did you know that blue corn is healthier for you than yellow? Look for a non-GMO version that only has sea salt*. All corn in the U.S. that is not grown and labeled as organic has usually come from genetically modified seeds. Do you want your (or your children’s!) genes modified?! I’ll tell you – no – you don’t. I won’t take up the space to write about the health hazards of that one. Our favorite brands are Xochitl (pronounced so-cheel) blue corn variety because of the traditional method of preparing the corn (nixtamal) which makes it much healthier. Another brand we like is Garden of Eatin’s blue corn. They both have organic, non-GMO corn and use sea salt.
*Why sea salt instead of regular salt? Very long story short – it should look dirty. If it has little colored specks in it then you know that it’s real salt with its naturally occurring 80+ minerals still in there. Your body can use it (and NEEDS it!) in its whole form, but when it’s chemically separated and changed like table salt, it causes imbalances. Our favorite is Real Salt. That’s also what I use to make those fermented veggies/salsa!
As for tortilla/burrito/wraps avoid the white flour junk versions. There are Ezekiel bread sprouted grain versions and Gluten-free versions made by Food For Life that are great.
If you need completely grain-free versions they are easy to make! There are many variations but my favorite is from Dr. William Davis’ Wheat Belly Cookbook. It’s just almond flour, flax seeds, sea salt, eggs and 5 minutes time!
• Black olives. Remember the salt thing we talked about earlier? That’s why you don’t want regular olives from the store. BUT, the Lindsay brand (that I get right at my local Wal-Mart!) makes the regular kind plus their “Naturals” line which is nothing but olives, water and sea salt!
• You could also add frijoles in this, but if you do you’ll need to plan a couple of days in advance. Choose your beans (red, black, etc.) then rinse very well. To avoid the gas issues and make them easier to digest, soak overnight in water and an acid medium like whey or raw apple cider vinegar. The next day, drain and rinse well then cook – I use a crock pot for that too! They could be cooking in another slow cooker at the same time you are cooking the ground beef…
So those are a few healthier-choice suggestions for the ingredients. But what’s a Mexican meal without the spices?
I’ve saved the best part for last! Did you know that most bottled or packaged seasonings have gluten in them? They are also very likely to have MSG (mono sodium glutamate). Those are both pesky little health bandits. (The chili powder I use is simply dried and ground dark roasted chili peppers. I order it from Frontier Co-op because I’ve yet to find any in a store that doesn’t have the other ingredients). So, why pay a HUGE price mark-up and risk symptoms when you can make it homemade and it save mucho dinero? Plus, you can tweak the flavor to the…uh… caliente-ness of your choice!
- 5 tbsp chili powder dried, dark roasted chili peppers
- 2.5 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp sea salt or smoked sea salt
- 2.5 tsp smoked paprika
- 1.25 tsp garlic powder
- 1.25 tsp onion powder
- 1.25 tsp crushed oregano
- 1.25 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander
Adjust each spice according to personal tastes and preferences. Use 2 tbsp mixture per lb. meat (equivalent to 1 store package of taco seasoning).
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We’ve had Angie’s el crocko-nachos, and they are yummm!
Mary – That’s right! I’m so glad y’all enjoyed them – you’ll have to come back for more!
Yum, this looks delicious!!! I am pinning this! Thanks for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!
JES – Thank you ma’am! I look forward to joining you again soon!
Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.
Marla – Thanks!