I had a craving for Taco Bell style tacos.    
There is only one Taco Bell that I’m aware of on the Island and it is  in Nanaimo. 
Unfortunately I don’t live in Nanaimo so what’s a girl going to do.
I stopped on the way home from work and picked up everything I needed to make tacos including a box of taco shells.  
It didn’t take long to make dinner.  I put the beef on to cook,  and while the meat simmered   I made a salsa.  I do have some standards so the beef was seasoned from scratch and the salsa was homemade.
Garnishes were the standard, cheese, chopped tomato and lettuce. 
I can’t remember the last time I made these.  Usually we have tacos filled with pork carnitas and the corn tortillas are homemade. 
They were so good that Moe actually said we should have them again this week.

Taco Beef

1 pound lean ground beef
1 clove of garlic – minced
1/2 small onion chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Beef broth

Saute beef in a small amount of oil until the pink is gone.  Add the onion and garlic and seasonings and continue to cook for a few minutes until onion is tender.  Add one cup beef broth, cover and simmer for
1/2 hour. Remove lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated.

Refry beans in some fat with some minced garlic and season with salt, pepper and more cumin to taste.


Salsa Fresca
Fresh or canned tomatoes, peeled and chopped (If I use canned tomatoes I drain them well first)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 jalapeño chili, seeded finely chopped
Fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove finely minced

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic and chili.  Add  fresh lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste.  Mix well and let sauce stand for 2 hours.  Serve at room temperature.

Makes two cups


Roast 3 or 4 large tomatoes on the grill to char the skins.   Put the tomatoes, garlic, onion, jalapeno pepper and cilantro into the food processor or a blender and pulse.  Season with salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. My daughters would love the pics too!

  2. Joy Tilton says:

    We crave Mexican food every week and this will satisfy us until we can go to our favorite restaurant! When we lived in Texas we loved the gorditas they served at street fairs. Others call them Puffy Tacos. I did find a recipe that's close at I also tried making tamales several times but like everything else, practice would be key to mastering the recipe!

  3. Kathy Walker says:

    My daughter and I just got everything we need to make tacos tomorrow…what a coincidence. These look delicious. I can hardly wait to try you salsa fresca.

  4. Linda says:

    Lovely Ann…my son would have been in 7th heaven with these. I can not remember the last time I made hard tacos…good thing for a busy night!

  5. Marysol says:

    Ann, I have a Taco Bell (and several other Mexican restaurants) nearby. And if their Tacos looked anything like yours, we'd be on a first name basis. Alas, they suck.

  6. Cathy says:

    Your tacos are just the way I like them, Ann. I do love those crispy shells and the seasoning mix you've used for the filling. Now you've got me thinking \”Mexican food.\”

  7. a quiet life says:

    oh your salsa pic is incredible! now i too am craving tacos… you are forcing me out in the rain to indulge 🙂 gorgeous pics~

  8. Barbara says:

    I have never made these! Do you believe???This looks marvelous, Ann. I'm copying it all right now!

  9. Val says:

    These look incredibly delish!!!!!

  10. shambo says:

    Ann, I posted about this recipe today. I think it makes a great taco filling and can also be used in other Mexican inspired dishes. I feel it especially lends itself to the low sodium regime I need to follow. The seasonings permeate the meat completely because of the simmer. That, to me, is what makes it so special. Here's the URL to my post:

  11. shambo says:

    Ann, I wanted to let you know that I shared your recipe for Taco Beef in an article I wrote for the Spring edition of PathLight, a publication of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. A few days ago I got word that the article had been published. When I submitted the article, I gave them the URL to your blog too, but, unfortunately, they didn't include it, although your first name and the blog's name appear. Here's the link: wanted me to include a favorite low sodium recipe, and I immediately thought of this. It's simple and easy to adapt to low sodium because it calls for ingredients that are readily available in most grocery stores. It's also versatile, so it was really the perfect recipe to share.Anyhow, I figured you’d like to know.Sue

  12. Sue, thanks for the link. I know you have mentioned before that you enjoy this recipe with reduced sodium. Makes me happy that you have been able to adapt some of my favourite recipes to make them fit in with your low salt diet.

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