Taco night is a major staple in most homes these days. Dietary restrictions should not stop you from enjoying this staple weeknight meal. These Soft Shell Paleo Ground Beef Tacos are a healthy and flavorful taco night spread that can be modified to so many dietary needs. Some healthy options recommended in this recipe are: spaghetti squash instead of rice and cauliflower soft taco shells instead of corn or flour tortillas.
Taking into account flavor and practicality, the taco meat mix combines specific techniques to render the ingredients to their full flavor potential while also limiting complicated steps or ingredients. If you are feeling especially lazy or short on time, it is recommended to buy a pre chopped “mirepoix” mix at the store. This includes chopped onion, celery and usually bell peppers, or garlic. You can find pre-minced garlic in a jar, but it is recommended to use more because it loses quite a bit of flavor and nutrients. The best alternative I have found for quick garlic is to buy a bag of pre-peeled cloves near the chopped veggies. Fast weeknight meals can be even more practical if we investigate our local options!
Soft Shell Paleo Ground Beef Tacos
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 onion diced
- 5 cloves of garlic smashed*
- 1 jalepeno or choice of hot pepper diced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/8 cup red wine or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup (more or less) of hot sauce
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- In a large pot or deep skillet, brown both ground beef & pork together with only a few dashes of salt on medium heat.
- Once meat is almost fully cooked, remove from the pan but leave any bits and fat behind. Turn the heat to medium low.
- Add onions and garlic with 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir frequently to help them sweat and become translucent. Continue adding salt if they do not appear to be sweating but frying. You will notice this if they are not glossy and begin to brown too quickly. This is a gentle and slow process. May take up to 10 minutes.
- Once they are almost clear, add your jalepenos. After everything is sweated, turn up the heat back to medium to being browning the vegetables.
- As you see them start to turn a darker golden brown, add your spices, roasted garlic, hot sauce and tomato paste. Stir frequently for about a minute or two.
- Once the spices are toasted, deglaze the pan with your wine or vinegar, nutritional yeast and add your meat back to the pan. Let this simmer together for about 5 more minutes to allow everything to come together and finish cooking.
Cauliflower Taco Shells
- 1 head riced cauliflower recommended to be slightly finer than what is sold at the grocery store but this is not necessary
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup cream cheese, soft cheese, or firm tofu (minus excess liquid) I use almond or cashew based.
- pinch dried oregano
- pinch chili powder
- 1/2 cup almond flower
- Pre heat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Rice your head of cauliflower in the food processor with salt. If you buy it pre riced, you may want to run it through 1-2 pulses of your food processor to make it slightly finer. Do NOT buy frozen cauliflower.
- Line a bowl with cheesecloth and add your cauliflower on top. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until it begins to sweat.
- Squeeze the cauliflower to get as much moisture out as you possible can.
- Put it back in your dry bowl with egg, cream cheese, almond flour and spices.
- VERY IMPORTANT: do not add salt to the mixture because then it will become soggy and taste too sulfur-y. It will not hold up in the fridge this way.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and begin spreading out the mixture into small rounds, make sure to press each one and shape the edges. If you do not compact the cauliflower together, it will be flimsy and not hold your taco and it will not be formed enough to hold as soft tacos.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until firm and edges begin to brown. Make sure the majority of them are still a pale color or else they will be too firm to hold as tacos. If you plan to use this for mini pizzas, make sure to wait until they are a light golden brown.
- Let them cool completely before storing or else they will become soggy. Do not store all of them together in one large container or else the ones on the bottom may become soggy. I store them in a few small lunch bags with a paper towel in each, laying them flat in the fridge.