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Navajo Taco Time

You’ve probably all had a Navajo taco at some time in your life. Whether at a fair, a cultural event, or even on a trip to the Grand Canyon. If you’ve tried more than one, you know, there are so many different styles, versions and recipes. It’s impossible to say whose is the best or more authentic. All are based on a “fry bread” of some kind and most have some very basic ingredients, such as beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream. Since I had leftover Buñuelos, I figured I’d use them instead of traditional Fry Bread. But it’s your choice. If you don’t want to use Buñuelos, visit this link for the history behind Navajo Fry Bread. There’s a great recipe on there as well. Let me know what you think!

Navajo Tacos:

6-8 large Buñuelos (See my recipe) – $1.65
1 lb red or pinto beans (dried) – $.97
1 lb ground beef – $3.32
1/4 onion, diced – $.15
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese – $1.00
1/2 head shredded iceberg lettuce or romaine (it was on sale for .99 – 3 heads!) – $.33
2 medium roma tomatoes, diced – $.50
1 cup sour cream – $.75
*1 Tbsp Red Chile Powder (to your taste) – pantry
*1/2 tsp garlic powder – pantry
*1 tsp salt for meat and 1 Tbsp salt for beans – pantry
Pepper to taste for meat and bean – pantry
Guacamole too! If you have it. I didn’t, but wished I did!
*You could also just use Taco Seasoning to season meat, if you prefer.

COST: $8.17

You can use canned beans for this, but I prefer to make my own and then I can do chili beans with leftovers. Cooking beans is not only cheap, it’s easy. Nothing but a big pot with water covering dry, clean beans. Make sure the water is covering beans by at least 4 inches. Add some salt and pepper and other seasonings you like and bring to boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 4 -5 hours (less at lower altitude). You can also use a crockpot as well. Don’t forget to keep an eye on them though as you may need to add water on occasion. Other than that, piece of cake! Once beans are done, you can drain and set aside. You can even make in advance.

Time to prepare toppings for your tacos. Shred cheese, lettuce and dice the tomato.

Next, fry ground beef till 75% cooked. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chile powder (or your choice of prepared taco seasoning). Stir and add diced onion (optional). Cook for 5 more minutes on medium heat or until beef is completely cooked and onions are soft. Drain excess oil (if beef was not lean) and set aside, covered and on a very, very low heat to keep warm.

Assuming you have leftover Buñuelos, such as I did, you can now warm them in the oven and begin preparing your tacos. If you need to make Buñuelos or Fry Bread, do so now and serve while hot.

To build a typical Navajo taco, it goes something like this….Fry bread, beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese and topped with sour cream! Oh, and salsa, of course, but that goes without say. Super simple, yet super delicious!

Just so you know, Bunuelos are just one of many different fry bread styles and recipes. Many cultures around the world make “fry bread” of some sort. You can try any kind you like. Some may be easier than others, so experiment and feel free to comment. I love trying new things, so if you have a great recipe, please share!


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Ahi & Shrimp Tacos with Mango and Avocado Salsa!

Sometimes, adult meals are just that, for adults. We found mango on sale for $.77 each. And not only that, they were beautiful. Plus, shrimp and Ahi were both $4.99 a pound. Immediately, I thought, fish and shrimp tacos and salsa! But, here’s the thing. Hubby and I wanted the salsa spicy. Real spicy. Kids? They wanted to just eat the mango. So we split it. And they ate their Ahi seared with shoyu and rice and we got this yummy meal! So yeah, it only feeds two, but sometimes, you do what you gotta do!

Mango and Avocado Salsa

Mango and Avocado Salsa:

1 Avocado, cubed – $.88 (also on sale today. I bought 4. Yummy)
1 Ripe, but firm Mango, peeled, pitted and cubed – $.77
1 large Roma Tomato, diced – $.35
2 Tbsp sliced/chopped green onion – $.25
2 Serrano peppers, finely diced – $.35
1/2 Lemon, fresh squeezed – $.15
1 Fresh Lime, squeezed – $.20
1/2 tsp salt (to your taste) – pantry
Optional – Cilantro (I would have added some, but didn’t have any on hand.)

COST: $2.95

Place the cubed avocado in a serving bowl and juice lime directly onto avo. Toss and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix mango, green onion, serrano pepper, tomato, lemon juice and salt (cilantro if you have it). Toss well and set aside while you cook the ahi and shrimp. When you start to heat tortillas, add avocado and toss gently. Salsa is now ready to serve!

Ahi and Shrimp!

Ahi & Shrimp Tacos:

1/2 lb Shrimp (41-50 count) – $2.49 (on sale this week for $4.99/lb)
1/2 lb Ahi (1 steak – feeds two people) – $2.43 (on sale this week for $4.85/lb)
1/2 Lemon, fresh squeezed – $.15
1 tsp red chili powder – pantry
1 tsp salt – pantry
1/2 tsp garlic powder. – pantry
1 Tbsp Canola oil – pantry
6 corn tortillas – $.40

COST: $5.47

Cut fish into 1 inch squares and place in bowl with shrimp, shell on. Sprinkle both with oil, then squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon onto the fish and toss with salt, garlic and chili powder. Once mixed, separate shrimp out and set both aside to marinade while you have a Dos Equis or two. About 30 mins or so.

Time to heat your comal or tortilla pan.

Next, on a medium to high temp, heat a non stick pan and cook shrimp till pink. About 2-3 mins per side. Not more. Remove and set aside to cool. While cooling, toss ahi in pan and cook a few mins on each side. Do not over cook.

When shrimp are cool enough to work with, remove shells and set aside. You are now ready to cook tortillas and prepare tacos.


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