Tacos are a staple meal at our house. Simple and fresh and easy to prepare, they’re a quick weekday dinner that the whole family can help with. My husband is the master cheese grater and the little ones love to pick the tomatoes. Tacos are a true family-style meal, where everyone gets to make it just how they like, so it’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest eater.
When serving to a crowd I like to prepare two or more taco fillings. Classic Turkey Taco and Crispy Shrimp are party pleasers. An assortment of fresh condiments and garnishes give endless flavour combinations for a mix-and-match taco meal.
Crisp marinated onions and jalapeños marry well with succulent shrimp in a soft corn tortilla topped with sweet corn and peach relish, making the most of our luscious summer produce.
And who doesn’t love a classically flavoured taco garnished with traditional toppings? Switch it up and use ground turkey with all the familiar spices. Quick and easy tomato salsa can go from garden to plate in a matter of minutes, adding a burst of summer to the quintessential taco.
There is a reason that tacos are so popular right now. Tasty and versatile, they can be made to suit any taste and preference ‑ simply switch one ingredient and you change the whole feel of the dish. Explore a world of flavours and textures with your next taco meal.
Classic Turkey Taco
- 500gr ground turkey
- 1 medium white onion sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup tomato pasata (jarred tomato puree)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp dried chili flakes
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp sea salt
- Note: Dried chili flakes can be optional for a milder version
- 12 hard corn tacos
- Shredded Havarti & cheddar
- lettuce leaves
- Greek Yogurt
Garden Tomato Salsa
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes (I like to grow a variety of types resulting in a mixture of shapes and colours and sweetness)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 green onions
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
In large skillet heat vegetable oil, and add onions and garlic, cooking over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add spice blend and cook for another 5-6 minutes before adding ground turkey. Cook turkey, stirring frequently until brown and well-cooked, approximately 10-12 minutes. Add tomato pasata, stirring well to incorporate all ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reserve taco mix in heat-proof bowl or serve right from the pan. Serve with Garden Tomato Salsa and classic taco garnishes.
Garden Tomato Salsa
Halve or quarter cherry tomatoes depending on size or preference. Mince garlic and slice green onions, and add to a small mixing bowl with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Crispy Shrimp Taco
1 lb 16/20 shrimp, peeled and deveined raw tail on
1/4 cup coarse corn meal
1/2 tsp dried chipotle powder
2-4 tbsp Coconut oil for frying
Defrost shrimp under cold running water or in the fridge over night
Pat dry with paper towels,
Mix chipotle powder with cornmeal.
Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat
Dredge 6-8 shrimp in cornmeal mixture and immediately place in hot pan one at a time, being careful not to splatter hot oil. Cook shrimp 2 minutes each side or until flesh turns pink and corneal crust is crispy.
Reserve on clean dry paper towel.
Cook remainder of shrimp in batches until all are cooked.
Serve in soft corn tortillas with White Peach and Corn Relish and Sweet and Sour Onions and Jalapeños.
White Peach and Corn Relish
- 2 Ripe white peaches
- 1 cob of corn
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 lime
Dice peaches in small pieces, remove corn kernels from cob, dice avocado and place all in small mixing bowl.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and fresh squeezed lime juice. Fold in chopped dill.
Sweet and Sour Onions and Jalapeños
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno pepper thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
Mix all ingredients in a small glass bowl. Let sit 20 minutes before serving for onions and peppers to marinate.
Tempeh, made from fermented soy beans, has a wonderfully smoky flavour that adds depth to vegetarian cooking, along with a protein boost. Its meaty texture makes it perfect for a rich and satisfying taco filling. The toppings here are suggestions; you could easily add chopped avocado or guacamole, too. 1 tablespoon avocado or grapeseed oil, or another oil with a low smoke point 1 small cooking onion, chopped (about ¾ cup) 1 large clove garlic, peeled and grated or minced 250 grams tempeh, crumbled by hand into pea-sized pieces or smaller 1 ¼ cup plain tomato sauce, such as marinara pasta sauce ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon molasses 2 teaspoons chili powder 10-12 taco shells ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley ½ cup sour cream ½ cup grated sharp cheese, like old cheddar ½ cup chopped green onions ½ cup chopped tomatoes In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, sauté the onion in the oil until it softens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring a couple of times to prevent the garlic from burning. Add the crumbled tempeh and stir again. Add the tomato sauce, salt, mustard, molasses and chili powder, and stir again. Cook until heated through (about two minutes), then remove from heat. To assemble the tacos, get out a casserole dish or pan with fairly tall sides so that the tacos can be leaned against them; this will keep the tacos upright after they’re filled. Put about ¼ cup of tempeh filling along the bottom of the taco shell for 12 tacos, or 1/3 cup of filling for 10 tacos. Fill the casserole dish or pan with upright tacos and sprinkle on the remaining ingredients as equally and generously as possible. Serve immediately; if you let them sit too long the shells will get soft. Makes 10-12 tacos.
More than 40 years ago, in 1976, James Lawrence pasted together the first edition of Harrowsmith magazine on his kitchen table in rural Ontario. Totally unique, it was the first Canadian magazine to focus on organic living, alternative energy sources, and a country lifestyle. Lawrence’s ode to back-to- the-land virtues quickly attracted legions of fans and soon became Canada’s bible for rural living.