How do you have time to cook dinner?? It’s a question I get asked over and over. I never really have a good answer. I think we all find time to do things we enjoy – and generally, I enjoy cooking and baking so I make the time. Secondly, I have to eat something for dinner! 😉 The key to eating-in (for me) is keeping a well stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry. Running to the grocery store every night is a hassle. This is easy for me since I grew up in the country and a trip to the grocery store would cost you an hour, at best. Since lots of produce will last close to a week in the fridge, I usually only go grocery shopping once a week. I keep several different kinds of pasta, rice, dried beans, canned tomatoes, etc on hand at all times. I also try to keep several kinds of fish, chicken, and shrimp in the freezer so I can just grab something from the freezer and throw it in the fridge to thaw the night before. I don’t meal plan and I don’t cook a “blog worthy” meal every night. On the weekends or if I get off work early, I cook more involved meals but I cook a lot of 20-30 minute meals. There are lots of meals that you can throw together in 30 minutes! Some of my go-to meals if I’m exhausted and really don’t feel like cooking are: quesadillas, fajitas, baked spaghetti, grilled chicken salad, stirfry, anything with shrimp (because shrimp cook in 3 minutes!), chicken tacos, etc. Growing up, my mom cooked dinner every night. We didn’t eat out a lot and we didn’t have precooked, processed foods like frozen pizzas or TV dinners which is probably why I never buy those things (and because they’re gross!). So since I’ve never been in the habit of eating out or buying frozen pizzas, I didn’t really have any bad habits to break, but I promise that once you get in the groove of cooking dinner every night (or most nights) you’ll see that you really do have 30 minutes to cook dinner. You’ll save money and eat healthier! (Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to eat out occasionally!) All that being said, despite keeping a well stocked pantry and a running grocery list (yes, I’m 100 years old haha) I went to make chicken tacos only to realize I didn’t have any taco seasoning. It was the perfect opportunity to try a homemade version I’d had my eye on for a while. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to make my own! If you make your own you can control the heat, spice ratio, and it doesn’t have any weird added chemicals. Totally worth the 5 minutes it takes to stir these few ingredients -that you probably already have on hand – together! Make a double batch and store the leftovers in an airtight container for next time. Enjoy!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients. Store in airtight container.
*adapted from Allrecipes

Categories: Main Dish, Tips

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