Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Of course I’m going to celebrate.  I lived out west way to long not to.  For over 19 years we lived and thrived in El Paso, TX.  El Paso food is more Tex-Mex but something I have grown to love.  For those who might not know what all the celebrating is about, May 5 is Cinco de Mayo which simply translates to Fifth of May.

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration not to celebrate Mexico’s Independence but originated with the Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War.  Today the date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

Today the weather is warm and I wanted something quick and easy that wouldn’t heat up the kitchen to much.  Of course it needed to be gluten free.  I made a recipe that was first introduced to me during my days with Girl Scout Day Camp–Girl Scout Tacos.  Easy, delicious and they don’t crumble when you bite into them.

Now before we get into the directions I am going to give you a crash course on gluten sensitivity.  Ground turkey is pretty safe right?  Well maybe not.  A few things to consider is cross contamination, seasonings, etc.  Jennie-O Products provide information on their ground turkey and state that their ground turkey is gluten free.  
I typically purchase Butterball ground turkey at Costco.  Prior to this I had done some research and learned it was gluten free.  As processing and ingredients sometimes change I wanted to make sure I wasn’t giving out past dated info.  I looked on the label and couldn’t find anything giving it an all clear.  Butterball does provide an on-line chat and the representative was quite knowledgeable.  They do list “natural flavoring” which could be a flag.  The representative said that their ground turkey is gluten free and the flavoring is a rosemary extract.  If you are ever in doubt it’s always best to ask.
Taco seasoning pack…you might be surprised.  I found several on Gluten Free Foodlist that are safe.  For years I had made my own mixes not just to eliminate gluten but because I typically have the ingredients on hand as part of a well stocked spice cabinet and have 2 cookbooks for making homemade mixes. Important thing is to read the label and if in doubt ask questions.
Then there is black beans, tomatoes and would you believe yogurt!  Again read the label.  Eden Farms does have gluten free black beans.  They might appear a little more pricey than the store brand but I did do a comparison several years ago.  The can is really beans and not a lot of liquid.  They are excellent quality so I don’t mind paying a few cents more.
Hunt’s canned tomatoes are also identified as being gluten free.  The chips are Kirkland Signature Organic Tortilla Chips which are marked gluten free on the bag.  I buy a lot of products at Costco and they do an excellent job of having items marked properly.  And yes, I have discovered that some yogurts have gluten in them.  I typically use Chobani but I did find Fit&Active at Aldi’s which is gluten free as well.  The salsa is another great gluten free find at Costco.  So with that being said let’s move on to the recipe. 

Girl Scout Tacos

1 pound ground turkey
1 taco seasoning pack (Recipe to follow.)
1/4 cup water
1 (16 oz) can diced cut tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (13 1/2 oz) bag tortilla chips
shredded lettuce
grated cheddar cheese
salsa
plain yogurt or sour cream
Crumble and brown the ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat.  Add in the seasoning and 1/4 cup water.  Stir to combine.  Stir in the canned tomatoes and beans.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  

Crumble tortilla chips in the bottom of a serving dish, top with a couple of spoons of meat mixture, top with shredded lettuce, grated cheese, salsa and plain yogurt.  This should serve about 4 adults.  Enjoy!

Taco Seasoning

1 tablespoon instant minced onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


Read, read, read labels!

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