I’ve mentioned before that I love anything having to do with tacos and burritos. In fact, I think I could eat them every night for dinner. This rainy, dreary day needed some cheering up, so what did we do? We had taco night!
We didn’t have our usual choice of tacos (soft) because I realized, after making the taco filling of course, that we only had two tortillas left. Oops. I decided I couldn’t let all that delicious taco filling go to waste, so I used my noggin… mini taco cups to the rescue! I cut those two tortillas into rounds, put them in a mini muffin pan, spooned some taco filling in them, baked them for a few minutes in the oven, then topped them with some freshly grated cheese and avocado. Wow. These little bites of heaven were a HUGE hit with my kids.
It’s no secret that I have a picky eater, and my oldest son went through the same phase when he was two. My kids have never fallen for the “try to make food look fun so they’ll eat it” trick. Believe me, I’ve tried. I can’t say that I’ve ever tried the “make mini versions of food so they’ll eat it” trick, but I wish I had sooner. My oldest son popped mini taco cup after mini taco cup into his mouth, and my 15 month old ate six of them! No, my picky eater didn’t eat one, but he did eat the cheese, avocado, and tortilla. Baby steps, I guess.
These would be a fun appetizer to serve at a party – you could even use the tortilla cups to make mini pizzas or fill them with pulled pork and top with sliced cornichons (the options are endless). They wouldn’t be the most sophisticated of appetizers, but they sure would taste good. And that’s all that matters, right?
MINI TACO CUPS
- 1 lb ground turkey
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ zucchini, grated
- ½ yellow (or orange, red, green) pepper, diced
- 1 to 2 T cumin
- 1 to 2 T ancho chili powder
- ½ can tomato paste (about 3 oz.)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Tortillas (I used whole wheat and spinach)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
*I like to add a little extra to my tacos (zucchini, pepper, or any other veggies in the refrigerator)…
Chop all your veggies, then sautee in olive oil until they begin to soften. Add your meat to the pan and cook until it is no longer pink. Add your spices and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Thin the mixture with a little bit of water and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens up again. Taste for seasoning, then set the mixture to the side.
I was ready to cut the tortillas into rounds with a knife until I noticed the tomato paste can starting at me on the counter. It was the perfect size for the mini muffin pan! I put the remaining tomato paste in the refrigerator and used the empty can as a “taco cutter”.
Fill the muffin pan with the tortilla rounds, then fill each “tortilla cup” with a spoonful of taco filling. Bake them in the oven for only five minutes to warm the tortillas and crisp them up just a bit. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy! Try to eat just one…