There is going to be a recipe at the bottom of this post but don’t let that fool ya into thinking that you have to follow it. Really, this is more of a concept to get your thinkerators going and help you use what you have on hand to pull together an effortless meal that your family will love while saving money on meat (which is about to get even more expensive). I’m gonna show you how I did it for this post but even I do it differently every time so check out the instructions for the basic concept and then check out my list of possibilities at the bottom and get to cooking 🙂
Today, I’m using kidney beans, diced tomatoes, rice, taco seasoning, and some fully cooked ground beef that I dehydrated.
If you don’t have dehydrated ground beef (I don’t expect ya to!), you can cook fresh for this or even put it in raw as long as it is a very lean ground beef but make sure you break it up beforehand and cook it a good bit. You can also use shredded chicken, pork, shredded beef, or no meat at all.
As far as beans go, leftover dried beans that you cooked for another meal would be wonderful in this. Any type whatsoever.
Veggies? Well, I like tomatoes but you could leave those out and use something else or add more veggies in along with the tomatoes. Corn would be great. Maybe even another type of bean.
Rice – In this economy, I recommend adding rice to a meal whenever possible – BUT only if you don’t pay double for it. In other words, don’t buy it in a grocery store. Click here for my information on how to save money by using rice.
A complete list of ideas is at the bottom of this post.
So basically I dump it all into my slow cooker along with taco seasoning.
I don’t drain any of my vegetables but you certainly can if you like to. I’m trying to be more conscious of all the nutrients I’m tossing down the drain when I do drain them.
After adding everything to the slow cooker, you need to add the amount of water required for the rice (check the package) and I’m also adding 3/4 of a cup of water for the 3/4 of a cup of dehydrated ground beef I used.
Then, stir that up really well. Anytime you add dry rice it is important that you stir it really good because if not you’ll end up with pockets of uncooked rice.
Keep in mind that rice grows! I’m adding less than 1/2 a cup here and the end product will be very rice-filled! You can even do this with twice as much rice, essentially using rice in place of the meat, if you like. The one thing you are going to need to really gauge is at what point you want to add an additional packet of taco seasoning. This recipe could have done with one or two packets. I used one this time.
Now put the lid on this puppy and let it cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4. Or until Rice is done.
When it’s ready, this is what it will look like after a good stir. Enough gorp there to easily feed an army.
Now at this point, taste it and if you want to add more taco seasoning, just stir another pack in there real quick.
I’d love to hear what brand of taco seasoning you prefer, if you have a preference. I like Taco Bell Brand, Tone’s (that you get in bulk at Sam’s), and store brands.
Serve in crispy shells, tortillas, or as a taco salad with chips! Top with your favorite toppings.
Some Of My Ideas (please add your ideas in the comments!)
- Dehydrated ground beef (see this post)
- Shredded, cooked chicken
- Fresh cooked ground beef or ground beef that has been frozen
- Shredded, cooked pork (leftover bbq?)
- Shredded cooked Beef (leftover roast)
- No meat
- Diced tomatoes
- Diced onion
- Chopped green chiles
- Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Navy Beans
- Pinto Beans
- 14.5 ounce can beans (such as black, kidney, navy, etc), undrained
- 1-2 - 14 ounce cans (may be 15 oz) vegetables (Diced tomatoes, corn, etc), undrained
- ½ cup rice (optional)
- 1 cup meat (ground beef, shredded chicken, shredded pork, shredded beef, etc), optional*
- 1-2 envelopes Taco Seasoning (to taste)
- 1 cup water (for rice)
- Place all ingredients in the slow cooker. Stir very well. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
- Serve in taco shells, tortillas, or as a taco salad. Top with favorite toppings.
- Yields: A whole lotta gorp!
“Whenever possible this summer, enjoy it with your kids.
Work is important, work is necessary, work is required…but work is not living.
Home is where the sweetness of life is stirred.”