dairy-free · food · recipes · what's for dinner?

mexican night

Do you recall (the value of friendship post) that my friend taught me the inside scoop on making authentic tacos?  Well, I finally got around to making them.  I followed the directions she gave me as best as I could remember, but the tortillas were not as soft as hers, nor as perfectly round.  I guess I need a little lot more practice.  They tasted great, but were not the perfect vehicle for the mounds of meat and toppings.


Mexican Meatiness


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped


  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic (I use 3 cloves fresh)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped

Simmer for 30 minutes, or until you’ve managed to get everything else prepared for your tacos. Add water periodically if it seems a little dry.

Corn Tortillas

(Recipe from the Maseca package)

  • 2 cups Maseca* or another brand of masa harina (Bob’s Red Mill, for example)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water

Mix together. It should feel like fresh playdough.

Divide it into sections. Roll each section into a ball. Then press or roll into thin (think pie crust) discs. My friend uses a circular piece of nylon or grocery bag to make it easy to remove and presses it by hand. It takes practice, but it’s not too hard. If you have a tortilla press, you’ve got it made! You could use wax paper as I did or you could probably use a silpat mat.

Fry on a dry, hot griddle (I used a cast iron pan), turning to cook each side. It will puff a little to let you know it’s cooked. It will be slightly browned. Keep the finished ones covered with a towel as you finish cooking. You can keep leftover dough in the fridge to make a fresh batch tomorrow!**

*Maseca is found with flour or in the international cooking aisle

**The recipe on the Maseca bag is for Gorditas, which is a pocket flat bread, so it would be thicker and require longer baking


Refried Beans

Fry until soft:

  • 1 onion, chopped


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pinto beans, cooked (or 1 can)*

Simmer together, adding water if necessary, for about 15 minutes. Mash with a potato masher if you like a thicker, chunkier texture, or throw in the blender/food processor if you prefer a smoother consistency. (This is how I learned to do it. You may need to add a little extra liquid if most of yours cooked off.)

*I used turtle beans this time, because I didn’t plan ahead (go figure), and that’s all I had in cans. I’ve been cooking various kinds of beans ahead, so I have some in the fridge for the week, and also in 1 cup portions for the freezer.


Once you’ve managed to get all of your other items cooking, you can prepare your toppings.  We like shredded cheese (well, not my dairy-free girl), sour cream (ditto for df girl), salsa, shredded lettuce and sliced avocado, plus a little hot sauce to kick it up a notch.  As you can see in my pic, I just piled stuff on top of a tortilla, I didn’t bother to fold it.  My Love did, and it held together alright.  I really just want the meat and toppings anyway. In, fact, my df girl just makes a taco salad with hers, and I would normally do that as well, but I thought I should bravely test out a tortilla.  My carb-boy is not so courageous, and opted for a packaged hard taco shell this time.


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My amazon.com picks:

Tortilla Press

Tortilla Warmer

Lodge Cast Iron Griddle


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