December 7, 2022

Standard keto recipe to serve six

Avocado oil, 1 tablespoon

1 lb. of ground meat

7/8 cup of liquid

a quarter cup of taco seasoning

two big bell peppers, cut up

1/4 of a large onion, cut up

2 10-ounce cans of diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained

one cup of Cheddar cheese

Toppings:

crisp lettuce

fresh tomato

avocados

fresh cilantro

milk that has gone bad

In a large saute pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat.

To this add, grounded beef. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned, breaking up with a spatula.

Water and taco seasoning are added. After it comes to a boil, let it simmer for 2 to 5 minutes until it thickens and forms taco meat. Put into a slow cooker. Add the chopped peppers, onions, and drained tomatoes with green chiles. Mix all the ingredients. For four hours on low or two to three hours on high, cook the food in a slow cooker.

After turning the slow cooker to high, shreds of cheese should be put on top. Heat with the lid on for about 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. You can top your casserole with anything you like, as long as it’s keto kosher.

Just before serving, stir the dish.

America’s love affair with taco meat

In 1898 the Chicago World’s Fair introduced the world to both the hot dog and the hamburger. As well as ice cream cones. It would be nice to say that tacos were also introduced to Americans at the same time. But the fact of the matter is that highly spiced ground meat was considered too ‘ethnic’ for the bland American palate, with limited commercial possibilities. Taco meat had to wait until the Great Depression of the 1930s before it became something a middle-class Babbit would consider having for lunch.

Paving the way were two Mexican dishes that were inexpensive and filling – chili and tamales. Chili parlors popped up all over the Midwest in the 1920s as hard times came to the farmers in states like Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Drought and falling commodity prices forced many farm families from their land and into towns and cities. They desperately needed something inexpensive and filling to eat while they looked for work. The chili parlor met that need, with spicy bowls of beans and meat selling for ten cents – all the crackers you could eat. Then tamale vendors appeared, haunting construction sites and any other place where working men congregated, selling their corn husk-wrapped snack for a nickel a piece. A working man could buy half a dozen to eat at lunch and bring home for dinner as well. They traveled well in their corn husks, staying warm and not leaking.

The taco as we know it today came into its own in California after World War Two. By then, the concept of spicy ground meat, heavily flavored with cumin and cayenne pepper, had percolated into the American psyche. It was no longer considered ‘foreign’ but a part of the rich American culinary melting pot. Drive-ins like McDonald’s offered tacos on their menus right up until the 1960s. 

Taco Tuesday

Today every self-respecting office in America offers its employees Taco Tuesday when management caters soft shell and hard shell taco bars for their staff. There’s no longer anything ‘exotic’ about such a meal. And it certainly has been a godsend for the makers of Tums. And taco meat, heavily spiced and full of grease, is just what the doctor ordered for the keto diet. Let’s face it – like the hotdog, no one really knows or wants to know just what kind of meat parts go into the making of taco meat. Chances are there are ears, snouts, tails, offal, and many other obscure parts of the cow or pig, or chicken anatomy. As long as it packs a flavor punch and lacks carbs and starches, ketomaniacs will snarf it down like Pancho Villa’s army. 

And then there’s the seemingly infinite number of keto toppings to go on top of taco meat, whether it’s in a shell or just on your plate. Diced tomatoes go well with taco meat. Their tart and sweet flavor offset the sometimes overwhelming spices in the meat itself. When it comes to tomatoes, you can eat as many as you want on the keto plan. Cilantro is another win-win topping. With virtually no starches or carbs, you can chop it up and sprinkle on your taco meat to your heart’s content. Of course, there are some who can’t eat cilantro because of a mutant gene they possess, which makes the herb taste like soap. This is a real thing, so it’s always best to offer cilantro in a bowl by itself and don’t mix it into the taco meat. If you can think of a keto-friendly veggie, dairy, or fruit item, you can dice it and put it on your taco meat!