Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Taco Shells

Creativity is often born of necessity. When you have limited resources, you’re forced to make do with what you have and be creative in making what you have extraordinary. Well folks, last night’s dinner was no exception.

I had taco ingredients, but no taco shells.

I had shell pasta, but no filling.

But ah, then it clicked. Why not combine the two into one awesome taco pasta extravaganza type of meal. Sounds strange, but I promise it is absolutely delicious. Give it a try. (For the record, I use a lot of fake dairy, and in this recipe, it tastes just as good.)

What you need:
One box of jumbo shells
One pound of ground beef (or turkey)
One packet of taco seasoning
Two jars of salsa
One Cup of grated cheese
A handful of crushed tortilla chips
One diced tomato
A cup or so of shredded lettuce
Sour Cream
Diced Pickled Jalapenos

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta shells until tender but not cooked through
3. Drain and cool shells under cold running water, until safe to handle
4. In a separate pan, brown one pound of ground beef
5. Drain beef and return to pan
6. Add taco seasoning and water as stated on the packet
7. Stir until well blended
8. Cover the bottom of a large baking dish with salsa
9. Using a spoon, fill each pasta shell with ground beef and place into baking dish, open side up
10. Once dish is full, cover the pasta with more salsa
11. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes (I used the end of this baking time to dice my tomatoes, shred my lettuce, grate my cheese, etc.)
12. After twenty minutes, remove the dish from the oven and uncover
13. Crumble tortilla chips over top of the pasta until fully covered, then cover chips with grated cheese evenly across the dish
14. Return to the oven uncovered for five minutes or until cheese is completely melted
15. Remove from the oven, plate and top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and jalapeno to your liking

And there you have it folks. An easy delicious dinner, certainly worth repeating.

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