Hi! Elizabeth here. Thanks for stopping by! I’ve been thinking a lot about Anna’s post about food rules from last week. So many of our clients come to us with a lifetime of unhelpful, rigid rules around food. A big part of our work is guiding them to establish new, flexible, useful rules or guidelines. Like Anna, I had similar, unrealistic rules about food when my girls were very young. Those rules about organic, local, in-season, etc, etc were impossible to follow without feeling like my head was going to spin off! Thankfully, I have greatly relaxed those rules.
All meals don't have to be made from scratch
One guideline I use now is that I don’t have to make everything we eat. I love to cook, and most food cooked at home tastes better than what you buy at the store. But we can't live with me trying to cook everything! I remind myself and my clients that it’s completely fine to buy pre-made, pre-packaged foods. All meals don't have to be made from scratch with a LOOOOONG list of ingredients. I encourage clients to ask themselves, "what can I fix to eat that isn't complicated and that will meet my (or my family's) nutritional needs?" Life is often hectic and we need guidelines to help us find balance in our lives - including with food.
Anna’s post also got me thinking about Taco Soup and my beliefs about pre-made, packaged seasoning mixes. I don’t love them. In part because I don’t think they taste great. I prefer the way homemade seasoning mixes taste (with the exception of Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt!) As you likely know, Taco Soup recipes (this one included) typically call for packets of taco seasoning mix and ranch dressing seasoning mix. If I wasn't willing to be flexible about homemade vs. pre-made, I likely never would have made this soup.
Black Bean Taco Soup
I’d never even heard of Taco Soup until we had it during a recent visit to see my husband's parents. How is it possible I'd never heard of it?!?! Honestly, I wonder if I had come across it in the past and dismissed it because of my rule about pre-made, store-bought seasoning mixes. Whatever the reason, we all really enjoyed the Taco Soup my mother-in-law made. Black Bean Taco Soup quickly became one of our Go-To Meals. It truly only takes 30 minutes to make! I top it with avocado and shredded cheddar cheese. I make a simple salad to go with it. And we’re all set! There are always leftovers for another night or for lunches.
Sauté a small chopped onion in 1 teaspoon olive oil in a dutch oven over medium - medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef and cook until it's no longer pink - about another 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse the canned black beans.
Add the canned, diced tomatoes along with the juice.
If you're using canned corn, drain the liquid. If you're using frozen corn, defrost it a little and then add it to the soup.
Now add the water and seasoning mixes. Stir to combine and bring the soup to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
I typically make my own taco seasoning mix. I love Alton Brown’s Taco Potion 19, but I have adapted it for my family's tastes. When I make this soup, I often use my own taco mix along with a packet of ranch dressing seasoning mix. And for those times I don’t have any homemade taco mix, I’m so glad I have some packets on hand!
Top the soup with avocado and shredded cheese and you've got yourself a really quick dinner.
Black Bean Taco Soup
- Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and chopped onion to a large pot or dutch oven and place over medium high heat. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef to the pan. Cook on medium - medium-high heat until no longer pink - about 5 minutes.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium-high - high and bring to a boil. Then turn down to medium - medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Serve with chopped avocado, grated cheddar cheese and sour cream.