Tacos are most kids' favorite for dinnertime -- or anytime. However, despite your family's tendency to gobble up this delicious dish, sometimes you find yourself with taco meat leftovers. You can use one of a handful of recipes that allow you to use up your leftover meat, bringing the taste of tacos to another meal. Kids will likely love these dishes as much as they love the original tacos, since they retain the basic flavor of this much-loved Mexican food.
Breakfast Mexican Style
Leftover taco meat adds more than a bit of zest to morning dishes like Mexican omelets or huevos rancheros. Preparing an omelette with taco meat not only seasons the eggs, but adds iron and additional protein. Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, olives and avocados complete the dish. When using taco meat to make huevos rancheros or ranch eggs, stir in the meat with your crushed tomatoes. Serve sunny-side-up eggs with black beans and rice; top the eggs with the spicy taco mixture to bring new life to this traditional Mexican egg dish.
Mexican spaghetti unites two tastes that kids love -- tacos and spaghetti -- into one dish. Combine taco-seasoned meat with colorful green and red peppers, canned or frozen corn, diced onions, green chilies and kidney beans, which also adds some hearty vegetables to your kids' diet. Top with a dollop of sour cream or pepper Jack cheese.
Make tortilla soup to extend Mexican food night to another day. Using your leftover taco meat, combine ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, beef stock, onions, peppers, olives and fresh garlic in a pot. Allow to simmer and add in kidney or red beans and corn. Serve the soup with grated cheese, avocado chunks and crunchy corn tortilla chips instead of crackers to create a winter soup that kids love.
Spicy Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd's pie in its original incarnation was a hearty meat-and-vegetable casserole with a mashed potato or biscuit crust on top. It's often cooked with ground-up lamb, but many cooks choose ground beef instead for budgetary and practical reasons. Use your leftover taco meat to make a spicier version. Prepare the dish as you normally would, but add taco meat instead of the standard ground beef or lamb that the recipe calls for. Top the potatoes or biscuits with a spicy cheese and serve.
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