Normally I serve tacos in homemade tortillas (or hard corn shells if the husband is lucky!), but I decided to serve them in lettuce leaves today for two reasons. #1 - it saves a lot of calories and #2 - I sometimes have a hard time getting another veggie side in with tacos for some reason, so this kills two birds with one stone! I don't know if butter leaf is usually the lettuce used, but it was what looked good to me at the Farmer's Market this weekend. I'm also positive that there are tastier and more authentic ways to make Spanish rice, but this will do for me :)
Lettuce Tacos w/ corn and Spanish Rice
1 cup brown rice - $0.25 (this is probably a high estimate as it was bought on sale a while back with a coupon)
2 cups chicken stock - $0.00 (I make my own stock from leftover chicken carcasses so I count it as free)
1 tbsp organic tomato paste - $0.21
2 tsp minced garlic - $0.02
1 tsp organic dried oregano - $0.01
1 tsp chili powder - $0.01
1/2 pound local, free-range ground beef - $2.50*
1 1/2 cups organic pinto beans - $0.38 (from dried)
1 can organic diced tomatoes - $1.00
1/2 cup butternut squash puree - $0.00 (my husband's coworker gave him 3 beautiful squashes)
2 tbsp homemade taco seasoning - $0.05
1 head local, organic butter leaf lettuce - $3.50
1/2 cup cheese - $0.50
2 cups organic corn - $0.72
1 tbsp organic butter - $0.16
1. Cook rice in stock with tomato paste. When done, stir in oregano.
2. Brown ground beef. Drain fat, if any, and add beans, tomatoes, squash and seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until liquid is gone.
3. Heat corn in a pot with a few tbsps of water. Once cooked, add butter.
4. Serve taco meat in lettuce leaves with cheese on top and rice and corn on the side.
Total cost: $9.31 for 4ish servings - I say 4ish because there were 4 servings of meat/lettuce, 3 of corn, and several of rice. I froze about 2 cups of rice to put in enchiladas later this month.
These tacos were really good! The squash and tomatoes added a lot of moisture and helped to keep the meat together. I got the idea from Deceptively Delicious. I know tacos are not a food most people need a recipe for, but try adding in some tomatoes and squash next time for added nutrition and deliciousness!
*I actually browned a whole pound, since my packages come in 1 pounds, and froze half to make for an easy meal later this month.