Beef and Cabbage Tacos
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

Day 91: Oh my dog, look who’s taco-ing now

Beef Tacos with Cabbage

When you wake up to watch an April shower morph into a spring snowstorm, there are only two reasonable responses: A) Go back to sleep, or B) Run for the border.

Sadly, B is out of the question, since the Oilers made the playoffs for the first time in 11 years and SOMEONE HAS TO WORK. And really, A is also out of the question because of a certain chocolate Labrador who gotten onto the bed, squirmed her way up to the pillows and is now fake-sneezing in my face. Translation: “Mom! Mom! Mom! Get up! It’s time! I’m ready! You should get ready!” And so on.

I love my mutt but she could take a lesson from Gidget the Chihuahua, who spoke up in her manly, Spanish way with a more sensible request: “Yo quiero Taco Bell.”

So, despite the fact that someone is likely to stumble on some Mexican food when he finds his way to San Jose later this week, I figured we should embrace our own inner-Chihuahua and think outside the bun to cheer up this dreary day.

Also, we are very short on groceries. Which means our I-Don’t-Like-Monday just became the Castoff Kitchen’s Terrific Taco Tuesday.

When our kids were little, tacos using Old El Paso kits and seasoning mixes were a weekly menu item that inspired a reasonable chance of enjoyment from everyone under age 20. When the last kid finally moved out, the Old El Paso went with him. Bye, Sam! Adios, salty seasoning mix!

That does mean that as adults, we can exercise a bit of creative licence in our mixins’ and fixins’. And because we are still hacking our way through the remains of two heads of cabbage, we went for a marinated and wilted slaw on our ground beef tacos. The children would have rebelled, but it certainly put us ahead (ahem) of the game.

¡Ya está! We just prevented a miserable Monday from going completely to the dogs.

Kitchen Castoff Used

That cabbage. It’s like the damn loaves and fishes of the vegetable world.

Beef Tacos with Marinated, WIlted Cabbage
Beef Tacos with Marinated, WIlted Cabbage

This is how we did it

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Taco seasoning mix, made by mixing 1 tbsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin and marinated in red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup cabbage, sliced thin and marinated in red wine vinegar
  • Soft tortillas (or tacos)
  • Other optional toppings: salsa, grated cheese, sliced avocado, diced tomatoes


Brown the beef, then drain off excess fat. Sprinkle with some the taco seasoning mix (we used a little more than half of what we made) and thoroughly mix in. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, until the liquid has simmered away.

In another small pan, heat a bit of olive oil. Drain off any vinegar from the cabbage, then add to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until it is wilted.

To serve, spoon some of the meat mixture into a tortilla, top with onion and cabbage, plus any of the additional toppings. Fold the tortilla “envelope-style” and enjoy.

Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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