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Make Cinco de Mayo Family Taco Night

Make Cinco de Mayo Family Taco Night

girl with tacos

Make Cinco de Mayo Family Taco Night

While I don’t pretend to be an expert on anything, I will say I have a pretty discerning palate when it comes to the taco. Given the fact that I live in San Diego and can practically ride my bicycle to Mexico, the birthplace of these folded treasures, I can indulge my cravings no matter when or where I am. From the super-loaded Tex Mex version to the more authentic and simple variety, I could eat tacos all three meals of the day and have an entirely different experience each time. Trust me, I’ve tested and proven this method many times!

With my love for this food group almost always on my mind, it’s no shocker that I totally geek out when the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo rolls around. Beyond the infinite number of Taco Tuesdays ahead of me, I look forward to this yearly celebration as a singular moment in which I can joyously take down a huge pile of one of my favorite foods.

There’s some debate over the actual age of the taco, but most experts agree that the first taco was actually invented somewhere between 1,000 and 500 B.C.

plate of tacos

Need a Night Off From the “What’s for Dinner?” Debate? Make Tacos

However, I’m not alone in my love for tacos. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met a person in my entire life who isn’t a fan. Tacos are for everyone. From the gluten-free to the vegans to the carnivores, everybody can enjoy a taco. This is definitely one of the many reasons why my family enjoys them on numerous occasions during the week. And because there are so many ingredients available for every picky eater at the table, these meals are the happiest, most carefree we eat. At the end of these blissful dinners, there is nothing left but a few lettuce and bean-filled smiles, and a few crumbles of cheese. Taco night is a win for all.

We love our tacos! Americans are estimated to eat 4.5 billion tacos every year!

taco ingredients

Encouraging Your Kids’ Food Voice

With countless choices of shells, proteins, and toppings, tacos offer the opportunity to let everyone’s plated personality shine. Many moons ago, taco night was one of the earliest places my kids’ food voice was heard. Little bowls of options before them, it was their first foray into making dinner. Harnessing a sense of creativity and really thinking about what they were going to eat opened up a whole new world, showing them they could make delicious food for themselves.

As parents, we can be so caught up on whether or not our little ones are eating balanced and nutritious meals, we forget how important food exploration and exposure to new foods can be. Simply put, had I sat there that night and made my four-year-old’s tacos to my specifications, she never would have discovered that she loves cilantro and that hot sauce should be applied with a heavy hand.

The biggest taco ever made was constructed on November 20th, 2011 in Queretaro, Mexico. It was 246 feet long and was made with carnitas filling.

taco ingredients

chef chopping onionchef slicing avocado

Taco Basics and Beyond

If you now find yourself salivating and wanting to create your very own taco fiesta, let your own cravings lead the way. While options are endless, the following recipe focuses on the classic steak street taco, but the seasoning recipe can be used on the protein or veggies of your choice with modifications needed for proper cooking. 

Need a reason to celebrate? October 4 is National Taco Day.

taco ingredients

What You Need:

For Steak:

1 lb steak (preferably flank or skirt)

1 tbsp canola oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

For Toppings:

1 cup rinsed, dried and chopped fresh cilantro

2/3 cup chopped onion

1 sliced avocado

1 lime cut into wedges

8 corn tortillas

Taco sauce to taste

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

According to Mexican tradition, light seafood tacos are a lunchtime affair, while antojitos are to be eaten at dinner time.

chef slicing meat

steak on cutting boarddiced onionstaco toppings

What You Do:

Heat grill to high heat OR preheat oven broiler. Remove steak from refrigerator and let sit on counter for 20 minutes at room temperature. While steak sits, prepare all toppings in serving bowls and set out on the dining table. In a small mixing bowl, combine cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, and several dashes of salt and pepper. After steak has sat for 20 minutes, lightly rub all sides with oil. Rub spice mixture into steak, coating on both sides.

For grilling: place steak on grill and cook approximately 5 minutes. Flip steak and cook for 4-7 more minutes depending on desired level of doneness. Remove steak from grill, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

For broiling: place steak on a broiler pan and place on top rack of oven, about 5-6 inches from heating element. Broil for 5-7 minutes on each side depending on desired level of doneness. Remove from oven, cover pan with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. 

Move steak to cutting board and slice and cube for taco filling. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Serve steak filling and tortillas, assemble, top with desired toppings and enjoy. 

For more kid-friendly cooking inspiration follow @mondaynightmeals on Instagram.

The first taco truck started in New York in 1966. At the time they didn’t have a full kitchen, as it was mostly used for catering.

taco toppingstaco platechild with tacos

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