Taco spaghetti

I love to eat a variety of foods each week; I firmly believe in mixing things up to keep my taste buds guessing and make things more interesting for the cook. That’s sort of the theme of my week whenever I’m doing meal planning: vary up the proteins, textures, heat levels, ethnicities and even cooking methods.

That being said, my food theme for about the last month has been “I’ll eat whatever you bring me.” Not to sound whiny, but I sort of figured my magical healing abilities would enable me to cut my surgical recovery in half, meaning I’d have ditched the crutches by now.

Apparently magical healing abilities aren’t as common as real life as they are in the movies, so the hubby has been doing almost all the cooking in our house for the past month. I say “almost” because he has to be gone a lot for work, and when that happens the kiddo helps me with supper.

I have eaten more bowls of Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal in the past month than I did the previous 42.9 years combined.

I’ve explained to the hubby that I’m OK with ham and cheese on wheat for most meals, but he enjoys pointedly ignoring me and bringing me plates filled with chicken kebabs, grilled veggies and couscous. I think just to prove that he’s better at this cooking stuff than I am.

But last weekend the hubby was at the office and I was really hungry for either spaghetti or tacos. My limitations: minimal ingredients (I have to gather things one at a time); a recipe that doesn’t need babysitting (I can’t stand over a hot stove for more than a few minutes); nothing that requires two hands (like draining pasta); and no chopping because I’m currently not allowed to play with knives. (In fact, I actually skipped chopping the onion and garlic for this recipe this time and used garlic powder and onion powder.)

The solution: One-pot taco spaghetti. With the texture of spaghetti but the flavor of tacos, this skillet meal can be made in under 30 minutes. Plus, the pasta cooks in the sauce, so there are no pots of boiling water to haul around.

This is a basic version, but you can jazz it up however you’d like: sprinkle with pico de gallo, top with salsa, add more cheese or even sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips. (I did none of these things; it took a lot of effort to move the pan off the stove for even the most basic of food photos. By then I’d worked up an appetite and was ready to dive in.)

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