I started making my own seasoning blends years ago, mainly because of family member allergies. I learned to mimic a store-bought blend and avoid preservatives, fillers and spices that could make one of us sick.

Flavorful seasonings make really good meals! I personally love the simple flavors of fresh produce. However, during the winter months, when local vegetables and fruits are not in season, I use spices bring out the flavor in cooked foods. Two of our family favorites are: Taco Seasoning and Lemon Pepper.

Taco Seasoning

The Taco Seasoning blend includes spicy chili and cayenne peppers, sweet smokey paprika, black pepper, cumin, onion powder and salt. Garlic is typically found in prepackaged taco seasonings. However, since 3 people in my family have allergies to garlic (how crazy is that?), we avoid keeping the spice in our home. The recipe below includes garlic powder as an option.

Use the taco seasoning for tacos (ha) and many other foods. Sprinkle it onto sweet potato cubes and roast for a sweet and spicy flavor. Toss it into a blend of black beans, diced tomatoes, sweet corn, rice and avocado chunks, for a healthy burrito bowl. Use in your favorite chili recipe or to season fajita veggies. Sprinkle onto air popped popcorn for a fun snack. My husband recently sprinkled it on his omelet for a morning kick!

Taco Seasoning

A spicy blend of chili powder, cumin, onion and other ingredients to season Mexican dishes, salads, soups and snacks.
Total Time 5 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Seasoning, Side Dish, Snack, Soup
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6 tablespoons

Ingredients
  

  • ½ teas sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tbsp cumin
  • teas cayenne pepper
  • 2 teas oregano
  • 1 teas black pepper
  • 2 teas onion powder
  • 2 teas garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Mix the spices together in a jar, close the lid, shake to mix. Store until ready to use.
  • Note: Clean, empty spice jars are great for mixing and storing seasonings. Use a funnel to add the ingredients to the jar.

Notes

Ingredients to make a 1 1/2 cups (24 tablespoons) for storage:
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp chili powder
  • 8 tbsp paprika
  • 8 tbsp cumin
  • 1 teas cayenne pepper
  • 2 teas oregano
  • 1 teas black pepper
  • 2 teas onion powder
  • 2 teas garlic powder
Combine and store in air-tight glass container.
 
Recipe courtesy of: http://www.thespacebetweenblog.com
 
Keyword chili powder, seasoning, spicy, taco seasoning

Lemon Pepper

“Lemon Pepper” is the seasoning my granddaughter always suggests when we cook together. It has practically replaced ground black pepper as an option. We use it on roasted potatoes, sautéed veggies and chickpeas, in soups, sauces and salad dressings. Sprinkle on popcorn, in addition to dill and onion powder, and you have a savory snack!

Popcorn with Lemon Pepper, Dill, Onion Powder and Salt. Yum!

I use organic lemons whenever possible, so that the peel is free of pesticides. Before zesting, I scrub the lemons with a Norwex Veggie & Fruit cloth. (Side tangent: I use this cloth so that I don’t have to peel carrots, potatoes or other root vegetables. It is a time saving step as well as one that increases fiber and nutrients in the meal.)

When planning to prepare this seasoning, add recipes that require lemon juice to your menu. This recipe uses the zest of 5 lemons, and the juice of 1. Use the other 4 lemons for salads, beverages and sautéed dishes. Substitute them for the limes in the Tart and Spicy Quinoa Salad.

Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Lemon infused ground peppercorn seasoning is tasty in salads, soups, sautees and on grilled foods and snacks.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Seasoning, Side Dish, Snack, Soup
Cuisine American, French, Italian, Mediterranean

Equipment

  • Lemon zester (grater or vegetable peeler)
  • baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Lemon juicer
  • Coffee grinder or food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 5 lemons large, organic
  • ½ cup black peppercorns

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°
  • Scrub the lemons very well to remove dirt from the peel.
  • Zest each lemon over a bowl. Use as much of the lemon peel as possible.
  • Add peppercorns to the zest.
  • Juice 1 lemon and add to the peppercorn/zest mixture and stir well.
  • Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread the mixture so that it can dry easily.
  • Insert the pan into the oven for 1 hour.
  • Using a fork, break up any clumps of zest that may not have dried, and return to the oven, checking every 10 minutes.
  • When the zest is dry, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Pour the lemon/pepper mixture into a coffee grinder or food processor and grind well.
  • Use a funnel and pour into clean spice jar, seal, label and store.

Notes

Keyword black pepper, lemon pepper, seasoning

God-loving, healthy lifestyle enthusiast, mother of 4, animal obsessed and married to my best friend. Life is good!

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