Recipe: Tasty Mexican Seasoning spice mix
Shop-bought meal seasoning packets were cluttering my bin
Some years ago, I fell into the habit of buying pre-made meal seasonings, particularly Mexican seasoning such as taco, burrito, or fajita mix. It seemed like a convenient way to buy spices and seasoning, particularly when I worked full time and didn’t feel that I had much time for cooking from scratch. By the time I had children, I had come to rely on some convenience foods, and had a habit of buying them in my weekly grocery shopping.
When we started reducing our waste to landfill, I realised that these packets were creating waste that I could eliminate pretty easily. They may seem small and not of much consequence compared to all the other rubbish we send to landfill. However, I think they are one of the easy swaps that you can make, which can give you confidence to try other swaps. All the small swaps add up to reduced waste overall.
So I swapped from a packaged mix to a homemade Mexican Seasoning mix
Here’s the recipe I use for an all-purpose Mexican Seasoning mix. I bought the ingredients at the supermarket in recyclable glass jars, but you could also buy them from a bulk store such as Bin Inn, The Store Room in Te Awamutu, or online from a bulk retailer like GoodFor.
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
- 6 Teaspoons Paprika
- 6 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 4 Teaspoons Salt
- 4 Teaspoons Black Pepper
- 4 Teaspoons Chilli Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, then spoon it into a airtight jar (a washed coffee or jam jar works well). Write ‘Mexican Seasoning’ on the jar, so you remember what it is, along with the date you mixed it.
Use 1-2 tablespoons of the mix in recipes such as chili, fajitas, burritos, or tacos. You could also add some to breadcrumbs, and use it to coat chicken or veges, and then bake them in the oven until crispy.
I made a batch of this seasoning mix about 6 months ago, and we are halfway through it now. It lasts well in a sealed jar.
If you are being careful about the amount of salt in your food, you could reduce the salt in this recipe. I would keep a little salt in there, as a preservative. I would then try the seasoning mix for taste, and adjust the salt to suit your tastes and health needs.
On our meal plan, we include chilli or wraps at least twice a month. Have a look at my post about meal planning for some more ideas about reducing food waste.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this – would this be an achievable swap for you? Have you made similar swaps from packaged foods to homemade recipes, to reduce waste?