Recipes to Spice Up Your Life

My family really enjoys Mexican foods. Taco, burritos, enchiladas, Mexican Casserole, Refried beans are all a hit when I make them. Since I work hard at bringing healthy to the table too, I attempt to make my own spice mix, salsa and lately Enchilada Sauce. I make them in quantity so they will last several meals. Enjoy. Go Forth and Spice Up Your Life. 

This homemade red enchilada sauce has authentic Mexican flavor! It’s so good and easy, you’ll never go back to store-bought sauce again. I made a double batch and put half of it for later. Yields about 2 cups (16 ounces) sauce.

Enchilada Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and gluten-free flour blends all work!)
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

This sauce comes together quickly once you get started. Mix the dry ingredients (the flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt and optional cinnamon) into a small bowl and place it near the stove. Place the tomato paste and broth near the stove as well. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, warm the oil until it’s it’s hot enough that a light sprinkle of the flour/spice mixture sizzles on contact. This might take a couple of minutes, so be patient and don’t step away from the stove! Once it’s ready, pour in the flour and spice mixture. While whisking constantly, cook until fragrant and slightly deepened in color, about 1 minute. Whisk the tomato paste into the mixture, then slowly pour in the broth while whisking constantly to remove any lumps. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, whisking often, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit and a spoon encounters some resistance as you stir it. (The sauce will thicken some more as it cools.) Remove from heat, then whisk in the vinegar and season to taste with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Add more salt, if necessary.

Taco Seasoning

This mixture of spices approximates what you might buy in a package. It tastes just as good and you eliminate the unwholesome ingredients in the store bought variety.

Depending on your taste you can use as much or as little as you like.  I usually make 4 times this much so I have it ready when I need it.

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.


My daughter Amy was fixing lunch for our family to have a picnic outside. Her heart was set on tacos. She worked hard to feed her family. She had to thaw the hamburger, cook it and then create a taco spice blend. She sliced the olives. She mashed the avocado for guacamole and she made homemade salsa. (her mom didn’t have a stash in the fridge)

I was so proud of her. She did all of this because she wanted too. We all enjoyed the Spring weather but most of all I enjoyed being the mom of this brilliant 11 year old.

Homemade Salsa

  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1teaspoon pepper
  • 3 dashes hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse 3-10 times.

If you have a child who loves to cook, allow them the spread their wings and serve you lunch. They can very well surprise you.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

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