From the get-go I knew it was going to be a busy day, so I pulled out my trusty Crockpot and started throwing in ingredients for taco soup. I got a recipe for taco soup from one of those neighborhood recipe exchanges years ago. I can’t find it anymore, but I remember it was really simple – cooked ground beef, canned vegetables and beans with a taco seasoning packet in a slow cooker and you’ve got yourself some taco soup. I thought about that recipes as I rummaged through the fridge and pantry.
The taco soup I was making wouldn’t involve quite so many cans, it may have taken a few extra minutes to slice vegetables and blend spices, but it would be gluten free, clean eating, healthy, and tasty.
“Clean eating” is a kind of a funny term for food if you think about it. I mean, I assume any edible product is made in a clean facility with proper sanitary regulations practiced. That’s not what clean eating means though.
What is Clean Eating?
It means the food is as unprocessed as possible and free of artificial ingredients or production methods that drastically alter the original form (man-made, chemically altered, or genetically engineered/modified). In other words grown organically. This doesn’t just mean that you stick with whole foods, but also that the source of your whole foods has been grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides, animals are grass-fed, free-range, and not given growth hormones or antibiotics. Our clean eating list also includes gluten free too.
In other words that packet of taco seasoning with it’s preservatives and, yes, gluten fillers isn’t clean eating.
Does that seem like a lot to remember to you too?
It did to me at first too. So I just started paying attention more to labels (something that I already did anyway when shopping for gluten free food). Here’s my Clean Eating & Gluten Free Costco Shopping List to help narrow down some of the confusion at everyone’s favorite warehouse store.
I made my taco soup for our meatless Monday meal, but you can add some ground beef to yours if you like.
Clean Eating Taco Soup
1 lb. ground beef, opt. (organic, grass-fed)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup frozen corn
2 – 1/2 cups soaked black beans (rinsed and drained) or 2- 15 oz. canned black beans, drained
1 – 15 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa (homemade bottled, fresh, or store bought)
2-3 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground Himalayan salt or sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Cook ground beef in a skillet with onions and garlic until cooked through. While that cooks chop and prepare veggies, measure out spices, etc. If you’re enjoying this soup meatless, then don’t worry about precooking anything. Combine all ingredients a crockpot, stir, cover and set to low. Cook for 4-6 hours. Serve with corn chips and toppings.
Top it with any combo of:
sliced green onions
sliced black olives
grated cheddar cheese