There is no reason to go out when you can make these restaurant worthy Gluten Free Southwest Steak Tacos in your own kitchen. Flavorful, tender steak topped with an array of delicious toppings!
Let me teach you a life lesson: Good is good enough.
You can thank my little nugget brother for that one. Well, I guess he isn’t so littley and nuggety anymore seeing as how he has graduated from college, is married, and is expecting his first child with his adorable wife in March. But to me, he will always be a little nugget.
Weston has a philosophy in life to do minimal amount of work while still being successful enough. I know initially it sounds like this philosophy is a tad underachieving, but in reality he is able to sufficiently support his family, reach the goals that need to be accomplished, and it allows him adequate time to enjoy life and his family.
You know, maybe he is the smartest one in the family.
My mom has always put pride into owning a nice home. She feels that if she works hard, her home should be able to reflect her efforts. Our house has always been ample enough in size to be comfortable, is clean and organized, is located in a desirable neighborhood within the boundaries of a decent school, and is well decorated according to mainstream style.
You can imagine her irritation when Weston announced that he never wants to own a large home. His rational: the upkeep takes too much time. His defense, “I’ll own just what I need, mom.” A minimalist indeed.
Back in high school, I am surprised that I never suffered from full blown anxiety attacks. I was under constant pressure to perform according to my best abilities. Not pressure from friends, family, or teachers, but more so pressure from myself. I have always been my own best motivator as well as my own worst critic.
I remember sleepless nights tossing and turning in bed, counting down the hours…minutes…that I had to sleep before I would have to jump out of bed and start my day all over again: early morning seminary (a church class before school), a school day filled with honors and advanced placement classes, after school track/cross country practice, student council responsibilities, homework, another self directed workout, and a once a week evening church meeting.
I seriously got no sleep worrying about how I was to properly function through all of these activities. It may have helped me mentally to adopt my brother’s point of view: good is good enough.
In fact, he developed this attitude because of school. Upon receiving a “B” on a report card, and my mother knowing that he could have done better, she began to scold him for not trying harder. He stared at her with a slightly perplexed look and responded, “But a ‘B’ is good, mom”. Of course she continued explaining to him the fact that, yes, a “B” is good, but he could have done better.
And this is where the motto was born.
In a few brief seconds, Weston replied, “Mom, good is good enough.”
And that’s what he lives by. More power to you bro!
Now although in many instances I agree that this motto creates less stress and allows more freedom, but in my opinion, it cannot…will not…ever apply to food. Good cannot be good enough when there is so much better.
Take a taco. A taco can be good. You can go the basic route of meat, cheese, and sour cream and your taste buds will be adequately satisfied. But, why would you ever do that when your full potential are these Gluten Free Southwest Steak Tacos???
Do you see my argument here?
Let me direct you down the path of this glorious southwest taco and then you can see where I’m coming from.
Let’s start from the inside out with a juicy, tender steak cooked to medium in a cast iron skillet, seasoned with a generous crust of salt, pepper, and southwest spices. Yum.
Alrighty, moving on. Then you have some onions and mushrooms sauteed until soft in the same pan that cooked that glorious steak. Yum, yum.
And then you top that taco off with purple cabbage, cilantro, your favorite salsa, creamy cilantro dressing (I bought some from Costco that was great), these amazing roasted beets, a crumbled tangy cheese of your choice, some sour cream, guacamole or avocados, and a splash of lime for extra zest. Yum, yum, yum!
To top it all off, all that goodness is rolled up into a cooked corn tortilla with a slight char on the outside. Now good luck closing that taco, nonetheless getting it into your mouth without spilling the majority of it all down your clothes.
It. Is. ALL. Worth. It.
Yum, yum, yum, YUM!!!
I’m telling you, the problem with these tacos is that you will NEVER go back. Mediocrity in the taco industry will never again suffice your cravings. I apologize in advance. But to those of you who don’t mind going above and beyond…at least in the kitchen…you will greatly appreciate this recipe because, well, it’s good. Oh wait, not good, AMAZING!
Now before you assume I’ve gone all perfectionist on you, this post was supposed to have been done before Taco Tuesday. Obviously that didn’t happen. But hey, I did get it posted before Wednesday, so, you know, “good is good enough!”
What life lesson do you recommend?
- 1¼ pound flank steak or tri-tip steak, trimmed of fat
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 small onion, halved and sliced into thin strips
- 10 button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 8 corn tortillas
- purple cabbage
- creamy cilantro dressing
- pickled or roasted beets
- crumbled cheese: goat, cotija, or queso fresco
- sour cream
- In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, and ground mustard. Mix to combine.
- Trim fat from meat and rub spice mixture on all sides. If able, allow to sit for at least 30 minutes in fridge. Take out to room temperature 10 minutes before cooking.
- Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoon butter. Once butter is melted and pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, place meat in skillet. Cook for 4½ minutes on each side. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
- While meat is cooking, slice onion in halt and with flat side down, slice thin strips. Wash and slice mushrooms.
- After removing meat from pan, add 1 more tablespoon of butter. Once melted, add onions and mushrooms to the pan. Lightly season with additional salt and pepper (they will be slightly seasoned already from drippings in pan) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove from heat.
- Cook tortillas according to package directions and slice meat into thin strips across the grain once ready to serve.
- Fill tacos with desired toppings according to preference and eat warm.
- Store extra meat in an airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days.