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Nightshade-Free Taco Beef (AIP)

Updated: Nov 1, 2018

Ahhhhh... Taco salad... If there's one comfort food that reminds me of my childhood, this is it!!

Tacos were always a big hit at our house - we all loved them, especially my dad. It was almost like a race when everything was set out on the table. Who would be able to eat the most tacos? Who would be able to eat them the fastest? When we'd start digging in, my dad would always say, "Just like a pack of wolves!"


Things are a bit different now - but my love for taco salad is equally the same.

I've been eating this version 2x a day every day for a few weeks now... It's that good!

If you're like me and you're following the Autoimmune Protocol or can't tolerate nightshade veggies (they're often a source of inflammation for people with joint pain or a number of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis), you probably haven't eaten a taco salad for a while! That was definitely my case.

Tacos or taco salads generally contain nightshades such as peppers (in spice blends - chili powder, paprika) and tomatoes. Other taco salad staples such as cumin, cheese and corn chips are also off limits for those on the AIP.

Now, I'll be the first to say this doesn't taste exactly like the "traditional" spice packet taco meat from my childhood - but it's definitely a wonderful stand-in! It has such a deep, spicy, sauciness that makes it a total comfort food.

One of the six ingredients is a small amount of pureed pumpkin - you can't taste the pumpkin at all - it just acts as a thickener and adds to the sauciness of the dish. In my opinion, it really brings it all together.

1.5 pounds ground beef

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp sea salt

Cook ground beef and coconut oil in a medium-sized pan until almost cooked through. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, stirring to incorporate, and cook until beef is cooked through.


I love this beef mixture on a bed of mixed greens, with sliced jicama, cucumbers, shredded carrots and crushed plantain chips (available at Superstore). I don't even add a dressing. If you can do cheese, it would be so good!! I send the beef in Nellie's day care lunch with crushed plantain chips on top - she loves it!


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