Wednesday, April 14, 2010

100% Organic Taco Bell Mexican Pizza Combo

I'll admit that back in my naive days of fast food consumption, Taco Bell was my favorite. I mean, who doesn't love Mexican food? And where I hail from, there weren't many authentic Mexican establishments to enjoy, so Taco Bell might as well have been the real deal. But somewhere along the line, my perception of Taco Bell as quality fast food did a complete 180.  It may have started with the reports I've heard now and again about Taco Bell using "Grade D meat" (not true, apparently) but I'm sure what cemented it is The Expert's tale of a food-poisoning induced Taco Bell boycott that lasted the better part of a decade. Yikes! But The Bell's lure was too strong for my fast food aficionado; after eight long years, he finally gave in to his favorite, a Mexican pizza combo with two soft tacos supreme:

Mmm...yo quiero E. coli? I mean, it's a steal at $7.58. Not. I will admit that this smelled pretty good when I got it home to take the picture, but once I got up close, it had a peculiar chemical-y smell that I'm going to blame on the reduced fat sour cream. I know it's "healthier," but I'll take a dollop of the real stuff anytime if having reduced fat means I'm consuming all this:
Cream, Milk, Modified Corn Starch, Nonfat Dry Milk, Maltodextrin, Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum, Lactic Acid, Gelatin, Guar Gum, Mono And Diglycerides, Citric Acid, Sodium Phosphate, Vitamin A, Potassium Sorbate (A Preservative), And Natural And Artificial Flavor. CONTAINS MILK
But hey, at least it CONTAINS MILK! Plus, the beef still scares the bamboozles out of me, even though it's not "Grade D." And anyway, this sort of Mexican food is so easy to make at home! To re-create this meal, I found all the ingredients at just Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

My clerk at Trader Joe's argued that he never makes Mexican food at home because of all the little ingredients you have to buy, but I would disagree. This meal has the exact same number of ingredients as last week's chicken meal, and you could get the number even lower by using a seasoning mix like Simply Organic's Southwest Taco mix ($1.49 at Whole Foods) instead of the four spices. The real downside, though, is that it will definitely run you more than the chicken meal:

The total is pretty close to the original at $7.31, but it's a small price to pay to be food poisoning free, as far as I'm concerned! I'd hoped to have enough left in the budget to use another one of Trader Joe's organic juices to replace Taco Bell's option of Hawaiian Punch, but I had to settle for another iced tea option. This time I used Tazo Organic Apple Red Herbal Infusion (not pictured) as a fruity substitute for Taco Bell's raspberry iced tea. I used the same method to prepare the tea that I used in the Wendy's meal, so you won't find it below, but give this brand a shot even without any sugar, it's actually pretty sweet!

Speaking of things that are sweet, check out the final meal:

And The Expert agrees, he gave it the best ratings yet!

The Expert's Verdict: "The portions are much bigger than Taco Bell's. The pizza is thicker and easier to eat, but the tortillas aren't as flaky. The cheese is less greasy and the meat has more seasoning, but I like it. (note: I don't think Taco Bell uses cumin, but Mexican food without cumin is a crying shame as far as I'm concerned!) The tacos have a better division of temperature...the meat is hot, but the lettuce and sour cream are cold like they're supposed to be. The hot sauce doesn't compare to Taco Bell's fire sauce, though. It's watery and too salty! Of course, it's kind of hard to duplicate perfection."

Resemblance to original meal: 8
Overall deliciousness: 9

Confession...I let The Expert use the fire sauce from the first picture on the rest of the meal! Guess he likes what he likes, but I thought the organic brand I found (The Wizard's Organic Hot Stuff) was actually pretty good!

Check out the recipes; I've separated out the beef portion since it's used in both items.

Ground Beef
Tacos Supreme
Mexican Pizza


  1. Love the idea of this blog. One of the greatest deterrents to using organics for most people is cost, so showing them how organic meals can work for their budget is very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is my favorite one yet! We will be making this pizza VERY soon. Especially if it even impressed The Expert.

  3. Looks delicious. When do I get to come over for dinner? ;-)

  4. Yep I'm a new boycotter of Taco Bell. Last Tuesday I was feelin dandy then had a Taco Bell taco salad for lunch. It was delicious, but it turned out to be pure poison. I lost 5 pounds in 7 hours and 2 days of work. From now on I'll save my taco salad eating for weekends and make them your way at home. Thnx

  5. how to make taco bell mexican pizza

  6. how to make taco bell mexican pizza