Make your own tidy tacos

Gabrielle Grimes is one of 26 young cooks whose recipes will be featured at the upcoming Kid Food Nation gala in Toronto.

Gabrielle Grimes, 11, shares her award-winning, less-mess taco recipe

Gabrielle Grimes presents her chili-lime taco pouch. Her recipe will be featured at an upcoming gala in Toronto for young chefs. (Christine Maki/CBC)

Gabrielle Grimes loves a good cooking show, and she loves to cook.

 So when YTV started publicizing its Kid Food Nation recipe contest, the Ottawa preteen took note, did her research, entered — and won.

Grimes is now among 26 young cooks whose recipes will be featured at the upcoming Kid Food Nation gala in Toronto, where a celebrity chef will prepare her winning creation.

Her chili-lime taco pouch, featured below, will also be included in a special cookbook. The beauty of this taco? It's virtually spill-free. 

Ottawa's Gabrielle Grimes recently won YTV's Kid Food Nation recipe contest with her chili-lime taco pouches, a tidier version of a traditional taco. 1:17

Chili-lime taco pouches


  • 1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil.
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef.
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped.
  • 2 green onions, chopped.
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin.
  • ½ tsp. paprika.
  • ½ tsp. onion powder.
  • ½ tsp. chili-lime seasoning (optional).*
  • ½ tsp. salt.
  • ¼ tsp. pepper.
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice.
  • 6 large flour tortillas.
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese.
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce (optional).

* Look for chili-lime seasoning (sriracha lime) in the spice aisle of the grocery store. If it's not available, substitute ¼ tsp. chili powder and ¼ tsp. grated lime zest.


  1. Using your hands, combine beef, pepper, green onions, cumin, paprika, onion powder, chili-lime seasoning, salt and pepper in a large bowl. 
  2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add the beef mixture and cook — constantly stirring and breaking up the mixture — for about eight minutes or until the meat is browned and no longer pink.
  4. Stir in lime juice and remove from heat.
  5. Lay tortillas flat out on your work surface and place portions of the meat mixture in the centre of each tortilla.
  6. Top each tortilla  with cheese and lettuce, if using.
  7. Fold in two of the sides and then fold the remaining two sides to form a pouch or envelope. Place the taco pouches seam-side down until you're ready to fry them.
  8. Lightly spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat.
  9. Working with two pouches at a time, place the tacos folded side down in the skillet and cook about three minutes per side or until golden brown.