I’ve loved fajitas ever since I realized that many mexican restaurants will let you order them with corn tortillas instead of wheat tortillas. While a shared grill or cooking surface can be a problem with cross contamination in mexican restaurants, as wheat and corn tortillas are used indiscriminately, fajita tortillas are often warmed together in a tortilla warmer or other enclosed package, making them more likely to be a safe bread choice. In Boulder, Colorado, La Estrallita restaurant first introduced me to the vegetarian fajita. They had a dish with yummy fresh vegetables, caramelized onions, green peppers, and yummy mushrooms, sauteed in a hot cast iron pan. (And yes, it’s easy to burn yourself!) Interestingly, it seems that the fajita is not strictly a mexican dish, but rather, a tex-mex creation. “A fajita (IPA: /faJita/) is a generic term used in Tex-Mex cuisine, referring to grilled meat served on a flour or corn tortilla. Though originally only beef, popular [ingredients] today also include chicken, pork,shrimp [or vegetables!]. In restaurants, the meat is often cooked with onions and bell peppers. Popular condiments are sour cream, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, cheese, and tomato. . . Use of the word fajita has evolved from the term for a cut of beef to include the cooking method (thus chicken fajita) and also to define the grilled strips of peppers and onions that usually accompany the meat.” (source: Wikipedia) You absolutely don’t need meat to make a delicious fajita, and one of my favorite easy, light meals is a fajita feast where everyone puts together their own fajita from ingredients on the table. Home made corn tortillas take this dish up a notch, but you can also use pre-packaged corn tortillas. Either way, it’s yummy. Also, dairy is completely optional. You can provide sour cream and cheese or leave it off, just garnishing with guacamole, pico de gallo, and fresh veggies, adding non-dairy sour cream if desired.
In the mood for Mexican food? Here are some more Mexican inspired vegetarian recipes we’ve had at the Book Of Yum:
Dairy Free Cheesy Enchilada Recipe
Instructions for making homemade corn tortillas and Pico de Gallo recipe
Mexican Soup with Gluten-free Corn Dumplings
Enchiladas and Kalamata Greens
Vegetarian Fajita Recipe with Corn Tortillas
2 tbsp cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fajita seasoning blend (Spice Harvest)
Fresh herbs to taste (thyme, oregano etc)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
garlic salt to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon peanut or other favorite oil
1/4 iceberg lettuce head, sliced
Heated vegetarian refried beans, if desired (for added protein)
Combine marinade ingredients in a large, wide bowl or casserole dish with main ingredient vegetables.
Heat oil in cast iron pan, add garlic and scallion until they turn brown, remove them from pan, leaving flavored oil. Throw in onion slices and let them sizzle in the pan and begin to caramelize. Then add portobello mushroom and let begin to soften. Turn as needed (but infrequently). Add red and yellow pepper and as it softens, toss in the minced garlic.
Serve fajita ingredients on table with plate of lettuce and tomatoes, with guacamole and sour cream (optional) if desired. Bring out your warmed corn tortillas and let everyone make their own. Yummy!
DH enjoyed this too!