Friday, September 16, 2011

Fajita Fiesta--Baby Bella Style

I love fajitas. I especially like ordering them in a restaurant because the food comes to the table on a cast iron plate that sizzles all the way from the kitchen to my table. I know that for sure. I've heard it sizzle time and again.

But woe is me. Now I'm a vegan and sticking to it. Not only has the intestinal disease I've battled for at least 15 years subsided, but I've lost 45 pounds in the process. In addition, my 70+ year-old skin has never looked fresher or dewier. People who have known me for a long time stop and look, then look again, then just plain stare. One of my doctors told me I looked like a whole different person. Another doctor told me that obviously the vegan diet was just what I needed. Acquaintances not only stare but outright ask me what I've done to myself.

When I tell them I've given up eating meat or dairy, they grimace like I've just forced a lemon down their throat. Then they insist they love meat and cheese so much they could never give it up. I just smile. I refuse to argue the points of being vegan. After all, I was an omnivoure all my life till recently. And I'm still not a dedicated vegan, for I wear leather shoes and carry a leather bag. Yet healthwise, I'm in far better shape than I was in my younger years. Last week a long-time friend insisted she would never become vegan because she liked her fried foods and sauces and butter too much. My sister said she liked steak and fish and couldn't even think about going without. My neighbor suggested being vegan was too expensive and she didn't know any vegan recipes anyway.

Now mind you, I'm not the one bringing this vegan business up in conversation. It just happens when I mention that I'm now a plant eater. I'll be honest and say it was hard to make the change. I had no idea how to put a meal together that would satisfy and nourish me. But I learned by scouring the net for vegan blogs and websites and Googling "vegan recipes" till my fingerprints no longer existed. I've learned how to make my own vegan dishes and gotten good enough to create some new ones. All this from a person who really hates to cook. Figure that one out.

As I was saying, I was in the mood for fajitas so I took my favorite chicken fajita recipe and tweaked it. Then I had the nerve to serve it to guests--all without first tasting it myself. By the raves I got, I guess everyone liked it. I know I sure did. Let me know what you think.

My recipe made four overstuffed fajitas. I served home made refried beans alongside and then had to roll into bed because I was too stuffed to walk.


Use a resealable plastic bag for the marinade and put into it:

1 pound mushrooms, sliced. I used baby portobellos
2 Tbs. neutral vegetable oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Dash of hot sauce, I used Frank's
Black pepper

Let set for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat a large cast iron skillet until it is sizzling hot.

Add 2 Tbs. oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red  bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced--I used a fresh jalapeno
Cook till the vegetables are translucent.

Add the marinade ingredients to the skillet and fry everything together, still at a high heat so you get that sizzle.Stir fry till all the liquid evaporates.

Warm 4 flour tortillas in the oven or the microwave.

Stuff 1/4 of the fajita mix into each tortilla.

Top with chopped cilantro, guacamole, a drizzle of lime, red salsa, vegan sour cream, and vegan yellow cheese, shredded.

As a side, serve refried beans or red rice or a bean/corn salsa. 


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