Fajita Friday

It's Friday eve, and never too early to start thinking about a delicious way to celebrate. 

Admittedly, I do not understand the difference between tacos and fajitas. If the only difference is that fajitas include peppers and onions, I'm converting all of my tacos to fajitas, stat.

Whatever you call them, warm corn tortillas are an incredible vessel for almost any food.  Throw a grill in the mix and you've got a super quick, too-good-to-be-this-healthy meal that pleases everyone. I mean, who doesn't love tacos?! Not to mention, who doesn't need more quick, nourishing week-night dinner options? 

This photo is from a recent dinner party, served to a crowd with a variety of culinary preferences. I accommodated everyone with a spread of ingredients, and a self-serve taco/fajita bar. It was a hit! 

Here's what we served: 

Grilled Chicken and Tempeh* 

Grilled chicken breasts and tempeh rubbed with ground cumin, chili powder, and tamari, then grilled (separately, of course :)  

*Note: Tempeh is a crowd pleaser for vegetarians and carnivores alike. It is one of the least processed ways to enjoy soy beans. The natural fermentation process makes the nutrients more easily digestible. It also provides those highly sought- after probiotics, along with a powerful protein hit. Similar to chicken, you can season with almost anything.  


Basil-Avocado salsa verde

I know, I know this is a risky recipe to post given the recent scandal over the guacamole with peas recipe posted in the New York Times. What can I say? I walk on the wild side. The basil imparts a super fresh flavor that I find irresistible. If you're a traditionalist, there's nothing wrong with sticking to cilantro. 

I call it a salsa verde because the vinegar and tomatoes make it much lighter than a traditional guacamole. Sometimes, on a hot day, light is nice. 

In a food processor or blender, mix together:

  • 2 large avocados, very ripe
  • 1 jalapeno (if you like the heat, include the seeds)
  • ¼ red onion, largely chopped
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes

Add a light sprinkle of cayenne (or paprika if you can't take the heat) and fresh basil to garnish. Serve as an app with veggie sticks or as a fajita/taco condiment. 


Chili-Lime Caramelized Peppers & Onions

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 red, 1 yellow or orange and 1 green bell peppers
  • 1 onion (Preferably sweet Valencia or Walla Walla onions, but any variety will do)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice from ½ to 1 a lime
  • Salt to taste (~1/2 Tsp.)
  • ½ Tsp. red chili flakes or cayenne – optional

PREPARATION

  1. Cut peppers and onion into ¼” wide slices.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Keeping heat on medium-high, throw in peppers and onions. Let sit for ~2 minutes without stirring. Then stir every 60-90 seconds, letting each side brown, for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in chili flakes and lime juice, and continue to sauté another 1-2 minutes, until onions become slightly translucent and peppers slightly soften. Be careful not to overcook so they stay crunchy.

Accoutrements

Other options to include on the table: red or green salsa (check out this Zest recipe for mango-jalapeno salsa), black beans sauteed with a little lime juice, and/or fresh arugula.

If you have insights about how to distinguish a taco from a fajita, or other ideas for delicious taco combos, please share! 

Happy Fajita Friday!