I’ll be the first to admit. I’m not a vegetarian. Far from it, actually. If truth be told, I’m an unapologetic omnivore. But I am an omnivore who is willing to go outside of her comfort zone, and is willing to give anything a try, at least once. So when DK of Culinary Bazaar started a new event, A.W.E.D. and declared the theme to be a vegetarian/vegan Mexican dish, I rose to the challenge.
At first I was going to take the easy way out, and make something that is inherently vegetarian normally, like quesadillas or guacamole, but then when I was in Trader Joe’s and saw these:
the answer came to me – I’ll make fauxjitas! I’ve always wanted to try non-meat protein in a dish I normally make with meat, to see if the replacement compares favorably, or is something that I could eat regularly. So what’s the verdict?
Well, it certainly LOOKS like fajitas. But appearances can be deceiving. I marinated the meat-less chicken and meat-less beef in a marinade for an hour, and then sauteed them with some red onions and Trader Joe’s frozen peppers, along with most of a packet of fajita seasoning for about 10 minutes in a wok. I served it on low-carb tortillas with some pico de gallo, sour cream, and an avocado mash on the side. But it just didn’t work for me, sorry. The texture was off (it was a bit soft/spongy), and the taste was not very meaty (I know, what should I expect?), but it is something I’d eat in a pinch if I had to. It’s just not something that I’ll go out of my way to eat. Truth be told, I probably would have preferred it more with just the veggies and maybe some mushrooms in place of the meat. But if seitan is your thing, this recipe will rock your world.
recipe adapted from Chicago Diner’s “No Meat-a Fajitas” recipe
1/2 c. cilantro
2-3 green onions, sliced
1/2 c. parsley
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 c. lemon or lime juice
1/4 c. oil
2 tsp. cumin
3 c. water
2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. tequila
2 tbsp. oil
1 large onion. sliced
1 bag Trader Joe’s (or similar) frozen pepper medley
1 box Trader Joe’s Meat-Less Chicken strips
1 box Trader Joe’s Meat-Less Beef strips
1 packet fajita seasoning
2 avocados, mashed with fork Juice of 1 lime
Salt, to taste Sour cream Trader Joe’s (or similar) fresh salsa, mild
Tortilla Factory low-carb tortillas
Mix together all marinade ingredientx in blender, and then pour over seitan strips and marinate for one hour at room temperature. Drain excess marinade at the end of marination period.
Meanwhile, prepare avocado mash by adding lime juice and salt to mashed avocado.
In a large skillet or wok, heat oil and then add peppers and onions, and allow to soften slightly. Add strips and fajita seasoning and stir-fry for about 10-15 minutes on high, until strips firm up, and excess liquid is absorbed. Serve with your choice of garnish.