I wait for Taco Tuesday like some people wait for the ice cream truck. Spicy jalapenos, smokey cumin, tangy sour cream, and cheese stringing from nacho to plate all make my mouth and heart sing. The trouble for me is that Mexican food is also laden with fried foods, gluten, corn, and dairy, which are all no bueno for mi estomago. Fajitas are a favorite, but without the sour cream, cheese and tortillas, I was left out of the fiesta. The key for me was to add some additional flavor and replicate some missing textures. At our house, mouth-watering fajitas are on the menu for every diet! These are dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and low fat. They are also perfect for Paleo, Whole30 and THM.
Layers of Flavor
Chicken or Steak
I marinate the meat to add extra flavor to the chicken with a totally inauthentic marinade that is super tasty. The longer you marinate, the more flavorful the chicken, but if you give it at least an hour, you should be good. Ideal would be to start it in the morning.
I add some roasted jalapeños for some kick and flavor depth. Don’t be scared, I use the broiler and it literally takes 2 minutes to slice and roast. If you want more of the flavor and less of the heat, remove the veins (the white ribs) and seeds. That is where most of the heat lives. Also, please don’t touch your face, nose, eyes or anything else before washing your hands. It will burn so badly. I often throw on a pair of disposable gloves when handling peppers. If you don’t want to broil them, they are great fresh, or if I don’t have fresh jalapeños I use my naturally fermented jalapeños. I serve the jalapeños on the side because some of my kids are much more sensitive to spicy foods. If it were just us grownups, I’d mix them in with the…
Peppers and onions
To cook my peppers and onions, I do them in the oven by spraying my pan and then the onions and peppers with coconut oil. The traditional stove-top method requires so much fat and oil that my liver seizes and gags on it. My way is also much lower in calories. If you don’t like the spray version of fats, put the onions and peppers in a bowl and toss them with a LIGHT drizzle of avocado oil or something similar, salt, and pepper. Then put them on the pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 or so minutes. If you think to do it, set aside some of the same marinade as the meat (BEFORE you add it to the meat) and add that to toss them with.
Instead of a tortilla, I put mine on a bed of Romaine lettuce. I like the crunch and the extra fiber and bulk.
Plain old avocado is just divine, but for this I make my 2-minute restaurant guacamole, and it is so flavorful and delicious that it takes fajitas to a new level! The creamy cold guacamole also replaces the sour cream for me. I’ve had a few vegan sour creams and haven’t been impressed, so unless I find a great one, I’m skipping it.
Finally, I drizzle some of my dairy-free ranch dressing on my salad, and enjoy my meal with nary a sideways glance at the cheese, tortillas and sour cream on the other plates.
If you can tolerate corn, crumbled tortilla chips on top add great flavor and crunch.
Pico de Gallo
If I make the 2-minute restaurant guacamole, I don’t usually add pico to my plate, but sometimes I do. It depends on my mood, honestly.
1 pound skirt or flank steak or chicken breasts
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 c. oil (I use extra light olive oil or avocado oil)
4+ peppers, sliced (my kids devour peppers, and once you cook them, they shrink, so I always go for at least 8 or I won’t get any)
2 large onions, sliced
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Avocado or 2-minute restaurant guacamole
Tortillas (for those who can have them)
Jalapeños, roasted or fresh
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Pico de gallo
Marinate the meat for at least an hour in the fridge. Grill or bake to preferred doneness, and let rest for at least 5 minutes (this is critical). Cut in strips across the grain. The marinade will make this tough cut of steak more tender.
While the meat is cooking, toss the peppers and onions in a light drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake on a large jelly roll pan at 400 for 20-25 minutes or caramelize in a large skillet or griddle until the onions are starting to brown. Don’t crowd the pan or they will steam and be soggy.
While the meat and peppers/onions are going, assembler the 2-minute restaurant guacamole, slice your jalapeños for broiling, and pull out everything for the table.
Serve hot and let everyone assemble their own! So, so delicious. You will be feeding this to your family on a Taco Tuesdays for the foreseeable future. With all this flavor, you will be having a fiesta in your mouth, and never miss the other stuff.
A great freezer meal idea is to make double or triple the meat and freeze it for a delicious quick meal another night.
What do you love on your fajitas?
If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for more recipes, mommy magic for tips and tricks that make life easier, and real outfits. Also, please share! Email, Pinterest, Stumble, Facebook, and Google+ are all great places, and the icons to share are all over the page.