Monday, July 19, 2010

I love chickens. In a different way.

Being vegan doesn't mean I have to stop eating all the tasty Mexican food I enjoyed while growing up. Sure I can live on rice and beans alone, but I don't have to. Sometimes I like to revisit childhood favorites by giving them a vegan spin. There's nothing more satisfying than recreating something I thought I would never have again. In this dish I've simply switched the chicken for plant based protein and kept the rest all the same. This is a take on my aunt's recipe. Shh. For your eyes only.

Tia Argelia's Chickenless Fajitas

  • 1 package of Gardein (or Trader Joes) Chickenless Chicken Strips
  • 6 corn tortillas or 4 medium flour tortillas
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 medium purple bell pepper, sliced into strips (optional)
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 white, yellow or brown onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oil

The Marinade:

  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Juice of 2 medium limes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/3 medium onion, sliced or minced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • few grinds of fresh pepper
  • salt to taste
  • Fresh Guacamole
  • Hot sauce or salsa
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Veganaise (My boyfriend's favorite)


Making the marinade

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a glass, non-metallic bowl or zip lock bag. Add in your Gardein strips and coat pieces evenly. Marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. If possible go longer and marinate at least overnight for maximum flavor potential!


Over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of oil in a hot skillet. Carefully add the chickenless chicken strips and cook until slightly charred and browned, about 7-10 minutes, stirring often. Once you get a nice crispy edge, pour about a 1/3 cup of the marinade on the strips to infuse more flavor and to de-glaze the pan. Keep stirring and scraping the pan. All those charred bits = flavor!

Once most of the liquid has evaporated add in your onions, garlic and bell peppers, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

Taste for salt and add a little if necessary. Cook for another 4-6 minutes or until veggies are slightly charred, tender yet crisp. Try not to cook the veggies to death. Preserve their awesome nutrition!

Serve in piping hot tortillas with your favorite toppings. I like Hector's Fresh Guacamole and tapatio hot sauce. Serves 2-4 (if you're like me, it's more like 2)


If you want to take it to the limit try grilling these up on a well-greased BBQ grill.

Heat your tortillas on a hot, dry pan or comal over medium heat.

Use whatever awesome veggies are in season at your local farmer's market. I found cool looking purple bell peppers this Sunday. They taste like mild green bell peppers.

Far left: purple bell peppers

I'm sure this meal will make you shout out con un grito! Ajua!!!!

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