Posts Tagged fajitas

Summer CSA’s

I stopped taking pictures of my CSA deliveries for a while there.  I like winter squash, greens and citrus plenty, but after a while they’re not that exciting.  When summer produce starting arriving my interest was renewed!  Before I get to that, here are a few dishes that used up the last of my winter and spring produce.

Fajita-style poblanos, fennel and mushrooms over polenta cakes with lettuce, tangerine salsa, beans and a bit of Daiya.

I had some sweet potatoes sitting around and decided to try to make a sweet potato based bbq sauce.  It turned out a little grainy but tasted good enough on tempeh.  In the back is a brussels sprout and corn hash.

To use up some root veggies, I made this Root Vegetable Stew with Herbed Dumplings from Eating Well.

I used Tofurkey Italian Sausage and subbed egg substitute in the dumplings.  This was a very hearty and tasty dish.  You cook the dumplings right on top of the stew!  Some of my root veggies were beets, which turned the whole thing red and a little sweet.  Next time I would probably stick with neutral colored roots.

Black bean and sweet potato hash with cumin, coriander and orange; steamed broccoli on the side.

6-9-11 CSA - corn, lettuce, peppermint, carots and radishes

cherries, cantaloupe, tomatoes

This orzo salad was for Vegan Happy Hour.  I caramelized shallots then reduced some balsamic vinegar in the same pan, and blended the mixture with mayo and seasonings.  The orzo and dressing was tossed with diced tomato, raw corn and fresh basil.

This isn’t CSA related, but these blackberries came from my backyard!  We had some friends over on a Saturday and I had a bowl of freshly picked berries, so I made the Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Joy of Vegan Baking into a cake, subbing berries for the chocolate.  I added some cinnamon, which was a great compliment to the banana and berries.  This was a perfect snack cake – moist but not dense, sweet but not too sweet.

6-16-11 CSA - bok choy, avocado, lettuce, cilantro

melon, strawberries, carrots, gypsy peppers, tomatoes

Peppermint tea!  I’m not a huge fan of mint in food, so I boiled a pot of water then seeped a whole bunch of mint.  Strained, chilled and served cold with stevia and lemon, it was a great treat.

After my last CSA delivery included basil, I was wondering what I could use to make an interesting pesto other than nuts.  Lucky for me, that very same day Gena of Choosing Raw posted a recipe for hemp pesto.  Perfect!  I dont’ love hemp seeds as is, so I’m always looking for different ways to incorporate them into my diet.  I used only one tablespoon of oil, and mixed the pesto with some shirataki noodles.  In the back are some green beans cooked with coconut oil, onion, lemon and fresh dill.  I really liked the pesto, and had the leftovers on toast with arugula and sliced tomato.

Lastly, one of my favorite ways to use up random veggies, the hot dog salad.  This salad included lettuce, tomato, gypsy peppers, radishes, carrot, cilantro, sliced veggie dogs and Cesar Chavez Dressing from Appetite for Reduction.  What is most important about this picture is that I finally figured out how to take a good picture of a giant salad!  Normally I just pile stuff in the salad bowl while I chop it up.  For this picture, I kept a bit of each topping off to the side then sprinkled them on top at the end so that you can see all the pretty colors!  Obvious to some, maybe, but I was pretty proud of this accomplishment.

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Roasted Seitan Fajitas & Chimichurri Tofu

That CSA delivery that I posted about last time and said I didn’t remember what I did with it?  I remember now, at least what I did with some of it.  Gosh, I’m so organized these days!

I had a bunch of little bell peppers on my hands, so I thought that I ought to make fajitas.  Fajitas are, after all, delicious as well as being a fantastic use of peppers. Fajitas, however, are not my friend in the way that I always put too much stuff in the saute pan and it ends up all crowded and hard to stir and doesn’t saute as much as cook down and get soft.  Also, you have to keep stirring the stuff around.  So I thought to myself that I could try sticking them in the oven to see if the oven would do all the work for me.  Work it did, indeed.

I also had a bunch of peaches and even though I love peaches the most just as they are, I decided I would try to make a peach salsa.  I looked at a few recipes online and decided in the end to just put what I thought would taste good in a bowl and see what happened.

The fajita filling turned out fantastic.  The veggies were cooked but still firm, the seitan a bit crispy on the edges, and the oil and mushroom juices were just enough to keep the whole thing moist but not dripping.  I show you a picture of just the filling because…

I didn’t really make fajitas.  I only had larger tortillas, so I went for a fajita burrito.  Just as good, and possibly less messy.  In the front we’ve got cucumber and jicama slices, Amy’s refried black beans in the back, chunky guacamole and peach salsa on the burrito.  The jicama was really awful and almost inedible.  Maybe it’s not jicama season?  Apart from the jicama, this was a really tasty meal.  The peach salsa was fantastic, if I do say so myself.  I didn’t even miss the tomatoes, although there were tomatoes in the guac just incase.

Roasted Seitan Fajitas

2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried oregano
dash each of onion powder, garlic powder & cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sugar
1 lb seitan, sliced into strips
1 large or 2 small bell peppers (red or green), sliced into strips
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
1/2 lb mushrooms, halved or quartered
2 Tbs olive or canola oil
small tortillas

toppings
lettuce
salsa (regular or peach salsa, recipe below)
guacamole
vegan sour cream
shredded vegan cheese
fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Combine all spices (chili powder through sugar) in a small bowl and mix well.
3. Place the seitan, peppers, onion and mushrooms in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the oil over and stir to coat. Sprinkle on the seasoning mixture and stir well, making sure ingredients are well combined and coated.
4. Line a baking pan with foil. Transfer seitan mixture to the baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes.
5. Spoon filling into tortillas and top with your choice of toppings.

Serves 3-4.

(I used the basic seitan recipe from Veganomicon, doubling it and freezing the rest for later use.)

Peach Salsa

4 small or 2 large ripe peaches, cut into small dice
juice of 1 lime
2 Tbs minced red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 tsp salt
heaping Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Refrigerate and allow flavors to combine.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

I also had a big bunch of parsley that needed using, and while I love parsley pesto, I was in the mood for something different.  I had heard of chimichurri sauce but never tried it, so I decided that was the way to go.  I had also seen pictures of a baked chimichurri tofu floating around on some blogs, a tester for the forthcoming Vegan Latina cookbook, so I at least knew it would work on tofu.  Upon Googling, I found that there are about a bajillion ways to make chimichurri, and they all claim to be authentic.  I also came across this recipe for Grilled Tofu with Chimichurri Sauce, which looked perfect enough to make just as is.

I was intrigued by trying the dry rub technique on tofu and worried that it wouldn’t work, but it actually worked really well.  This is not a recipe for tofu haters – aside from the dry rub and the chimichurri sauce, it’s really just a slab of grilled tofu.  That’s fine by me though, I love me some tofu.

I forwent the garlic bread called for in the recipe and stuck with toasted, thick-sliced whole wheat bread.  In the end the recipe was easy to make, relatively healthy (didn’t need all the oil called for), and downright delicious.  I am now a fan of chimichurri.  Also, I don’t know why I felt the need to include two green veggies with my green-sauced meal, but that’s steamed spinach and roasted brussels sprouts up there.

That’s it for tonight, folks.  I’ve got planned posts to catch us up on laptop lunches, as well as a massive one to document the last four weekends, which were packed with food and fun.

On a personal note, I just acquired the entire NKOTB discography and will be listening like mad before I see them in concert next week.  I never got to see them when I was younger, so I’m pretty excited!  Don’t judge me.  I also finally sent in my application to a certain school that I really want to attend this Fall, and should hear back within a few weeks!

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