Vegetarian Fajita… Thing.

This morning was very productive for me. After two weeks with only one day off I’m finally hitting exhausted and the only way I can stay awake and coherent is by busting my ass in various endeavors. This includes, among other things, morning laundry, baking Jiffy blueberry muffins, and making dinner for work.

I’m at three days of work left before a day off, and the fact that my boyfriend has been visiting has made this week that much easier.

At this point I’ve neglected my cooking duties so today was the time to whip up something. I’ve been craving Mexican food for ages so this is what I ended up with. I’ll jot out a vague recipe later if you’d like to try.

Now, before we jump in, let me tell you about this stuff. Simple Truth brand Meatless Crumbles. If you’re a vegetarian because you can’t eat meat but still love the taste of meat, you go to the simple truth website right now and find a Kroger store. Why ypu ask? Because this stuff is godly. Not just holds its own, it TASTES good. In a pinch and want cheeseburger macaroni? Whip up your favorite box mix and throw about a cup in the microwave.

That’s right. The microwave. It doesn’t get soggy and nasty like the morningstar stuff. I’ve fooled my dad, my mom and my boyfriend using this and every time they’re floored. “This is fake!?” Yep. Fake.

First thing I started with was an onion, a green bell pepper, a jalepeno and then a tiny bit of seasoning. The first round was the fajita seasoning we had in our pantry buuuttt then I realized it was old. I ended up doing about a quarter teaspoon each of cumin, garlic powder, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. A tiny bit of oil and then sauteed it up into an amazing fragrant mess. Note for later, if you’re going to try this, add chipotle peppers in adobo. Most grocery stores that have a decent ethnic foods section should have little jars and oh man, they are great in fajitas.

That’s what about 30 minutes of chopping, cleaning and sauteeing looks like. Beautiful. The smell was divine. While this was cooking I threw a cup of rice into my rice cooker and cracked open a can each of black beans and black olives. This really didn’t take too long, and in hindsight I should’ve added the crumbles first and then the vegetables so the flavors could blend a bit more, but this ended up way better than I could have hoped for.

At this point I was kinda rushing to get out of the door, so I just threw the rice in a tupperware container, put a big helping on top of the rice, and added beans and olives. I ended up having about half of it for dinner tonight while the rest sits in the fridge at work along with a small bag of fresh Rainier cherries I got from one of my favorite grocery stores near my work location, Uwajimaya.

And while I could totally write a recipe…..

Ah hell, let’s write the recipe. Tweak as necessary/wanted to fit tastes & dietary restrictions.

LITS’s Vegetarian Fajita Bowl

Serves about 2 to 3 depending on portions.

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow or white onion (white has the right tang of flavor for this dish), chopped
  • 1 jalepeño, diced finely
  • 2 TB Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup Simple Truth Meatless Crumbles
  • 1 cup white rice, prepared
  • Spices (to taste); Cumin, black pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder

First things first, heat the skillet on medium low and add meatless crumbles straight from the bag into a warming skillet, moving it frequently so it browns evenly (as you can see from the picture to the left, I added the meat later, and got a lighter result). Add seasonings, onions, green pepper and jalepeño and saute until onions are soft and peppers are crisp.

Get bowl of rice. Add warmed beans. Add fajita mixture of deliciousness. Thank me later.

A note about the spices, my first trial run of this didn’t include the cayenne pepper or chili powder (I think I spend 10 minutes tossing the spice pantry upside down trying to find the tiny container of chili powder and gave up after finding the seventh half empty bottle of garlic powder… yeah, we have a spice problem in this house & sadly it’s perfectly legal), but it definitely does need some more oomph. While I had this by itself with the beans & rice as a whole meal (it was indeed filling for me), the carnivorous boyfriend also had this as well with tortillas and it passed his picky inspection. I also had a few of the girls from work get a whiff of this and my best work friend tried it, all approving of it… so I’m guessing I did something right with this.

I’m probably going to continue to tweak this recipe and update this post just so it shows a bit more variety and so I can get better at this recipe thing. Definitely going to be something I will be making again since vegetarian food can get extremely dull after a while.

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