Thursday, September 22, 2011
Cajun Spiced Poblano Fajita-Tacos...
I absolutely love tacos. Taco night was always one of my favorite ‘eating events’ when I was growing up, and I say event because it was. My brother, Step-Dad and I were always in competition for how many tacos each one of us could eat. I usually capped out at around seven, which usually brought me neck and neck with my brother, give or take a taco on either side, but our Step-Dad always won. He could pack away as many as ten or twelve tacos in one sitting! Something I couldn’t do even if I hadn’t eaten all day.
One of my favorite thing about tacos is the assembly. I love the do-it-yourself style of eating. Where several dishes of food are laid out before you, and you’re given a plate on which to create your taco masterpiece. I liked the aesthetic of looking across the table and seeing 5 or 10 different serving bowls. I liked even more the ability to put exactly what I wanted in exactly what quantity in each of my taco shells. Making each one just a little bit different, then seeing which I liked best. I have a lot of fun memories of taco night growing up, even if they all seem to end with all of us bloated and sick laying in front of the t.v.
Fajitas are another food I have fond memories of, although they entered my life a lot more recently. For some reason, after my husband and I got married we started eating a lot of fajitas. I’m not sure why exactly. I guess because they were delicious and easy to make, and at that time I was still learning and mastering the art of cooking. I’ll tell you though, I sure mastered the art of the perfect fajita, it’s time tested and family approved. I made killer fajitas at least once a week, and then I started doing the Fajita-Burrito. A Chipotle rip-off that’s a lot cheaper and not as time consuming as you might think to do your self.
Fajitas and tacos always give me the same kind of feeling. Usually I’m eating them with a group of people, friends or family. We’re gathered around a large table with food laid out before us, and we’re digging in to drippy deliciousness, with juice running down our arms and food exploding from our soft-shells. There’s always storytelling, and laughter, jokes and sometimes competition, and it’s always a great time.
As a vegan however tacos are not something I eat often. In fact in my almost year of being vegan I can think of only one time where I’ve eaten a ‘traditional’ vegan style taco. This of course has more to do with the fact that we simply just don’t eat a lot of wheat or soy based meat products, rather then the idea that a good vegan taco can’t be found or made. It can be. Fajitas on the other hand never dropped completely off the radar as eating a vegetarian fajita doesn’t require a meat substitute, and we still enjoy a good fajita-burrito.
But then one night - not so long ago - I was really, really in the mood for tacos, and having no tofu, no seitan, and no tempeh on hand the Poblano fajita-taco was born. A great combination of fajita style filling with a taco style assembly that I gave a twist by adding spicy poblano peppers. Not only are they delicious and filling - just TRY and eat 7 of these babies, I dare you! I can barely pack away 2 fully loaded shells - but they give you all that comradery of the traditional beloved taco night. A lot of bowls laid across the table, a lot of messy, drippy, food bursting out of shells eating, the joy of creation, and a lot of fun.
By the way, these could just as easily be served in a more 'traditional' hard taco shell, I just personally prefer tortillas, or soft shells, always have.
Cajun Spiced Poblano Fajita-Tacos
1 ½ Large Red Bell Pepper Sliced
1 Large Yellow Bell Pepper Sliced
2 Medium Poblano Peppers Sliced (Less or more if you don’t/like heat)
1 Medium-Large Yellow Onion halved then sliced
Cajun Seasoning to taste
Chili Powder, garlic powder and Smoked Paprika to taste
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Pack Whole Wheat Tortillas (Or favorite Tortilla. I used Sun-dried Tomato tortillas, and Chili Tortillas which added an extra bit of heat)
Optional but Recommended Add-Ons
1-2 Avocados sliced
2-3 Tomatoes diced or 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
1 Bunch Green Onions diced
½ Head Iceberg Lettuce shredded
½ Bunch Cilantro finely chopped
Tofutti Sour Cream (or other non-dairy sour cream of choice)
Daiya Cheddar Cheese (or other non-dairy cheddar cheese of choice)
Mild or Medium salsa of choice
- Heat tbsp of oil in large saute pan. Add onions, and all peppers. Saute over medium heat for roughly 10-20 minutes until onions and peppers are very soft. Poblano might still have a bit of firmness to them at this point but that’s okay.
- Halfway through cooking add your seasonings. I generally use anywhere between 1-3 tsp of Cajun seasoning depending on who I’m eating with. The Cajun seasoning I use has a powerful kick to it, and some people don’t like too much heat. Cajun seasoning brands will vary, as will your tolerance of heat. I recommend you start off moderately, with ½ tsp and work your way up from there if you’re not sure how much heat is too much for you. The same goes for Chili Powder and Smoked Paprika, each of these will bring a smokey heat of their own and so I suggest you start off moderately. I generally don’t use more then ½ tsp of Smoked paprika, or more then 1 tsp of chili powder, you may want to start off with 1/4 tsp of each and work your way up. Garlic is of course personal preference and I never measure this. I give the garlic powder bottle a few hearty shakes and that’s always enough. You want a little garlic flavor here but you don’t want it to be overpowering. After all this isn’t garlic’s show!
- Now for the assembly. Spread some non-dairy sour cream and/or salsa onto a tortilla. Top with your poblano filling, then your preferred add-ons. Sprinkle with a little Daiya cheddar and cilantro, roll it up tight and enjoy!
I really do recommend all of the add-on’s. Each one adds it’s own unique flavor and texture to the fajita-taco. However my husband assures me that they are just as good sans sour cream, cheese, and avocado, three things of which he is not a fan.
*** Note - You could also spread a little roasted red pepper humus on your tortilla in place of (or in addition to) the sour cream. I’ve done this and it was delicious!***
*** Note - Soy-Free if using soy-free non-dairy sour cream. Gluten-Free if using Corn Tortilla's or other Gluten-Free Tortilla's***