Monday, July 28, 2014

Vegetable Fajitas - and they're vegan!

We enjoy Mexican food in our home (well, at least what we in the U.S. call Mexican food).  One of our favorites happens to be fajitas. You can obviously make them with beef, pork or chicken, but you can also make them with no meat at all, just vegetables.

Since my wife has become vegetarian, I've been trying to cook a lot more vegetarian/vegan dishes. This one can be either but is primarily vegan (the only thing that's not vegan in it is the cheese and sour cream at the end which can easily be omitted or vegan substitutes used).
Some of the ingredients with Mac Brothers Beef Rub in the foreground

In this recipe, the only spice I'm using is Mac Brothers Beef Rub (or Spicy Beef Rub if you prefer). You could certainly use other spices, such as chili powder, cumin, etc. but the flavor you'll get out of using our rub is fantastic.

If you are cooking for vegetarian and non-vegetarian folks you can satisfy both with this recipe - simply follow as is for the non-meat eaters, and cut up some chicken, pork, or beef (or use shrimp) and sauté separately to add for those that would like it.

So, enough with the commentary, on to the recipe!

Cut the onion into sections

  • 2 small zucchini, julienned
  • 2 small yellow squash, julienned
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, sectioned
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips 
  • 3 tbsp Mac Brothers Mild Beef Rub (or Really Frickin' Hot Beef Rub), more or less to taste
  • 1 package multigrain tortillas (or flour or wheat tortillas)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    Julienned zucchini and squash


  • Cheese 
  • Sour cream

*These are the vegetables I used - any vegetables you happen to have on hand will work. If you don't have (or don't like) peppers, use something else, likewise the same is true of all of the rest of the vegetables.


  1. Put the julienned zucchini and squash in a colander
    Zucchini and squash with kosher salt mixed in
  2. Sprinkle the kosher salt over the zucchini and squash and mix together
    After sitting for about 40 minutes.  If you look closely you
    can see water beaded on the surface of the vegetables
  3. Let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes, up to an hour. This is to draw as much of the water as possible out of the zucchini and squash (while I'm waiting for the salt to work its magic, I actually do the rest of the prep; cutting the onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, etc.)
    After squeezing the excess water out of the zucchini/squash. This is necessary or you
    will have waterlogged fajitas.  The volume of vegetables will reduce by about half.
  4. After letting the salt sit with the zucchini/squash in the colander, much of the water will be drawn out but there will still be a lot in the vegetables. In order to get it out, you need to squeeze the water out by hand. You can use cheesecloth for this, but I just use my hands and squeeze it in batches as hard as I can which removes a huge amount of water. After this process, you will notice that the volume has been reduced by about half
  5. Heat one tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat (I prefer to use cast iron for this)
    Sauté the onions until they get soft
  6. Add the onion and cook until pieces separate and they are just getting soft (about five minutes), stirring frequently
    Onions, peppers and mushrooms being sautéed 
  7. Add the peppers and mushrooms and stir frequently
  8. Cook until peppers and mushrooms are getting soft and starting to give up their juices (about five to seven minutes), stirring frequently
    Add the rub to the onion, pepper, mushroom mix
  9. Add one tbsp of the Beef Rub and mix well
  10. Remove onions, peppers, and mushrooms from the pan
  11. Add last tbsp of olive oil to the pan, then add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant
    The zucchini/squash mixture with the rub added
  12. Add zucchini and squash to the skillet
  13. Add one tbsp of Rub and mix well. Continue cooking, stirring frequently for about 3 - 4 minutes
    Add the onions/pepper/mushroom mix back into the zucchini/squash
  14. Add onions/pepper/mushroom mix to the zucchini/squash and mix well
  15. Add the final tbsp of Rub. Add additional rub to taste
  16. Heat tortillas according to directions on package
    Tortilla with fajita mixture added, topped
    with sour cream and cheese (optional)
  17. Serve with cheese and sour cream (optional) and enjoy!

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