Many years ago, before eschewing dairy and eggs, I used to frequent some of the smaller Mexican chain restaurants in the area when dining out. There were four or five of them, and I knew I could get a tasty meal made with beans and cheese. Just about all of them had some form of vegetable fajita, too.
About ten years ago, I had started a new job as art director of a company that made scrapbooking supplies, and I was invited to a managers’ lunch meeting at one of those Mexican eateries. I was vegan at this point, and work lunches were tricky to deal with, but I knew there were two things on the menu that I could eat – a bean salad and my old friend vegetable fajitas.
I was feeling awkward and uncomfortable at lunch, mainly because I was new and partly because I was dining with the company’s owners. And also, because I frequently feel awkward and uncomfortable. So, I seated myself at the end of the table, where I could sit quietly and hopefully not be too noticed. When the waitress came to take our orders, she started with me. I ordered the vegetable fajitas, hold the cheese and sour cream, extra guac, please. And then everyone else at the table ordered a salad. I didn’t think too much of it. Until the food arrived.
While everyone else was delivered big bowls full of lettuce and tomatoes, I was brought do-it-yourself meal consisting of a sizzling platter full of vegetables, a tortilla warmer full of hot tortillas, a plate with guacamole and lettuce, bowls full of rice and beans, and a little dish of salsa. I had failed in my attempts to draw attention to myself, as my meal took up half the table. I’m pretty sure my meal was tastier than theirs, though, so it was probably worth it.
I think of fajitas being somewhere between a taco and a burrito. They originated as Tex-Mex meal consisting of grilled steak served in a tortilla. Actually, the word “fajita” used to refer to the strips of meat rather than the meal, with “faja” meaning “strip”.
It was in the 90s that restaurants started adding fajitas to their menus. They are now served with different types of filling, including vegetables. The filling is usually cooked with peppers and onions, and the tortillas can be topped with all manor of condiments, such as guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.
I used to make Portobello mushroom fajitas on a regular basis, but we’ve had to cut back on our mushroom intake, as they tend to make Dennis’s gout flare up. These days, I’ve been making them with Soy Curls instead. As you probably know by now, I loves me some Soy Curls.
Soy Curl Fajitas are a fun weeknight meal, and they’re a nice change of pace from tacos. (What am I talking about? I love tacos!) They come together pretty quickly, so they’re a great option for dinner after work. The Soy Curls do need a few minutes to soak before you can cook them, but that can be done while you’re slicing the vegetables and preparing the toppings.
- First, you soak the Soy Curls.
- Once they’ve reconstituted, you toss them in spices.
- Then, you cook the onion.
- Once it has begun to brown, you add the garlic, peppers, and soy curls and cook everything until the vegetables have softened and the soy curls have browned.
- Finally, you divide the mixture among with the tortillas and add your favorite toppings.
I’ve noticed that the fajitas that I’ve been served in restaurants come with wheat tortillas, but corn will work just as nicely. Which every you use, opt for smaller tortillas – either 6-inch or 8-inch will do. I like to use red, green, and orange bell peppers along with a red onion to give my fajitas some color. Avocado, salsa, and shredded lettuce are my favorite toppings, along with plenty of hot sauce!
Soy Curl Fajitas
Vegan Soy Curl Fajitas are fun and easy to make weeknight dinner. Top them with guacamole, salsa, and hot sauce for the ultimate meal!
For the Fajitas
- 4 ounces Soy Curls, about half a package
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored oil
- 1 medium-sized red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 bell peppers, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 8-10 small whole wheat or corn tortillas, 6- or 8-inches, warmed
For Serving, Optional
- Sliced avocado
- Diced tomatoes
- Chopped lettuce
- Jalapeno slices
- Re-constitute the soy curls by placing them in a bowl and pouring 2 cups of hot water over them. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Once they’ve softened, drain them and squeeze as much of the excess water out of them as possible.
- Place the soy curls in a bowl and add the chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat the soy curls evenly. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Add the peppers, garlic, and soy curls to the pan. Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peppers have softened and the soy curls have browned. If you pan is too small for everything, you can cook the peppers and soy curls in batches and then mix them all together.
- Assemble the fajitas by topping each tortilla with the soy curl and pepper mixture. Top your favorite toppings.
Other Soy Curl recipes you might enjoy include:
- Vegan Shawarma with Soy Curls
- Spicy Spanish Style Soy Curls
- Soy Curl and Kimchi Tacos
- Buffalo Soy Curl Wraps