This is a year-round favorite in our house, and also a great meal to entertain with. Saturday nights used to be reserved for going out to eat. Then, fueled by a desire to rein in our food budget, we decided to eat more meals at home. Fajita Night is our version of a fun, restaurant-style meal where for one night, we don’t worry about sugar, fat, carbs or excess. And though we typically eat fajitas on our “free” night, there are ways to also make it a healthy dinner for any night. The best thing about Fajita Night, besides the margaritas of course, is the kids LOVE it! There is definitely something about being able to create your own masterpiece, with the ingredients laid out before you, that draws kids in. But the key to having a successful Fajita Night is to remember to HAVE FUN!
4-5 large chicken breasts —OR—
1½lbs lean beef (i.e. flank steak, tenderloin, sirloin, London broil, etc. I typically buy whatever is on sale that week) —OR—
5 large portabella mushrooms (Vegetarian Option)
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t like it spicy)
2 large sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1 large sweet onion
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 large ripe avocados
1 small onion finely diced
1 jalapeno finely diced
1 red ripe tomato deseeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lime
4½ teaspoons Wildtree Guacamole Seasoning
Wholly Guacamole makes very good store bought guacamole (if you’re short on time).
12-15 small flour tortillas
Extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese (fresh from the block is best)
Sliced black olives
Heat your grill to medium high heat. While the grill is heating, make your guacamole.
Mash the ripe avocados in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust salt level if needed. Cover with plastic wrap, sealing close to the guacamole to keep all air out, and let the flavors marinate while preparing the rest of the meal.
If you are working with steak, bring it to room temperature before grilling. Also, if you are working with a thicker/tougher cut of meat, you may want to pound flat (to about 1” thickness) with a meat mallet prior to seasoning. Pat your protein dry with a paper towel before seasoning so the spices adhere well. Coat completely with oil. Mix the dry spices in a separate bowl, and rub onto the outside of the meat or mushrooms. Transfer to the grill, and use the table below to determine cooking times for your particular protein.
|Boneless Chicken Breast (4oz)||6-8 minutes/side||165˚F|
|Steak (Rare)||4-5 minutes/side||140˚F|
|Steak (Medium)||6-7 minutes/side||160˚F|
|Steak (Well)||8-10 minutes/side||Above 165˚F|
|Portabella Mushroom||4-5 minutes/side||***|
Let your meat rest for a full 5 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly with a sharp knife against the grain.
Slice the onion and peppers into strips. Once the meat is on the grill, heat a large sauté pan to high heat and add the oil and butter (optional). When the pan is hot, add your vegetables and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until the peppers begin to char and soften. Then, turn down the heat to low and add the salt. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to table.
Get all the remaining ingredients ready and to the table. Heat the refried beans on stovetop or in the microwave in a glass container. Shred the cheese. Finally, wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for 1 minute.
Use an indoor grill pan on your stovetop or the broiler in your oven for best flavor.
Make a salad out of it! Omit the tortillas, and serve the ingredients on top of a bed of mixed greens. Go easy on the cheese, and substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream.
ENJOY! (Don’t forget the margaritas!)