Hosting a gathering for a crowd? What the heck are you going to cook?!
Enter the dreaded entertainer’s dilemma. Some of your guests don’t eat meat, others refuse to touch kale (the nerve), the kids don’t like using forks, your neighbors snub anything too healthy sounding, and your best friend is giving up gluten. Yikes.
One of the easiest, least stressful, and delicious ways to combat this situation is with a fajita party!
Having a fajita party with all the goodies laid out means that your guests (or picky family) can build their own meal. It’s fun, it makes everyone happy, and it can be a truly nutritional and wholesome meal too. Everyone is happy.
Corn or flour tortillas – you can find a variety of great options. Look for packages that contain very few ingredients, and avoid those with saturated fats, sugars, and all sorts of extra additives. Some of my favorite tortillas are Engine 2 Plant Strong sprouted ancient grains wraps and the Food for Life brand. You could also skip the tortilla all together and use collard greens as wraps.
Beans – black and pinto beans do the trick and provide lots of fiber, protein, and sugar balancing properties too. Beans are especially great for those who don’t eat meat and still want a substantial bite to their fajita.
Cheese – Cheddar, queso fresco, cotija, and oaxca work well with Mexican flavors.
Avocado – Sliced or mashed into guac, avocado is the perfect fajita addition. The healthy fats in avocado will help to enhance nutrient absorption of our other ingredients, while the antioxidants keep cells protected.
Greens – Pass on iceberg lettuce and instead chop up butter leaf, romaine, swiss chard, spinach, arugula, or dandelion greens to accompany the fajitas. These greens provide a refreshing bite, fiber, vitamins, and disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Fruit – fresh mango is my favorite fajita fruit, but other delicious additions are chopped up papaya, peach, pineapple, and kiwi too.
Peppers & onions –The most traditional of my ingredients list, peppers and onions are a fajita staple. Once cooked, bell peppers and onions become sweet and slightly soft and taste fantastic in your tortilla. Bell peppers are high in Vitamin C, while the phytochemicals in onions improve our body’s usage of Vitamin C. Together they are a fajita dream team. The best way to cook them is sautéed on the stove with a teaspoon of olive oil, or on a very hot cast iron skillet on the grill until they become slightly charred.
Portobello mushrooms –Grilled Portobello mushrooms make the perfect meaty replacement for non-meat eaters. My absolute favorite way to eat them is marinated with ¼ cup olive oil, the juice of 2 limes, ½ tsp sriracha, ¼ tsp each of cumin, coriander, ground chili powder, and freshly grated sea salt and pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes or more, and grill for about 10 minutes.
Cilantro – chopped up cilantro provides a fragrant parsley and citrus bite for your fajitas. Not to mention, cilantro is packed with antioxidants and can help to lower blood sugar and high triglyceride levels in the body.
Corn – I love having grilled sweet corn as a side to nibble on. A delicious way to enjoy corn is to spice it up before it hits the grill. Rub olive oil and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper over cobs and grill for about 5-10 minutes rotating often.
Hot sauce – in my world, the spicier the better. I love Sriracha, but Valentina Salsa Picante is another goodie for Mexican dishes. Hot sauce contains capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their intense heat. Eating foods with capsaicin has been shown to reduce levels of ghrelin – the hunger hormone, and may even release an appetite suppressing hormone to curb your hunger.
Fresh salsa – a chunky tomato salsa, or pico de gallo, is another classic fajita topping. Look to buy a fresh salsa, in the refrigerated section, filled with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic – or make your own by simply chopping up plenty of vegetables and throwing them in a food processor. Fresh salsa is loaded with protective antioxidants, vitamin C and lycopene from the tomatoes, and super anti-inflammatory powers from raw garlic and onion.
Animal protein – If you or some your guests eat meat, only eat meat, and think your idea of eating mushrooms is insane, you better make some lean animal protein. Organic and pasture raised beef or chicken would be good additions to the fajitas party.
Once everything has been chopped and set out, let your hungry guests go crazy building delicious fajitas! Make sure to put out lots of extra napkins, as things get messy. Enjoy your fiesta!
What sorts of toppings do you like to put on fajitas? Let me know in the comments below!