Fresh veggies are soaked in a zesty marinade, grilled and stuffed into warm tortillas with a creamy cashew jalapeño sauce in these scrumptious vegan vegetable fajitas.
I’m kind of proud of myself for this one. Grillmaster I am not. In fact, my idea of grilling usually involves showing up at someone else’s picnic with a plate full of something or other and instructions to throw that something or other on the grill, acting like I’ve done all the work, while they deal with the whole fire thing.
Grilling just always seems like a huge ordeal to me. Busting the grill out of the basement, schlepping my food outside, followed by dodging flames…these things require more ambition than I’ve got in me on a hot summer day. Up until now, my few grill-related posts have involved either having someone else do the work for me, or use of a less intimidating indoor grill that works okay, but never gets the food quite as good as it would’ve been had it cooked over a fire outdoors.
I was surprised at how much not-a-pain-in-the-butt these fajitas were. This recipe is quite efficient. Everything cooks on the grill. First the jalapeños, then the veggies, and then you warm up the tortillas. No pots and pans to deal with. When I was all done grilling, I actually looked over at my spotless oven and stared fist bumping my imaginary picnic guests.
So these are easy, as far as grilling recipes go, but they’re also delicious. I’ve had my share of disappointment as far as veggie fajitas are concerned, having ordered them at many a Mexican restaurant where they were the vegetarian option. I usually get the impression that these places just stuff their veggie fajitas with the trimmings that would normally go along with the meat fajitas…in other words, onions and peppers with no seasonings. I went and incorporated a bunch of my favorite veggies into these fajitas, with ample seasonings and a sauce that I would drink from a straw were it not made with hot peppers and thus likely to result in terrible heartburn.
Now you’re set for next weekend. Make these at your home barbecue, and applaud yourself at your culinary skills and efficiency, or, better yet, bring then to your friends’ picnic, and let everyone else applaud you while someone else does the grilling.
Grilled Vegetable Fajias with Creamy Jalapeño Sauce
For the Marinade
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
For the Creamy Jalapeño Sauce
- 2-6 jalapeno peppers stemmed, halved and optionally seeded
- 1-2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
- 1/2 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tsp. agave
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- salt to taste
For the Grilled Vegetables
- 1/2 lb. asparagus spears tough ends trimmed
- 2 large portobello mushrooms cleaned and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 large zucchini sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
- 1 red onion sliced into strips
- 4-6 medium flour tortillas
Marinate the Vegetables
- Stir marinade ingredients together in small bowl. Place veggies in a shallow dish and pour marinade over them. Allow to marinate for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
Prepare the Sauce
- Prepare barbecue grill by building a medium-high fire or heat a gas grill to medium-high.
- Gently rub brush or rub (using gloves) jalapeños with oil. Place on grill, cut side up, and grill until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes.
- Place jalapenos into food processor bowl, along with cashews, milk, water, lime juice and agave. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add cilantro and blend again until finely chopped and well mixed. Season with salt.
Grill the Vegetables
- Place vegetables onto prepared grill and cook until tender and charred, turning once and brushing with reserved marinade.
- Optionally, warm tortillas on the grill for a minute or two, being careful not to overcook. Stuff with grilled vegetables and creamy jalapeño sauce.
Obviously, you want to go with fewer jalapeños for a milder sauce, and more for a spicier version. You can also include the seeds for more heat.
This recipe makes more sauce than you'll need for the fajitas. Use the leftovers as salad dressing, sandwich sauce, burrito sauce, or make another batch of fajitas later in the week.