As a true California girl, I can tell you that there is nothing on this planet better than a big fajita bowl when you’re feeling hungry. Okay, chocolate is a close second, but seriously – is there anything more comforting than Mexican food after a long day? I’ve made this plant-based, gluten-free Mexican Fajita Bowl about 4 times over the past 2 weeks alone and it just keeps getting better. This recipe has been in my notes for a while now and I’m so excited to finally share it with you.
I love traditional Mexican bowls, but often find that they’re missing those veggies I love so much and come packed with extra oil, cheese, and meat. This recipe is nourishing, filling, and loaded with all the amazing vitamins that your body craves. Eating my fajita bowl makes you feel like you’re indulging despite the fact that you’re filling your body up with goodness from its nutrient-rich kale, quinoa, bell peppers, and black beans.
Baked plantains make an appearance in this dish and are my new obsession. If you haven’t made them before, you’re welcome for introducing you to your next true love. Fresh plantains look very similar to bananas and are available to most grocery stores. What makes them so much easier to work with then bananas is the fact that they have a bit more starch to them so they hold up that much better when being baked. Leave them in the oven a bit longer if you’d like the plantains to become “chips”, but I personally love them with a bit of their soft middle still left.
The cashew cream here is one that I’ve perfected after many tries. What’s easy about this cream is that it doesn’t require you to soak your cashews overnight in order to make it. I know I rarely have my dinner for the evening 100% planned out the night before, so it’s super helpful to have something that I can easily throw together right before I start cooking. The trick is to leave your cashews in hot or boiling water for roughly 20 minutes before blending. This gives you a thicker cream than you’d have if you soaked them overnight, but I personally like the extra body.
The perfect homemade pico de gallo also makes an appearance here. The best salsas in the world are simple salsas. Pico is at its best when it’s fresh – once you try how amazing your own homemade pico tastes, you’ll never go back to store-bought. Okay, you might if you’re missing the ingredients, but I promise it’s so easy to make that it’ll become second nature. It’s just lime, tomato, onion, cilantro, and sea salt J
Bowl dishes like this are fantastic for a single person because you can just cook up all the sides, then keep them separately and swap them in and out of your lunches and dinners throughout the week. You can make salads, tacos, burritos, and even just eat larger portions of 1 or 2 sides as a meal for each night of the week without getting bored. Can’t wait for you to try this recipe!
- -1 cup cooked quinoa
- - 2 plantains
- - Kosher salt
- - 2 tbsp olive oil
- Cashew Sour Cream Ingredients
- -1 cup raw cashews
- - 6 tablespoons water
- - A dash of sea salt
- - Juice of ½ lemon
- - 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- Fajita Veggie Ingredients
- - 1 tbsp olive oil
- - 3 cloves garlic
- - 1 small or ½ large red onion
- - 1 small or ½ large red bell pepper
- - A dash of salt
- Black Beans & Kale Ingredients
- -1 tbsp olive oil
- - 1 15oz can black beans
- - 1 cup kale leaves, cut into salad leaf-sized pieces
- - ¼ tsp chili powder
- - A dash of salt
- Pico de Gallo Ingredients
- - 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- - 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
- - Juice of ½ lime
- - ¼ red onion, chopped
- - ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Let’s start by making your cashew cream. Begin by soaking the cashews in very hot or boiling water for 20 or so minutes, then drain, add the water, sea salt, lemon, and nutritional yeast, then blend in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl or airtight container and set aside.
- For the plantains, begin by preheating your oven to 350*. Peel and slice the plantains into roughly ¼ inch-thick sliced, add the kosher salt and olive oil, and stir to combine. Lay the slices onto a large baking sheet, then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Next, let’s start with your fajita veggies. These are great to work on as the cashews are soaking in the hot water. Slice, don’t chop, the red onion and bell pepper, then set aside in a bowl. I love a wider cut on my veggies for that classic fajita bowl look. Next, add the olive oil to a sauteeing pan. Heat the oil for 1 minute, then add the chopped garlic. Saute on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until aromatic, then add the red onion and bell pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes, or until translucent. Remove from heat and set aside until you’re ready to assemble with the rest of the meal.
- For the black beans & kale, add your olive oil, heat for 1 minute, then strain the black beans and add to the pan. Next, add the kale, chili powder, and salt, and saute over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
- The pico de gallo is so simple to make – just chop the tomatoes, cilantro, and red onion, combine in a bowl with the lime juice and kosher salt.
- You’re now ready to assemble your bowl. Add the cooked quinoa as a base if you want a more filling meal, then top with the fajita veggies, black beans & kale, plantains, pico de gallo, cashew cream, and some extra chopped cilantro for a garnish and you’re ready to go. I recommend storing your leftovers in separate airtight containers so you can mix and match them as sides and salad toppings throughout the week! Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.