Poblano and Portobello Fajitas

My family spent a short time in New Mexico during my childhood. You better believe we ate a lot of Mexican food. I was floating along a river of slow-cooked carnitas, garden fresh salsas, and authentic refried beans. My palate was in foodie paradise, and I didn’t even realize it. The days were different.

But I no longer live in New Mexico. Since I now live in Kansas, the Mexican food here isn’t as authentic nor as plentiful. I’m part Swedish, Irish, and German, but I still crave a ridiculous quantity of southern-of-the-border goodness. John shares my desire. What is the solution? I’ll make it myself.

We eat Mexican food three to four times per week. Whether it’s quick meals at Chipotle or black beans enchiladas, we can’t get enough. We can’t seem to get enough. One meal I haven’t yet tried to make at home is fajitas, one of my favorite meals at restaurants.

The sizzling red peppers, the huge plate it is served on, and the fact that I had to put everything together myself – even though the result was ridiculous – made me feel like a king. A true foodie dream dish if you ask me.

Fajitas: Their origins

It’s not clear how fajitas came to be. It’s thought that Mexican cowboys from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas invented them. In the 1960s, they began appearing on menus. Their popularity continued to grow afterward.

Early fajita vendors (Otilia Garcia’s Round-Up Restaurant) served tortillas warm with steak, guacamole, and pico de Gallo. They also added grated cheese. We’re not sure when onions and peppers became common, but this is how they’re most often served. This is not the original, but a version that is plant-based.

The fajitas are vegan because they contain bell and poblano chilies, as well as juicy and satisfying Portobello mushrooms sauteed with a few simple spices.

These are not carnitas, but they’re delicious in the same way. After just two, I was satisfied, and that’s saying a lot because I am a big eater. I guess the huge spoonfuls of guac also didn’t hurt.

If you don’t like mushrooms, omit them. Or substitute your favorite meat. If you want a vegetarian option, use scrambled eggs or black beans. To keep them gluten-free, use corn tortillas. I chose flour because it’s how fajitas have traditionally been served.

This recipe is a great source of inspiration and proof that fajitas are vegan-friendly and totally delicious. Ole!


  • Olive or coconut oil, 1 Tbsp
  • One whole poblano (seeds removed, thinly sliced).
  • Two medium bell peppers (seeds sliced thinly)
  • Jalapenos (seeds removed, thinly sliced).
  • One medium yellow onion or white onion (cut thinly into rounds)
  • Two large portobello mushrooms* (stems trimmed // cleaned and thinly sliced).
  • Two medium-ripe avocados
  • 1 Tbsp of lime juice (original recipe calls for 1/2 lime).
  • Garlic powder, cumin, and sea salt
  • 1 tsp. A1 Steak Sauce ( optional// mushrooms)
  • Six small corn or flour tortillas (corn is gluten-free).
  • Salsa, fresh red onion, hot salsa, cilantro ( optional).


  • Heat a large and medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil or coconut oil, followed by the onions and peppers, to the large pan once it is hot. Season with cumin, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Stirring often, cook until slightly caramelized and softened. Cover and keep warm.
  • Add a little oil to the medium-sized pan at the same time. Add the mushrooms once they are softened and browned (see photo), and season with some salt. Optionally, add a dash of A1 (vegan-friendly) to give it more flavor. Remove from heat and set aside. Cover.
  • Add avocados and lime juice to a large bowl. Then, add a generous amount of salt. Fresh cilantro and onions are optional.
  • You can warm tortillas either in the oven or in the microwave. Serve tortillas topped with peppers, onions, mushrooms, salsa, hot sauce, and sour cream (for non-vegans).

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