• Kris

Fajita salad for your Oscar viewing party

Updated: Feb 5, 2020

All the lip-smacking components of a fajita composed as a salad. Rich in protein and fibers. Vegan, gluten free, oil free.

That night is just around the corner. The night of glam and glitz, designer gowns and spiffy tuxes, the night of flairs and talents. Yes, of course I am talking about the Oscar night! Ladies and gentlemen, our 92nd Academy awards is only 6 days away!

I am really glad about how things are going on in the award ceremonies this year. Food wise. The dinners served in all three of Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice Award and Screen Actors Guild Awards were entirely plant-based. The Oscar nominees’ luncheon too. And it’s already in the news that plant-based delectables will occupy a 70% of the Governors ball menu on Oscar night, with a 30% of vegetarian, fish and meat-based food.

I felt really proud of Joaquine Phoenix when he drew everybody’s attention to the issue of animal agriculture and climate change by thanking the HFPA for arranging a plant-based dinner. Well, I am proud of him because he won the ‘best actor’ for all of them Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice and Screen Actors Guild too!

It’s always admirable to know that so many people are supporting the environmental health of our planet in so many ways! My heartiest salute to everybody who is working actively to make it happen!

So, what can we make for our Oscar night this year? How about a fajita? Um, really good, I just LOVE fajitas….but, are they really suitable for a award viewing night? They are kind of messy, and you have to have the sizzling hot metal plate on the table. Lots of fuss there! How about a salad then? That’s easy to serve, easy to eat, light and refreshing, but….? Bo-ring! Who eats salad on an exciting night like this?

Alright, what if we take all the yum from a fajita and make it easy to serve, easy to etc. etc. like a salad? Doesn’t that sound totally ‘perfetto’ for this occasion? It does. It is.

So, my movie buffs, here is the recipe for “fajita salad” and of course, like all these award ceremonies, ours is totally plant-based too. The thing that makes this dish over the top is my homemade fajita spice blend. And I tell you mate, this one is a keeper! You can use it on tacos, burritos, as a rub for grilled veggies and even to add an extra oomph on your pico de gallo.

This salad is gluten free and oil free. So, no guilt required when you relish it during the party.

Go on, give it a try. And you will see that this dish is really red carpet worthy!

About the dish :

Course – Appetizer / Entrée / Salad

Serves – 6

Difficulty level – Easy

Recipe type – Vegan, gluten free, oil free

Does it keep – Keeps in air tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

What you need :

For the fajita spice blend :

1 Ancho chile

1 Chile de arbol

½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

For the salad :

1 cup sliced onion

1 large bell pepper cut into medium square pieces

1 can of black bean or 1.5 cups cooked black bean (see here how to cook beans from scratch)

1 cup corn (either from a can or cooked as per package instruction from a frozen pack)

½ cup chopped tomatoes

1 jalapeno or Fresno chili, chopped (you can skip it if you don’t like spicy food)

2 tablespoons lime juice.

2 teaspoons maple syrup

Chopped cilantro for topping (optional)

Salt to taste

What you do :

1. Pre-heat your oven to 400◦F/200◦C/ gas mark 6. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment.

2. Toss the onion and bell pepper with 2 teaspoon of lime juice and salt as per your taste. Roast them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You’re looking for the veggies to get tender and slightly browned but not burnt.

3. Let the veggies cool down in the tray. That will make the release from the parchment or foil easy. When we roast without oil, the veggies tend to stick to the roasting tray while hot.

4. While your onions and peppers are in the oven and/or cooling let’s make the fajita spice. In a small dry frying pan toast your ancho chile, chile de arbol and cumin seeds over medium heat. It’s gonna take only 30-45 seconds. As soon as you can smell a toasty fragrance of the spices, turn the heat off and set it aside to cool down.

5. When cooled, grind these spices in a coffee grinder.

6. In a bowl take your onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika.

7. Add the ground toasted spices to it and mix well. There you have your fajita seasoning ready! You will need only a little bit of this today for the salad. The rest can be stored in an airtight jar at room temp for a month.

8. In a big mixing bowl, add the black beans and corn. If you’re using the canned ones, don’t forget to rinse them well first. It will wash off all the extra salt and additives (if any). Also it washes off the “canned” taste.

9. To this, add the roasted veggies and also the chopped tomatoes and jalapeno (or Fresno, if using). Season with salt as per your taste.

10. Add rest of the lime juice, maple syrup and 2 teaspoons* of the fajita seasoning. Mix well.

*I will like to tell one thing here. This amount of seasoning is a basic guideline only. Peoples’ palates vary greatly. Some like more of it, some like less. So, just taste a little of it and see if you want to adjust the amount according to your likings.

11. Serve with a wedge of lime and chopped cilantro.

Nutritional info (Per roll) without dipping sauce :

Calories – 207 Cal

Carbohydrate – 40 g

Protein – 11 g

Fat – 1 g

Saturated fat – 0 g

Sugar – 5 g

Sodium – 201 mg

Dietary fiber – 8 g

Modifications you can make :

  • You can grill the veggies instead of roasting if you like.

  • Pinto beans or red kidney beans can be subbed in for black beans.

Other toppings / sides that go well with it :

  • Vegan sour cream

  • Vegan cheddar cheese shreds

  • Shredded iceberg lettuce

  • Guacamole

On top of all the deliciousness and ease of making this salad, the flavors intensify even more as it sits. So, the left over is super enjoyable as lunch next day! And that fajita spice blend we made earlier? It makes a very nice homemade gift too. Just put it in cute little glass jars and tie a ribbon around the neck!

So, ladies and gentlemen, the award of the best Oscar party salad this year goes to ……wait for it….why, it’s your “fajita salad”!!! [Cheering, whistles and loud applause....yay!! ]

Do you have any questions? Any feedback after you’ve made it? I’d surely like to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.


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