When you think of a taco, you think of meat, right? Not anymore! There are plenty of great Mexican options out there that vegetarians can enjoy!
Whether you are a vegetarian looking for some new meal ideas, or a meat lover looking to make a great meal for your vegetarian friends or family, don’t be afraid of cooking Mexican food! Sure, there is always salad, but that doesn’t feel very traditional, does it? You can still give your meals a Mexican spin even if you are ditching the meat! Classic Mexican meat-free options to include in your cooking include beans, peppers, and avocados. With a little effort, you will be on your way to eating a delicious vegetarian Mexican meal!
To get started, check out these great vegetarian Mexican options from Cookie+Kate.
Portobello Mushroom and Poblano Pepper Fajitas
Filled with peppers, mushrooms and avocado, these fajitas are a filling alternative to traditional meat fajitas.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 limes, juiced (about ¼ cup lime juice)
- 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground chile powder
- sea salt and black pepperFajitas
- 3 large portobello mushrooms, rinsed and pat dry
- 1 medium purple onion
- 4 medium poblano peppers
- 8 to 10 corn tortillas
- ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheeseAvocado sauce
- 2 avocados from Mexico
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, lightly packed
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, lightly packed
- ½ lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons water
- sea salt and black pepperINSTRUCTIONS
- De-stem the mushrooms and gently remove the gills using a spoon. Slice the mushrooms into ½-inch thick strips. Cut off the tops of the poblano peppers, slice them in half and remove the seeds and membranes. Slice the peppers into ½-inch thick strips, up to 3-inches in length. Slice off the root end and the tip of the red onion. Set it on one of its flat sides and cut down through the middle of the onion, then slice each half into ⅓-inch wide strips by slicing from one flat side to the other. Toss the portobello mushroom slices, poblano pepper slices and onion slices into a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients until emulsified. Pour the marinade over the bowl of prepared veggies. Toss well to evenly distribute the marinade. Let the veggies soak up the marinade for 30 minutes or so, tossing occasionally.
- In the meantime, make the avocado sauce. In a food processor, combine the avocados (pitted and skin removed), cilantro, parsley, lime juice and water. Blend, and add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer the sauce to a small serving bowl.
- In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once it’s shimmering, pour in the marinated vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender and the mushrooms are browning on the edges (ten minutes or more). Add more oil and reduce the heat if necessary; you don’t want the pan to start smoking. Remove from heat.
- Gently warm the tortillas individually in a lightly oiled pan over medium-low heat, flipping halfway through cooking (about 20 seconds per tortilla). Stack the warmed tortillas on a plate and keep them warm under a tea towel. Serve the fajita filling with tortillas, avocado sauce, feta cheese and hot sauce.
Crispy Mushroom, Spinach, and Avocado Quesadillas
A twist on your classic cheese quesadilla, the spinach and avocado in this recipe make these quesadillas yummy and nutritious!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 8 to 10 ounces cremini mushrooms (AKA baby bellas), thinly sliced
- 6 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
- ½ small lime, juiced
- 2½ cups shredded raw Jack or cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 avocados from Mexico, cut into thin slices
- 4 medium whole wheat tortillas
- jarred red salsaINSTRUCTIONS
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add chopped red onion and a dash of salt, stirring occasionally, until the onions are turning translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and turning golden, about 6 minutes. Add half of the spinach mixture, let it wilt a little, and then add the second. Cook until spinach is wilted and the mixture is dry, 2 to 3 minutes or longer. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of lime juice. Remove from heat.
- Divide 1 cup shredded cheese between the 4 quesadillas, covering only half of each tortilla with cheese. Divide the spinach and mushroom mixture evenly on top of the cheese on each quesadilla, then top with avocado slices. Top all of that with 1 cup shredded cheese, divided equally between the 4 quesadillas. Press the empty tortilla halve over the toppings.
- Heat a medium to large skillet (preferably cast iron) on the stove over medium heat. Place one quesadilla (or two, if they fit) into the pan. Cook for a few minutes, then flip carefully with a spatula. Immediately sprinkle some of the remaining cheese over the hot sides of the quesadillas, and let it melt as the other side cooks for a few minutes. Flip each quesadilla, and let the cheese sizzle into the quesadilla for a couple of minutes. Flip and cook the other side for a couple more minutes if necessary, until both sides are a nice, crisp golden brown. Let the quesadillas cool on a cutting board for a few minutes, then slice each quesadilla into three slices using a pizza cutter or a very sharp knife. Serve with salsa.
Whether you are a seasoned vegetarian, or are just looking for something new to cook, recipes packed with veggies taste great and are super healthy! If you are interested in learning more about Mexican cooking, visit our blog or come by any of our Mexicali Fresh Mex Grill locations in Holden, Webster, Spencer, and Ware MA, or Stonington and South Windsor, CT.