I don’t know about you but I find Mondays to be the most draining day of the week. I know I’ve had the past two days off and should be relaxed, but there’s something so exhausting about that first day back to work. When I get home, all I want to do is be lazy in front of the tv or behind a book.
That’s why I like to plan quick and easy meals for Monday nights, so that the time between setting down my car keys and putting my fork to my mouth is as short as possible.
Last night’s meal was veggie fajitas from the cookbook of one of my favorite restaurants, Claire’s Corner Copia. Claire’s is a downtown New Haven establishment that has been attracting Yalies and local residents for decades. Claire’s Corner Copia Cookbook: 225 Vegetarian Homestyle Recipes from Claire’s Family to Yours was written by restaurant owner Claire Criscuolo in 1994 and is full of tons of healthy, delicious recipes. The below recipe can be found on page 178 of the cookbook.
Recipe: Vegetable Fajitas
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small red onion (halved, then sliced thickly)
- 1 small yellow onion (halved, then sliced thickly)
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 5 large bell peppers (combination of yellow, red & green, cut in half, seeded, and sliced into ½ inch ribs)
- 3 large tomatoes (halved, then each half sliced into 5 wedges)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Twelve 6-inch flour tortillas
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Prep onion and garlic– if you love onion as much as me, go ahead and use a large onion! Add them to the oil and sauté. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, prep the peppers and tomatoes. I didn’t have any green bell peppers, so I used a mixture of red, yellow, and orange instead.
Add the peppers, tomatoes, chili powder, and red pepper flakes to the skillet with the garlic and onions. If you like a bit of kick to your fajitas, increase the amount of chili powder and red pepper flakes. The cookbook’s instructed measurements are on the subtle side.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peppers are crisp-tender. Meanwhile, lay your tortillas out on a baking sheet and prepare your accompaniments, if you choose to add any. I used whole wheat tortillas instead of flour, which were absolutely delicious and decided to heat up some refried beans. Claire’s Corner Copia cookbook has its own recipe for refried beans, but in the interest of saving time, I heated up a can of Old El Paso refried beans, which were quick and yummy.
Raise the heat to high, remove the skillet cover, and add the lemon and lime juice, salt, and pepper. The juice from the lemon and lime add some great flavor, but if you are sensitive to citrus, I would recommend cutting the amount down to half a lemon and half a lime.
Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, until the peppers are tender and lightly browned. Keep the filling warm while you warm the tortillas for 3 minutes in the oven.
Remove the tortillas from the onion, and place one on each plate. Top with a generous portion of refried beans and layer the veggie filling on top. Add any other desired accompaniments, fold, and serve.
Alternately, you can serve the veggie filling over brown rice instead of a tortilla. As the tomatoes cook down they liquefy, and the rice will soak up the juices from the filling very nicely.
- Refried beans
- Low-fat sour cream
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
And there you have it—a simple, quick, flavor-packed meal that you can add to your rotation of weeknight go-to dinners! Give it a try and let me know what you think.