I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was upon tasting the first bite of this recipe. But first, the reason behind it.
To be completely honest, I had no idea what Cinco de Mayo was until I became a food blogger. Like the Superbowl, I think it’s an occasion that many people know of as an opportunity to make snacks (or in this case, Mexican food), without complete understanding of the rules or meaning behind it. It wasn’t until I consulted good old Google for a history lesson and learned that Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Regardless of whether most people know this, today everyone seems to be down to celebrate with feasts of tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salsa and guac – and I’m into that. If I ever do anything as notable or impressive, I hope people celebrate with delicious food too.
I debated back and forth for a few days as to whether to use steak or shrimp in this Fajita Salad, and I’m so glad I went with steak. As I mentioned two weeks ago, I’ve recently incorporated red meat back into my diet after having seen its impressive impact on helping to bring my iron back up. My preference is to stick to leaner cuts like organic top round and eye of round because they don’t have much marbling (aka the fatty bits that I’d rather not try to chew.) A lot of steak fajita recipes feature skirt steak which is a little fattier, but I’ve found that top round works beautifully, especially when marinated in this spicy sauce I whipped up. Trust me guys, you’ve GOT to try this one.
I know time is of the essence for all of us, so 10 minutes to marinade is all I gave my steak before pan-frying it. (Note: grilling would be even more delicious and you could totally do the same with shrimp or chicken.) The result was juicy, perfectly seasoned meat on a pile of equally-as-delish veggies and greens. Of course, no Mexican-inspired dish would be complete without a few staple ingredients, so don’t forget to sprinkle some avocado, cilantro and jalapeño slices on top.
Steak Fajita Salad
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Ingredients (2 servings)
For the steak and marinade:
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp low sodium tamari
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano and smoked paprika
- pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt
- 2 lean organic beef steaks, 250g total (I usually use top round or eye of round. Look for meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.)
For the rest:
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 each red, orange and yellow bell peppers, sliced thinly into strips
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin sticks about 3″ long
- 1/2 small ripe avocado, pitted and diced
- 1 thinly sliced jalapeno pepper (remove seeds to reduce heat)
- 6 cups mixed greens or chopped romaine lettuce
- to serve: salsa, lime wedges, torn cilantro
Make the marinade: Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a resealable bag or container. Reserve 2 tbsp of marinade for the veggies, then add the two steaks to the bag. Seal it and allow them to sit in the marinade for at least 10 minutes.
Cook the steak: Place a frying pan or cast iron skillet on high heat for 1 minute. Remove the steaks from the marinade and lay them in the pan and cook them for about 5 minutes on each side. (Note: If your steaks are really thick, you may want to cook for an extra minute.)
Transfer the cooked steaks to a plate and let them rest while you cook the veggies. Without wiping the pan, pour the onion, peppers and zucchini
inside with the reserved 2 tbsp marinade. Stir fry them until coated in spices and soft, but not wilted – about 2 minutes. Remove them from the heat.
Arrange the greens between two bowls, then evenly distribute the vegetable mixture and avocado pieces on top. Slice the steaks thinly and arrange them on top of the vegetables. Finally, garnish with cilantro and serve with salsa and lime wedges.
If you’ve got a fiesta planned for Friday, here’s a few other ideas for your menu from and around the web:
So tell me… are you making anything tasty for Cinco de Mayo? Guac on all the things? Tacos for every meal of the day? Feel free to drop recipe links in the comments for your faves!