Real talk? I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out what to write today. Of course ultimately you’ll read through (or just scroll down) and get to the procedural part of the post where all the food gets made, so maybe it’s of no real concern to you what happens prior to that. But I like to use this time and space to expound on my life a little bit – maybe share a memorable anecdote, or tell a stupid joke. I also tend to complain about the weather somewhere in these first few paragraphs – but I’ll spare you today.
Maybe I’m just a little tired from the week, but today I’ve got nothing. So…what do you do when you’ve got nothing? You improvise until you figure shit out – or fake it til you make it. Which is what you’re currently witnessing me do.
Well let’s start here. Sometimes when I’m feeling less than motivated I’ll play some energizing music. The kind that makes you want to dance – perhaps something like this. Next step would be to open the fridge, because perhaps there’s something inspiring in there. Or more likely I just need a snack. And usually that’s when things start to percolate. The combination of the music and the hunger drive my thoughts towards something flavorful, colorful, crunchy, and a little spicy. And before I know it several songs have come and gone and I’m ready to sit down to a beautiful bowl of food.
So is that it? Do I have all the answers to all the questions? Have I made it? Well no, probably not, but I’m likely a little bit closer…and also I’m fed.
Steak Fajita Bowls with Chipotle Yogurt Dressing
Servings: 4 Time: 30-40 MINUTES
You can make this with chicken if you’d like, or sub in black beans to make it vegetarian. Regardless of protein I think this should be a fun meal. I encourage you to set out all the toppings in little bowls or even just small piles on a large cutting board and have everyone assemble their own. Also you can stuff all of this into a flour tortilla and then you have a fajita burrito. I know, magic.
1 C uncooked white or brown rice
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ to ½ tsp cayenne pepper (or leave it out if you’re not into spicy stuff)
1 lb steak (ribeye, skirt, strip, or anything meant for stir fry are all good options) cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T canola or vegetable oil, divided
1 each green, red, and yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
Optional garnishes – chopped avocado, salsa, crushed tortilla chips, shredded red cabbage, jalapenos, shredded cheese, lime wedges, really anything you’d want to stuff into a fajita, burrito, taco etc…
Cook the rice using whatever method you’d prefer. I make mine kind of like pasta – rinse the rice then throw into a big pot of boiling, salted water and cook until just tender (usually 10-12 minutes for white rice and 25-30 for brown). Then drain and return to the pot with the heat off. Cover the pot with a clean kitchen towel and then put the lid on and let it steam for ten minutes, or until you’re ready to eat.
While the rice cooks, combine the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper if using.
Toss the steak with 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture. Reserve the rest.
In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over high heat until shimmering. Add steak and cook until browned on all sides, but still a little pink in the middle – about five minutes. Remove steak to a plate and set aside. You can also just take a whole steak, rub it with the spice mixture and cook it to medium rare, but I find this takes longer, and then you have to cut it up anyway.
Lower heat to medium-high and add remaining oil. Add bell peppers and onions and cook, stirring frequently until the peppers begin to soften slightly, and char around the edges – seven to ten minutes. Then add the garlic and remaining spice mixture and cook for two more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble, pile rice, steak, vegetables and any garnishes you’d like into a bowl as beautifully or haphazardly as you desire. Serve with Chipotle Yogurt Dressing (recipe below).
Chipotle Yogurt Dressing
Servings: 1 CUP Time: 5 MINUTES
¼ C yogurt
¼ C mayo
1 T lime juice
2 tsp honey
½ tsp kosher salt
1 chipotle pepper plus 1 tsp of adobo sauce if you’d like it spicier
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.