Black Bean Fajita Bowls with Avocado Sauce
I'm closing out this week with another recipe inspired by one of my childhood favorites. This recipe is loosely based off my mom's Chicken Fajita Pizza. While I always asked for Chicken Divan on my birthday, I believe there was one year in my life when I broke my pattern and asked for this pizza. It has salsa as the sauce, cheddar, seasoned chicken and sautéed peppers and onions. Delicious. I still eat it without the chicken.
I decided to turn the recipe into a bowl, adding some black beans and seasoned tofu for protein and placing it all on a yummy bed of quinoa. Even though it gets away from the "fajita" namesake, I made a avocado cilantro sauce because everything tastes better with avocado involved. Am I right?
This bowl is healthy and yet so incredibly flavorful! First, the quinoa gets toasted with garlic and onions in a little butter before boiling it. Yes, I put butter in a healthy recipe. Guys, it's only 1 tablespoon and it makes such a difference in flavor. Then the tofu gets coated with all kinds of great fajita spices like chili powder and smoked paprika. When it gets mixed with the all the other ingredients in the final bowl, some of the spices rub off and get distributed throughout every delicious bite. YUM! And of course, the avocado sauce with its tangy lime, cilantro and cool, creamy avocado...let's eat!
Black Bean Fajita Bowls with Avocado Sauce
Fajita bowl with quinoa, seasoned tofu and sautéed peppers and onions
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed if required)
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion (1/4 cup will be chopped, remainder will be sliced)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed
- 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed
- 14 oz package extra firm tofu, pressed and drained*
- 4.5 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 1 TB) olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon salt + more for seasoning
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ripe avocado
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- Pepper, for seasoning
- First, slice off about 1/4th of the onion and chop so you have 1/4 cup chopped onion. Slice the remaining onion into 1/4 inch slices and set aside
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the quinoa, garlic and 1/4 cup chopped onion. Stir frequently for 2 - 3 minutes so the quinoa slightly toasts and the onions and garlic start to soften
- Add the vegetable broth to the pot and raise the heat to high. Once boiling, lower the heat to low and cover. Cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside
- Slice the peppers into 1/4 inch slices. Add the peppers and previously sliced onions to a large skillet over medium heat with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 - 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softening and the onions brown. Set aside
- To prepare the tofu, slice it half horizontally then cube. Add the cubes to a large bowl. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil then add the spices and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir carefully to combine. There will be a lot of spices - that's normal!
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add the tofu cubes and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 - 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper
- Add the quinoa, peppers and onions, tofu and black beans to a large bowl and carefully stir to combine. Taste and season liberally with salt and pepper
- Lastly make the avocado sauce. Add the avocado, lime juice, cilantro and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy
- Serve with avocado sauce on the side or drizzle over each plate
- * To Press and Drain Tofu: Open the package of tofu and remove the brick. Place it on a paper towel or dish towel lined plate. Place more paper towels on top of the tofu. Set a heavy book or heavy skillet on top. Let the liquid press out for at least 15 minutes. Alternatively, invest in a tofu press - see the one I use in the Amazon section below.
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