This was the response by my boyfriend many months ago when I first served a meal without meat. To many men a meal is simply not worth the hassle if there is not at least a small morsel of meat – all the better if there is a large piece or rare steak.
But spending three years at university soon teaches you that a meal can easily consist of nothing but well put together vegetables. I am by no means anywhere near a vegetarian, I enjoy all types of meat and fish, but I don’t find the need for meat in all my meals and with the rising cost of food and the environmental impact of producing meat I like to try and serve two or three meals without meat each week.
I tried several recipes without meat on Will (partner for nearly three years) to no avail. My breakthrough came with vegetable fajitas, which instantly went down a storm. Even better than that he decided he in fact liked the vegetable version more than the meat and we have never had chicken fajitas since – as you can see in the photo he has happily devoured everything. So if you are struggling to pass a plate of vegetables off as a meal to a stubborn male may I suggest you try these.
This is by no means a definitive recipe, only a starting point for experimentation. The vegetables listed are my regulars, however you could use whatever vegetables you enjoy. Aubergine would be great and I like mushrooms, however I am still yet to convert Will to the delights of fungi. I usually buy shop bought salsa and sour cream, but make my own guacamole.
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 courgette in batons
1 large red onion, sliced
1 pack of mini corn, sliced in half length-ways
1/2 pack of your favourite fajita seasoning or you own blend of spices (eg paprika, chilli powder and cumin) or as much as you want to taste.
8 flour tortillas
Bowlful of grated cheddar cheese
Jar of salsa and some sour cream
After all that chopping and slicing there isn’t much left to do. Just heat up a large frying pan or wok, add some oil and thrown in the vegetables. They will need around 10 minutes, but add the seasoning half-way through. Keep the vegetables moving around the pan and serve in a large warm dish when they are coloured and cooked through but still have a bit of bite.
Then simple warm your tortilla and serve yourself, adding some vegetables, a smattering of the dips and some grated cheese before folding up and devouring. If you have too much left the vegetables keep well and you can have a wrap cold at work the next day.
For the guacamole:
Mash one whole ripe avocado, add the juice of half a lime and half a minced or grated garlic clove. Then stir in a tablespoon or natural or greek yogurt and a sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional).