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Who loves fajitas? ME ME ME! I mean we are on a first name basis with our favorite mexican restaurant. Yes, I just admitted that; I have no shame. Now I should clarify, we only order cheese dip and salsa to go because not to toot my own horn but I can make some mouth watering fajitas thanks to this recipe from Marzia @Little Spice Jar. Seriously, hands down the BEST fajitas I have EVER had, EVER.
When we had to do an overhaul of our diet a few years ago and go gluten free/folic acid free due to MTHFR, I literally shed tears over my mexican take-out dinners. So, I set out on a mission to find whole ingredient, gluten free recipes to replicate one of my favorite meals. I tried countless Pinterest recipes to no avail. The rice didn’t have the right consistency or had too much tomato taste (side note: I don’t handle a lot of tomato well) and the fajitas were bland until I landed upon these two recipes that I’m combing here for you. Taco Tuesday and Fajita Fridays were SAVED!
This marinade, oh my stars, it’s perfection. I guarantee it is unlike anything you have tasted before and there’s one ingredient that is a game changer. If you are wondering, the key to juicy melt in your mouth fajitas is pineapple juice. Yup, you read that right, pineapple juice. The enzymes in the pineapple juice help to tenderize the meat! Most store bought fajita mixes contain modified enzymes so how great is it that you can use real food to achieve better results. I stay away from anything canned because of heavy metals so I usually buy 100% organic pineapple juice with no sugar added in the glass jar. I always keep pineapple juice on hand anyways as it is also a great mucous thinner and natural decongestant during cold and flu season.
Now let’s talk about the other ingredients. A squirt of lime juice here, a little chopped cilantro there, and a dash of Worcestershire. I always recommend double checking your spices to make sure they are free of any additives and just in case you didn’t know, most Worcestershire sauces contain gluten! Grrrrrr. I love Lea & Perrins because they are gluten free! Can’t you just picture it, I’m one of “those” people in the store you reading the labels off everything. It has really opened my eyes to how much junk is added to our foods which is why I’ve really focused on cooking and eating whole foods or meals that contain whole food ingredients. The best part of this meal – NO SUGAR or a million ingredients!
Combine all the ingredients for marinade into a bowl or ziploc bag and let your flank steak marinate away! I like to let mine sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours if not more. A little tip: be sure to pull them out and let them warm up a bit before you cook them. I use a cast iron skillet but you could easily throw the meat on the grill outside! While the meat is searing I use another pan to saute the veggies, mainly because I don’t eat peppers but others in my family will! I know, I know, I’m a plain Jane kind of a girl.
You can’t have fajitas without tortillas can you? Well you can, because my husband does as he follows a more keto friendly diet, but the rest of us can’t live without them. It has taken a few years of trial and error but my two favorite brands for gluten free tortillas are Mission gluten free and LaTortilla Factory GF ancient grain teff wraps. Tortilla chips are also a staple and to be honest I never really thought about chips before our diet overall but I’m super picky about them now. I have tried them all. I recently discovered Late July organic sea salt restaurant style tortilla chips and they are so delicious! The hint of lime bags are pretty amazing as well. I’ve found these at Publix and Fresh Market which are my two staple stores locally.
Let’s talk mexican rice. I cannot tell you how many times we have tried to replicate our favorite rice from the mexican restaurants only to fail miserably. Too many to count. I had almost given up until I stumbled across this recipe from Leigh Anne Wilkes over at @yourhomebasedmom. She swooped in and saved the day. There’s a trick to it and I’m going to share it with you; brown the rice in oil before adding the liquid. Genius! As I mentioned above, I don’t handle tomatoes well so we did cut the amount of tomato juice in half. Here’s the kicker, most store bought rice contains folic acid. Why is that a big deal you might ask? Well, folic acid is a synthetic version of folate which can be found naturally in certain foods. The problem with folic acid is that for those who have the genetic variant of MTHFR, breaking down synthetic folic acid is inhibited. With the body unable to use it as necessary it gets stored as a “toxin” within the body causing low vitamin b levels, decreased immunity and more. So we search for foods that contain naturally occurring folate instead of folic acid. Lundberg Family Farms Organic California Basmatic White Rice is our go to! They use eco-positive farming methods and are organic, non-gmo without added folic acid. Makes this momma so happy because I LOVE RICE!
There you have it. Gluten Free, Folic Acid Free, and simple ingredients! This will become a staple dish in your home’s dinner rotation, it’s THAT good. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Steak Fajitas & Rice
Fajitas & Rice so yummy your taste buds will scream MORE MORE!
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice (no sugar added)
- 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is GF)
- 3 tblsp olive oil
- 1 tblsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tblsp dried cilantro
- 1 1/2-2 lbs skirt or flank steak
- 1 tblsp oil (we like avocado) (high heat)
- 1 oinon, sliced or diced (however you prefer)
- 1 jalapeno
- 2-3 bell peppers, any color (if you prefer)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup long grain white rice Lundberg organic california white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth (we use chicken bone broth)
- 3 oz tomato juice
- salt and pepper
Start by slicing your steak into strips. I like to go ahead and cut up strips prior to marinating simply because it's easier to just pour onto my skillet.
1.Combine all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl. Whisk them all together. You can do a quick taste test and adjust the seasonings to your preference. (If you are like me I can't handle too much heat). Put your steak slices into a bag or bowl and mix the marinade in. Let sit covered or seal for 2-4 hours. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.
2. Place a large cast iron skillet (here's the one we have) or pan over high heat for a few minutes to preheat. Add the steak to the pan and cook them on each side for about 3-5 minutes or longer if you like them to be well done. If the pan becomes too hot, simply reduce the heat. Once done, turn off the burners and let sizzle in the pan until you are ready to serve.
Add a tablespoon of oil to a pan over high heat, add in oinons, jalapeno, and bell peppers. The veggies will begin to sizzle so toss as necessary. Cook time will vary depending on if you like them more firm or soft but on average cook time is 2-3 minutes. Add salt and pepper as desired.
Serve them in fajitas, rice bowls or solo with all your favorite fixings!
Heat oil in a sauce pan
Add the rice
Stir frequently over medium heat while the rice slightly browns (it will look tan in color)
Add tomato juice, chicken broth and salt and pepper (to taste) and stir thoroughly
Reduce the heat to allow it to simmer. Cover tightly with lid.
Stir the mixture a few times while cooking by either shaking the pot or stirring with a spoon. Simmer for about 20 minutes or all the liquid is absorbed
Turn off the heat and let sit on the stove, lid still closed, for another 10 minutes or so while the fajitas finish cooking.