There's no better time than summer to include more plant based recipes into your weekly routine. A quick and satisfying vegan fajita bowl has so much flavor and texture, you won't miss the meat for a moment. Fajita spiced and pan seared portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions are piled high over dairy free polenta. A few spoonfuls of black beans bring a kick of protein, while classic avocado and lime bring the dish together.
Start the polenta. Bring four cups of water to a boil in a medium (3-quart) saucepan. Pour in the cornmeal in a steady stream with one hand while whisking the cornmeal into the water with your other hand. Continue whisking until the cornmeal is incorporated and no longer separating from the water, 1-2 minutes. Add the salt and whisk once more. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is thick. Stir in the cashew milk and taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper to preference.
Combine all fajita seasoning ingredients in a lidded jar or small bowl; shake or stir until well combined.
Combine portobello mushrooms with half the fajita seasoning in a mixing bowl; toss until mushrooms are evenly coated with spices.
Combine red, yellow, and green bell peppers and red onion with the remainder of the fajita seasoning; toss until the peppers and onions are evenly coated with seasoning.
Heat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium high heat; add 2 tsp olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat in the fat; saute in a single layer, flipping occasionally, until the mushrooms release their water content, 10-12 minutes; the finished mushrooms will be golden brown with crisp edges. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon; loosely tent with foil to keep warm.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to the skillet, then add the onions and peppers. Shake the pan to evenly distribute the vegetables, then cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Stir and saute a further 2-5 minutes, depending on preference for texture (less time for crisper peppers, more time for softer vegetables).
If using canned beans, drain then rinse thoroughly under cold water. Place the beans into a microwave safe container and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until just warmed through.
Portion 1 cup polenta into a bowl. Top with one quarter of the mushrooms, one quarter of the onions and peppers, ¼ cup black beans, and a quarter of the diced avocado. Season with lime juice and garnish with cilantro.
Use the right pan - a cast iron skillet is our favorite for charring up vegetables, but any skillet will work. More importantly, use the right size - a 12" skillet will give the vegetables enough room to sear, not steam.
Store cooked mushrooms, peppers, and onions together in a lidded container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat over medium high heat in a skillet until warmed through.
Store cooked polenta in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days; the polenta will firm up considerably once cooled. Scrape the leftover polenta into a saucepot, add 2 tbsp water, and heat over medium until warmed through; add more water or nut milk until it returns to a creamy texture.