In ALREADY HOME, which will be in stores on March 29, heroine Jenna Stevens is surprised by the sudden and unwelcome arrival of her birth parents. Why now? They claim they’ve always thought of her… so why did they wait until she was in her early thirties to show up?
Not that she’s been anxious to meet them. Jenna had been raised by loving and traditional adoptive parents in a town outside of Austin, Texas. After a painful divorce, she moved back to her hometown to be near her parents, returning to the comfort of the familiar and expected. The last thing she wants to deal with is a New Age birth mother who won’t go away.
Without revealing any secrets, I will tell you that Jenna discovers that she does have a few things in common with her birth mother, Serenity, after all. Most notably, they both love to cook. But Serenity is a vegan, while Jenna was raised in a family of unrepentant carnivores.
This week, I thought it would be fun to come up with a recipe for Serenity’s Portobello Mushroom Fajitas. These can be vegan, but I’ll confess – I added cheese and sour cream to mine. I’m unwilling to live in a world without dairy.
Recipe: Serenity’s Portobello Mushroom Fajitas (Vegan or Vegetarian)
½ C + 2 T olive oil, divided
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ C cilantro, minced
1 t cumin powder
½ t salt
1 small onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, sliced
Splash of lime juice
Cheese and sour cream (unless you want to go vegan)
Place the mushroom slices in a casserole dish. Mix half a cup of the oil with the garlic, cilantro, cumin, and salt, then pour over the mushrooms. Stir to coat well. Allow to marinate for an hour or more.
Preheat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Put a single layer of mushrooms in the pan and cook, without stirring, until it browns, about 3 minutes per side. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the mushrooms. After all the mushrooms are cooked, add 2 T of oil to the pan and toss in the peppers and onion. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the peppers are crisp-tender. Put in the dish with the mushrooms, and add the splash of lime juice.
Serve on warm flour tortillas with, if desired, cheese and sour cream.