Served South Texas Style

The Hispanics who worked many of the south Texas ranches made the fajitas palatable by tenderizing them through beating against stones, marinating in lime juice for several hours and grilling over mesquite coals. Then the meat was cut across the grain into strips and wrapped in a flour or corn tortilla. Traditionally condiments added to the sizzling fajita were: pico de gallo ("rooster's bill or tooth"), a spicy relish made of onions, green chiles, tomatoes and cilantro (fresh coriander plant known as Chinese parsley); picante sauce, a hot tomato relish; sour cream; grated cheese: chopped green onions; and guacamole.

Corn or Flour Tortilla
Pico de Gallo or Picante Sauce
Sour Cream      Chopped Green Onions      Grated Cheese



4 servings: 1 fajita per serving

Diabetic Exchanges:   3 Meat, 1 Starch/Bread
    Pico de Gallo-Free
    *Picante Sauce-l/2 Vegetable (Free)
    Guacamole 1 Fat
    Sour Cream 1 Fat

1 pound beef skirt, flank or round steak   4 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
(cut 1/2-inch thick)
  1 large tomato, chopped
Juice of 2 to 3 limes   3 green onions, chopped
1 to 1-/2 tsp. garlic salt   Guacamole
1/2 tsp. pepper   Dairy sour cream


Trim excess fat and gristle from steak. Pound steak to 1/4-inch thickness. Place steak in plastic bag; sprinkle both sides of steak with limejuice, garlic salt and pepper. Tie bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 to 8 hours (or overnight). Drain marinade and discard. Broil steak over medium-high mesquite coals 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Carve into thin slices. Serve steak in warmed flour or corn tortillas; add picante and/or pico de gallo sauce, guacamole and sour cream as desired. Makes 4 servings.


Picante Sauce I

4 servings: 1/2 cup per serving or 1/4 cup or less cup per serving

Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable -for 1/2 cup serving
  Free -for 1/4 cup or less

2 large Tomatoes   1 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 green chiles   1 tsp. cinnamon
1 clove garlic   6 sprigs cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup chopped onion   Salt to taste


Peel tomatoes. Roast and peel chiles; remove stems and seeds, or use canned green chiles. Grind tomatoes, chiles, garlic and onion together until fine. Add vinegar and spices. Store in covered jar in the refrigerator.


Picante Sauce II

5 servings: 1/2 cup per serving or 1/4 cup or less cup per serving

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Vegetable -for 1/2 cup serving
  Free -for 1/4 cup or less

1 16-ounce can sieved tomatoes   1 tsp. salt
2-4 medium-sized fresh or canned   Diabetic sweetener (to taste)
jalapenos, stems removed
  1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder   6 sprigs cilantro (optional)
1 Tbsp. white vinegar    


Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend about 30 seconds. Store in covered jar in the refrigerator. Serve with tostados as an appetizer or with Mexican foods such as fajitas during a meal.


Pico de Gallo
("Rooster's Bill or Tooth")

8 servings: 1/4 cup per serving

Diabetic Exchanges: Free

1/2 cup chopped green onions   Juice of large lemon
1-serrano pepper   Salt
1/2 Tbsp. corn oil   Pepper
1 5-ounce can tomatoes with green chilies   6 sprigs cilantro (optional)
1 fresh tomato, chopped    


Combine all ingredients, and chill for 1 hour before serving. This can be served as a salad, appetizer or accompaniment to fajitas.


Guacamole Salad

4 servings: 1/4 cup per serving

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Fat

3 large ripe avocados   2 Tbsp. picante sauce (optional)
1 ripe tomato   2 Tbsp. onion, minced
Salt to taste   4 green onion tops, chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic powder   Juice of 1/2 lime


Avocados mashed with garlic, limejuice, spices and salt may be served with tostadas or any crisp cracker or used as an accompaniment to fajitas.


Reprinted with permission of the National Live Stock and Meat Board.