Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 193 - Chicken Fajitas

I LOVE LOVE LOVE chicken fajitas.

I worked at a Mexican restaurant for 3 years and by far my favorite meal there was fresh grilled fajitas with made-to-order flour tortillas. Yum! I make these at home routinely because they are easy, delicious and a good round meal. I've made a few changes to the traditional offerings (I try not to use flour tortillas anymore... I opt for whole wheat tortillas, or I omit them all together and served the meat and veggies over a bed of quinoa).

Also, I'm not a a fan of marinade on the chicken, I kind of feel like its the American way to dress them up with more flavor, we never prepared them with anything other than salt, pepper and olive oil. I have included a great recipe for marinade below though, just for you : )


  • juice from one whole lime
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
Fajita Filling:
  • 2 chicken breasts marinated (with above recipe) and sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Olive oil or safflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1. At least one hour before cooking, prepare the marinade and toss with the sliced chicken in a shallow dish. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

2. Slice the bell peppers and onion into 1/4 inch strips and set aside in a Ziplock Zip n' Steam bag (you'll need the large bags for this quantity of vegetables). Add 1 Tbsp. of water to the bag and place the bag in the microwave to cook once chicken is just about ready.

3. Heat a medium sized frying pan (cast iron works best) with a light coating of olive oil or safflower oil on the bottom (about 2 Tbsp) over medium high heat.

4. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and gently place each strip on the hot pan so it isn't touching any others. Don't move the chicken once it has hit the pan... you'll get a much better sear on the chicken and it develops a better flavor this way. Sprinkle the seasonings on the chicken wile it is in the pan. Using tongs flip the chicken once the bottom side has become a rich golden color.Cook each side this way, trying not to move them once the raw side has come into contact with the pan. Cook the chicken thoroughly (165 degrees according to food safety standards, but in small strips you can cut the thickest one in half to check that's it's fully cooked).

5. When you chicken is just about done, set the microwave to cook the peppers and onions for 4 minutes in the Zip 'n' Steam bag.

To Serve:
  • Whole Wheat tortillas or a 1/2 cup of prepared quinoa (need to plan ahead for quinoa, takes at least 30 minutes to cook on the stove top)
  • Fresh salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh made guacamole
  • shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Half of a lime to squeeze over the filled fajita - YUM!
I choose to pack the fajitas with lots of peppers and onions and I opt out of the refried beans and rice. The vegetables have more nutritional power with less calories than rice the starchy rice and beans (though this has been a hard adjustment for me, rice and beans were a staple for me for a long time).

For Weight Watchers Points Plus you'll need to calculate your points as per the amount of chicken you use and what kinds of serving items you use. I estimate *estimate* my style fajitas with my favorite toppings top be 7-8 PP each. They offer at least 2 servings of veggies and one serving heart healthy oil per fajita and lean protein.

(I'll update with a picture after dinner tonight!)
This recipe is adapted from Melissa Ray Davis to fit my taste preferences and dietary preferences. Check her out though, she makes great stuff!

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