Quick Healthy Chicken Fajita Recipe
Fajitas are an awesome tool to trick your family (or yourself) into eating healthier. Fajita meat tends to be the tougher cuts of meat that lack fat, thus making the meat leaner and healthier. Some marinade and time is all it takes to make this lean meat into soft tender bites of refreshing flavor. Then you sneak on some of the caramelized bell peppers and onions. If your family is the picky type, then cut the chicken and veggies up into smaller bites instead of the standard strips and mix them in the skillet before serving. This makes it harder to pick the veggies out before they eat it.
To make the recipe healthier, use more vegetables, less meat, and omit the sour cream or cheese.
|Serving size: 3 fajitas|
|Calories from Fat||162|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 18 g||28%|
|Saturated fat 2 g||10%|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 59 g||20%|
|Sugar 3 g|
|Fiber 8 g||32%|
|Protein 38 g||76%|
|Cholesterol 69 mg||23%|
|Sodium 800 mg||33%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Why this recipe is healthy:
- olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats, and is linked to living longer
- the meat is lean
- full of veggies from a spectrum of colors
- meat + veggies + whole grain tortillas + low fat sour cream or cheese = a healthy balanced meal
- quick and easy recipe. therefor you don't have an excuse to not make it
- contains 50% of daily vitamin C
- contains almost 20% of daily vitamin A
-1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast, boneless, skinless tenders work best
-2 tablespoons Canola Oil (although olive oil is generally healthier, you need a higher smoke point to fry things with, if you want a healthier option than Canola Oil, try Grapeseed Oil)
-1 large onion sliced into strips
-3 bell peppers (health tip: choose peppers in different colors. Different colored vegetables have different types of vitamins. It's recommended that you eat every color every day)
-whole wheat tortillas
-low fat cheese or sour cream
-salt for seasoning
Is it going to be Mexican food tonight?
Ingredients for the Marinade
-juice from 1 lime
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-1 fresh garlic clove
-1/2 teaspoon of each: salt, cumin, and chili powder
-Large handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1. If chicken breasts are thicker than about a half inch thick, they need to be cut in half horizontally to make them the correct thickness. Pounding the meat with a meat tenderizer will make them thinner, but it is not the correct texture for fajitas.
2. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a glass bowl, then add the chicken, making sure it is completely coated, then cover and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour. If you work during the day, you could allow the chicken to marinade in the fridge during the day, and then take it out and allow it to come to room tempertaure(riughly 20 mins to an hour) before cooking it.
3. Before cooking remove the chicken from the marinade and sprinkle with salt. some say to wipe off excess marinade before cooking, but I think it brown prettier and leaves a better residue to cook the vegetables in.
4. Heat a large skillet for a few minutes then add the oil. Cast iron skillets work best because they heat evenly and hold heat well, however a non-stick skillet will work fine. Simply work in smaller batches of chicken.
5. Cook the chicken roughly 2-4 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are. You want to turn them only once, creating a nice sear on both sides of the meat. Once the meat is don, remove it from the skillet and allow it to rest covered for 5 minutes. Then test the thickest piece of chicken with a knife to see if it is cooked through, if not simply add back to the skillet for a few minutes longer.
6. Add more oil to the pan, once it is hot, add the bell peppers and onions in an even layer. Allow them to cook on med-high/high for 3 minutes before stirring them. Do this 2-3 times. The peppers should be soft and slightly seared, and the onions should be carmelized.
7. Warm the tortillas in a skillet or directly over a gas oven flame.
8. Slice the chicken against the grain, and assemble the fajitas.