Skinny Chicken Fajitas

Who says Mexican food has to be unhealthy? If you make your own at home you have complete control over how much salt you use, oil you pour, or spices you add. They key is to forego using the store bought packets of fajita seasoning. You can make your own spice blend easily and it is so much healthier–no MSG or excess sodium. The final product is flavorful while low in fat and high in protein. I was really pleased with the way these came out and you can easily adapt them to suit your taste!

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For lighter fare, I did not serve these with rice and beans, but you certainly could if you want them to follow the typical Mexican restaurant toppings. There was a lot of flavor in the chicken, so a simple topping of salsa and cheese or sour cream was perfect for us! You can also ditch the tortilla all together if you are gluten free!

Many chicken fajita recipes call for the chicken to marinade overnight. I love that this recipe does not require that extra step of planning ahead and still yields fabulous results. To be honest, I almost don’t consider this a recipe…I eyeballed the spices knowing I would want more of the spices that add flavor (cumin, chili powder, paprika) and less of the spice that adds heat (cayenne pepper). So, the measurements are not exact, and they don’t need to be. Change them to fit your family’s preferences!

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If you have a large family or want to have enough for several leftovers, scale up and use 2 lbs of chicken and as many peppers as you’d like.

Skinny Chicken Fajitas

  • 1-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (I used tenderloins because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1-2 small yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • dash of cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder
  • about 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you want more heat!)

1). Pour 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a grill pan over medium heat. Slice the onions and bell peppers and add them to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and caramelized and peppers are tender. You can add a few tablespoons of water if they start looking like they might burn. Remove from pan and set aside.

2). Add remaining tbsp olive oil to pan, over medium heat, and arrange as many chicken strips as possible. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Depending on how much chicken you use, you might have to do these in batches.

3). Add the peppers and onions back to the pan with the chicken. Now add the spices (as little or as much as you want of each). Toss them together to ensure every bite has equal seasoning.

Servings for 2 lbs of chicken: at least 8. Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 138 Carbs: 2g Fat: 3g Protein: 26g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 1g

WW PointsPlus: 3 Old points: 3

Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

 

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Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken

Chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas, chicken quesadillas, chicken rice bowls, chicken taco salads….any and all of these can be made using this simple recipe!

I honestly have no idea where the original recipe came from, but I saw it on Pinterest recently. I hate when you click on a pin and it doesn’t lead you to a link. Does that drive anyone else crazy? Just me? Ok. I digress….

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I ate (read: devoured) this salad yesterday for dinner after a glorious 4 mile run.

Outside.

Because here in the south it was nearly 70F with beautiful blue skies..

This was the first outside run I’ve had in about a month and a half. I expected it to be miserable, but you know what? it wasn’t. It was wonderful, rejuvenating, and almost relaxing. All the weight lifting I’ve been doing in the gym has really helped my leg strength and speed increase without investing many miles. I do have to admit I had forgotten how much I love running outside though!

Ok, back to the recipe.

The next time you want to make something of the Mexican variety using chicken as your meat of choice, throw some chicken breasts (thawed or frozen!) in the crock pot with taco seasoning and a jar of salsa. Cook it on low for 5-6 hours (could be more like 6-8 hours, depending on your crock pot) or on high for 3-4 hours.

Here is another Pinterest tip I learned and use frequently: when your chicken is cooked thoroughly, put it in the stand of your kitchen aid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn it on a low speed and it will shred your chicken breast PERFECTLY. I was never very successful at shredding chicken with two forks, and this saves me so much time and energy! Trust me, I was skeptical at first too, but it works like a charm. See this post for more detailed directions.

Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken 

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning (or make your own, which is what I prefer. Recipe coming soon!)
  • 1 16 oz. jar of salsa

1) Spray your crock pot with Pam. (This is a tip I learned this year from a coworker and it really does save you so much time on clean up!)

2) Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and taco seasoning.

3) Pour salsa to cover the chicken.

4) Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

5) Shred chicken with two forks or in the stand mixer. Add some of the salsa back to the chicken to make it moist and flavorful. Serve with your favorite Mexican dish!

Nutritional Information Per 1/2 cup Serving (Makes 8 servings if you use 2 lbs): 147 Calories; 1g Fat; 27g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 505mg Sodium.