Monday, October 1, 2012

Low Calorie Chicken Fajitas

Chicken fajitas is about the easiest weeknight meal I prepare. They are flavorful, colorful, and with chicken, veggies, and low-cal tortilla shells, you can pack a lot of food at low calories onto your plate.  For this recipe, I made enough for three people. Here's what you'll need:

Skinless Chicken breasts (I used 2 here, and they totaled about a pound)
Bell Peppers (I used four, all different colors)
Large onion (use more if you desired)
Tumaro's Low-Carb Tortilla Shells
Cooking Spray
1 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. Slice the onion into thin strips. Thin is the key word here. To get that good, caramelized & stringy result found in restaurant fajitas, you will need to slice them that way.

2. Slice your bell peppers into strips. I used a three pack of peppers that had one each yellow, orange, and red bell pepper. I threw in a green one as well.

3. Cut your chicken into bite-sized chunks or strips.

4. Use a large skillet. You will be basically doing a stir-fry here, so you want a larger surface area in order to cook everything properly. We prefer a large, cast iron skillet for these fajitas.

5. Coat the bottom of the skillet with cooking spray. Take it easy, however. We need enough to fry the veggies, but even though the can says zero calories, oil has calories. It's too low to count when you use their serving size of a 1/4 second spray. We have found some that report that a one second spray carries about 7 calories.

6. Pre-heat your pan on medium-high heat. You need to do this fairly high. Otherwise you just kind of slow boil the veggies in their own juices, and you want to get that sizzling fajita style to them. Don't let it pre-heat too long with that oil sprayed in it, however, or it will smoke.  Just a moment or two will be fine.

7. Add your onions and peppers to the pan. Remember, this a stir fry approach, so stir! You don't have to do it constantly, but if you don't do it enough, your veggies can burn in spots due to the medium-high heat.

8. Cook until your onions are getting caramelized and limp. I like to sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste on the veggies at this point

9. Add the chicken. Cook until it is done (165 degrees F). Stir occasionally.

10. Sprinkle your cumin and chili powder on and mix well. If it seems like it is getting little dry and/or the spices get a little pasty, you can add a bit of water to the pan in order to mix them around. It will cook out quickly. Experiment with your cumin and chili power levels. Add more or less to taste.

11. Once the chicken is done, you are ready to go! To keep the calories low, we eat each serving with only one shell. Anything that didn't fit i the shell gets eaten with a fork. We use Tumaro's Low-Carb Tortilla Shells not because they are low carb but because they are low calorie. They are 60 each, and most shells run about 120. We've seen some that break the 200 mark. You can use their store locator on their website to find a store near you that sells them.

You can top with cilantro and/or low cal/fat sour cream.

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