Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fajita Friday

Meatball Monday, Tamale Tuesday, or Cereal Saturday... whatever your weekly dinner ritual is, it makes the rest of the week's meal plans seem a bit easier.

As most of our friends and family know, Colt has to maintain a special diet low in greasy foods and red meat to make sure his liver enzyme count remains in the moderate range. Up until we had Wyatt, we really had only cut out fast food and deep-fried things; but after meeting our little guy, Colt began to take the diet a bit more serious. For one thing, we don't refer to it as a "diet" anymore. I think the word has become a misnomer.

The word diet itself is defined as the types of food a person eats, not a list of restrictive foods which are eaten in order to lose weight. Once we changed the way we approached eating, the list of foods that had once seemed restrictive began to open our palettes to a world of new tastes and dishes.

As with any change in the kitchen, this altered our weekly meals greatly. I could no longer plan on having meatloaf once a month or plan for hamburgers on the grill for Saturday. Red meat is only used on special occasions now. So chicken and fish are in, beef and pork are out.

We were surprised by the fact that we hardly miss them.

A typical dinner menu in our household now has lots of tilapia, chicken breast, and smoked turkey sausage.

One recipe that has become a fam-favorite is my chicken fajitas. I started making this soon after Wyatt showed up to curb our craving for our favorite Mexican restaurant (Amigo's!). With a new baby strapped to an apnea monitor, it wasn't really convenient for us to go out for quite a while-- way over the 6 weeks of seclusion recommended for new babies.

So, here's how I discovered the recipe for our weekly Fajita Friday!

That's right, it's as simple as picking up a McCormick Recipe Inspirations packet.

But, I admit, I have never actually followed the recipe on the back. Instead, I began using this packet to simply season my chicken. Once I realized how much Colt and I loved it, I purchased the spices I didn't already have to keep in my cupboard.

Today, the recipe is pretty simple.

1 lbs chicken breast
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 white onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp oregano

Here's the run-down:

1. Place sliced chicken breast, 1 green bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, and 1 white onion into a skillet on medium (make sure to place a bit of olive oil into the skillet before to heat).
2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter onto the top of the fajita mixture.
3. Add the spices on top of the butter, cover.
4. Stir after about 5 minutes to ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

For simplicity's sake, I add the same amount of each spice. McCormick's mixture has different measurements for each spice, but I have found that it makes little difference. :-)

As for sides, I only heat 1 can of refried beans.

I love the simplicity of this recipe, but I think the best part is that we don't eat out as much-- because our cravings for Amigo's are greatly curbed.

(Oh-- and it never hurts to only have TWO pots to wash after dinner!)


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