Regardless of which holiday you’re celebrating during this festive period, I wish you the best! I’m celebrating Christmas Eve at home. Having returned from a very rewarding weekend trip to Dallas, which I’ll post more about in the coming days, I’m ready for some alone time to reflect on this transformative year.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6ziiLE92Zg]
Who cooks Chicken Fajitas on Christmas Eve? This guy! ¡Feliz Navidad!
This cooking for one thing is rather new for me, and I’ve been on the lookout for recipes that can be prepped in bulk, portioned, and eaten over time. One that’s already on the “keep” list is beef stew. This recipe for chicken fajitas on whole-wheat tortillas fits in very well with the UAMS Weight Control “small meal” template — It’s 3 protein exchanges, 2 vegetable exchanges, 1 carbohydrate exchange, and 1/2 a dairy exchange. At 334 calories, it’s super tasty, too!
The process starts with creating a marinade of lime juice, minced garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are cut into strips and left to marinade for 15 minutes. I used my electric griddle for this recipe, which worked out well. After cooking the chicken for 3-5 minutes, sliced onions and slivered bell peppers are added. The mixture is turned and cooked for an additional 5-8 more minutes, or until done.
Chef Anne Burell recommends having a “Thank you for coming!” bowl handy, which saves many trips to the garbage can while prepping and cooking food. You can see mine at the top of this photo, where I threw peppers and onions that had fallen overboard. My griddle came with a little tray to catch drippings, but it’s long gone. When I noticed that juices were flowing, I grabbed the nearest container that would fit under the griddle — a measuring cup. Fortunately, neither the heat from the griddle nor the juices themselves were enough to harm the measuring cup.
The recipe calls for the mixture to be split into twelfths. Ignoring that, I chose to portion 3 ounces of chicken and 1/2 ounce of veggies for my serving. To do that, I first moved pieces of chicken over until the scale read 3 ounces. I then added on veggies until it read 3 1/2 ounces. After weighing each portion, I parked them in ramekins.
After doing three or four portions this way, I transferred the portions to plastic bags, squeezed out the air, zipped them up, and arranged them neatly. Once the ramekins were empty, I portioned more. After a five or six portions, I tried to make portions without using the scale, checking my work after I thought I had a portion. I got better over time.
It turns out that my guesstimate was perfect — The recipe made exactly 12 3.5 oz. portions. With all of the portions cooled and bagged, I transferred most of them to the freezer and a few to the refrigerator. The last portion I plated and ate with the suggested two teaspoons of salsa, two teaspoons of fat-free sour cream, and one teaspoon of grated low-fat cheese.
Although it doesn’t look like a lot of fajita filling, once it’s rolled up and eaten, this portion is very filling. I look forward to seeing how these fajitas survive being frozen and thawed. I hope I’ve found another recipe that’s easy to cook, transport, and reheat.