Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30 Minute Chicken Fajita Salad

So we are still doing the Slow Carb Challenge. Part of the diet is eating a lot of the same things. Apparently sticking to a pretty standard non-varying amount of ingredients is helpful in losing weight. That's great, but I'm a girl who likes variety! So its been a bit of a struggle to keep things interesting taste and texture wise while still making use of the same 20-30 ingredients. 

Tonight I had success! Sticking completely to the ingredient "rules" while getting a very yummy outcome that was a change from some of the other more repetitive meals we've had. After looking in the fridge and having randomly watched a cooking show today I was craving and saw we had the ingredients for Fajitas! Since we can't eat carbs, I decided we could just throw it over a nice big salad. Best idea ever! It was DELICIOUS! And it ended up being a snap to make!

Sarah's 30 Minute Chicken Fajita Salad: 
Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegetarian Optional
Serves 2-3 people (For 4-6 just double the recipe!)

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes!

You'll need:
1 large black iron skillet (or a wok or a stainless steel skillet) but I recommend seasoned black iron
2 large uncooked chicken breasts
1 large onion (red or yellow)
2 bell peppers (I used 1 red and 1 yellow)
1 bag Salad- you can use whatever your favorite mix is. I used Spinach and some Artisan lettuce
1 can of black beans
1 lime or about 8 good shakes from a lime juice bottle
Olive oil

Spices: (I use all Penzeys Spices)
For Veggies-
Old Bay Seasoning (this is the only non Penzys spice)
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/1 tsp Cilantro (dried or fresh, I used Penzey's dry)
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Chile Powder

For Chicken-
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (this is the only non Penzys spice)
1 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 - 1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cilantro (dried or fresh, I used Penzey's dry)
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2-1 tsp Chile Powder

Ok this is so simple! You can even do it a head of time like the night before or if you have time before work in the morning and it'll be even quicker when you go to cook it!

1. Wash and cute Bell Peppers- cut around the core like its a square, then you'll just have the seeds and core attached and can toss it. Remove the white/light pith bits that grows on the inside of the pepper. Then slice in thin long slices. About 1/4 an inch thick. Or thinner if you prefer. Put in a bowl

2. Measure out the spices for veggies in a small bowl and set aside with veggies bowl. 

3. Cut onion in half through the core. Discard skin and any outer most layer of onion that looks like its a little leathery. Then slice down the same width you did your peppers until about an inch from the base (roots), then flip forward and cut a few more slices. Don't worry about that last inch of the onion, that's where all the tear's come from.. so I skip it! Add to bowl of peppers

4. Take chicken breasts and cut into similar size slices that you cut peppers and onions. About 1/4 inch. At the thicker part of breast you can cut it in half and then continue cutting 1/4 inch thick (see pictures below)

5. Place chicken in a separate bowl from veggies. Add the spices for chicken- see recipe list! And half the juice of the lime or if using bottled juice about 8 good shakes. Mix well so all chicken gets coated. (At this point you can cover and stick in the fridge for a few hours to overnight.)

6. Ok, not get that black iron skillet and put it on a large burner. Turn to high and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Let pan get nice and hot.. you can tell when its ready when you see a slight smoke coming off (but don't burn it!)

7. Throw Vegetables only into skillet when hot. Stir. Add bowl of pre- measured spices. *Tip: don't stand directly over skillet when you do this or you might inhale a whiff of spices when it hits the heat. Toss/stir Veggies for about 3-4 minutes, until they have a slight blackening on them and have softened a bit. Then transfer them back to the bowl they were in.

8. Now, put skillet back to hot burner- keep on high and add another tbsp olive oil. Gently pour bowl of chicken onto skillet. Then spread chicken out. Stir occasionally and let cook about 5-6 minutes or until just cooked through. Remember, we've sliced the chicken thin so it will cook quickly. 

9. Once chicken is cooked, toss the fajita Veggies back in with chicken over heat and stir all together. Cook about 2-3 minutes. (If you are cooking for someone who is vegetarian.. don't do this and when originally cooking Veggies cook an extra 2-3 minutes) 

10. Throw pre-washed salad into big serving bowl. Add 1/2 can of black beans or all if you really like them. And 1 avocado- sliced into 1/2 inch cubes. 

11. That's it! Now just serve up your chicken fajita's over a plate of salad! Or as real fajita's over flour or corn tortillas! Seriously! Its that easy!

You can add anything you like to your Chicken Fajita Salad and make it your own! We skipped any cheese or tortilla strips because those are carbs but I have not doubt they would be delicious over this! Also salsa, sour cream, corn... whatever you like!

This dish tastes just like fajita's from your favorite Mexican/ Tex-Mex Restaurant, probably better in fact! I hope you get a chance to make this and enjoy! This is definitely going to be a new staple dish in our house!

Please pardon the picture quality! I was working with what over head light I had, I'm not a fan of flash and I didn't have any natural light. 

 See Below: Thats the part of the onion that makes you tear up.. toss it. Or stick in sandwich bag and freeze it for the next time you make stock or soup!

A very hot skillet is an absolute must! Otherwise you'll end up stewing your veggies and chicken rather than sautéing them and getting some nice caramelization!

If you have an oven or overhead vent use it! This will help especially when you add those spices to the hot pan!


  1. Love it! I'm going to share this on
    Think I will be making it this week... YUMMMY!

  2. Hey Sarah, Can I use the picture off your blog for my post?