Think of this recipe as the opportunity to have fajita night every night. It’s a lower calorie alternative to your classic fajita wrap, whilst being just as flavourful and simple to make. No packet seasoning required for this recipe! The fajita seasoning is made from staple cupboard ingredients, meaning you don’t have to go out shopping for ‘old el peso’ (not knocking this seasoning, very nice). This meal is ideal when you’re cooking in a rush and want to get in an array of nutrients from a range of veggies. There’s green/yellow/red peppers, lettuce and sweetcorn. Protein provided by the smokey & saucy chicken thighs. Fats provided by the sourcream. The bowl is a medley of so many flavours that come together to make something pretty beautiful.
When I think of fajitas, I think of juicy, smoky and tender chicken. That’s why I’ve opted for boneless/skinless chicken thighs with this recipe. As we’re skipping the wrap and opting for a lettuce base, we have more calories to play with, so opting for a less lean meat wont make this a heavily calorific meal . If you wanted to reduce the calories further, you can could sub the thighs for chicken breast to reduce the fats. Just be conscious to not overcook the chicken breast as it’s naturally a lot drier than chicken thighs!
If you can, go for a mix of green, yellow and red bell peppers. This will give you the widest range of nutrients (#eattherainbow). We all know green peppers aren’t the tastiest, but the fajita seasoning will carry those lil green pepper strips through.
I went for iceburg to keep the cost down but if you have ££ to spend, you could opt for a cos/romaine lettuce. Icebergs classy sister.
You can use frozen, canned or fresh sweetcorn here. Whatever you have works! If you only have frozen corn, cook the corn according to packet instructions and then rinse in the collinder until cool. Cold corn for this recipe works best- we don’t wanna cause any soggy lettuce.
I went for a blend of chilli powder (for the depth/heat), cumin (for smokiness), cayenne pepper (++heat) and oregano (fresh/herbiness). If you don’t have chilli powder you could sub with smoked paprika and depending on heat preference, either increase/decrease the cayenne.
We’re using a high heat here to get nice browning on the chicken so try and use rapeseed oil/vegetable oil instead of olive/extra-virgin olive oil!
If you have time, marinade the chicken thighs for up to 6 hours in the fridge. Cut the chicken into strips and coat with rapeseed oil and the fajita seasoning, made with chilli powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. I used tongs to ensure the chicken strips were evenly coated.
Once the pan is hot, distribute the chicken thighs into the pan and leave untouched for 5 minutes. After five minutes, the chicken should have started to brown. Now you can stir in the peppers, ensuring you reduce the heat and continue to cook until the chicken has cooked through, for about 8 -10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Set your chicken/peppers aside to cool and assemble the base of your salad by adding the lettuce to a bowl, along with a large spoonful of sweetcorn.
Once the chicken and peppers have cooled, add the chicken/peppers, sour cream, chopped fresh chillies, a sprinkle of coriander, a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of lime.
What’s in the fajita seasoning?
I used a combination of chilli powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper in this fajita seasoning recipe. You could also add smoked paprika which would taste great. Be careful with the cayenne pepper as this is very hot!
Will I be full after eating this?
Yes, there’s lots of fibre in this meal due to the variety of veggies and the chicken thighs provide a lot of protein and fats. There’s no need for the additional carbs with the wrap to get you full with this recipe!
If like me, you’re meal prepping this recipe to have as lunch throughout the week, here is the best way to prep it. Follow the steps of marinating/cooking and cooling the chicken/peppers. Store this in a tupperware in the fridge. On the morning of prepping your lunch, slice and rinse a portion of the iceberg lettuce and place in your lunch container. Add the chicken/peppers, sweetcorn and place a dollop of sour cream on top, along with the coriander, chillies and a wedge of lime. When it’s time to eat, squeeze the lime over your fajita salad bowl and stir to combine everything. Delicious! If you end up skipping a meal prep day because you go out for lunch etc, freeze a portion of the chicken to eat the following week with some fresh lettuce.
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