Friday, January 1, 2010

Frugal Food Fridays: Fajitas

Hi, I'm Katie's sister, Polly.  I could benefit from losing a few pounds myself after the birth of our youngest daughter, so I'll have to come up with a few specific goals myself.

In the mean time, Katie has asked me to write once a week about eating healthy on a budget.  Let me warn you...I am no dietician or food expert, so this is completely amatuer advice.  However my husband has been in school for all of the nearly 10 years we've been married, so I do have some experience eating well on a budget.  We have three kids ages 5 years to 9 months, so we also have to consider what they are willing to eat when we cook (although I was blessed with some little mouths that are amazingly willing to try new things.)

The interesting thing about eating on a budget and/or eating healthy is that everyone has slightly different measuring sticks.  We've all seen someone share a "thrifty" idea on a blog and then when they tell you the price it was way out of our budget for that frugal to me, might not be the same as frugal to someone else.  If you have a way to do the same thing cheaper, please leave a comment!

Likewise, "healthy" can mean different things to different people.  A "healthy" recipe by one person's standards  might not be by someone else's.  For instance, we make what we consider "healthier" pizza (with lots of veggies, whole wheat crust, and lower fat pizza meat).  However, there are still a lot of other food choices out there that are healthier than our "healthy" pizza.  So again...if someone ever feels like I'm giving misinformation...please share...I am NOT an expert!

So to start out:  Fajitas!!

My mom started making this for us when we were kids, so I don't have the reference.  These are very tastey and quite healthy.  Of course if you're on a diet, you'll want to go light on any sour cream or cheese and/or buy the low fat versions.  (You'll have to excuse the blurry picture...our camera is having issues and will hopefully be replaced soon.)

In large bowl combine:

15 oz skinless boneless chicken or lean pork, cut into ¼ inch strips
2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (regular vinegar works okay too)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
Dash hot red pepper sauce
Let marinate for 10 minutes.

In large nonstick skillet heat:
1 tablespoon plus a 1 teaspoon olive oil.  (You can use less, or you can cook this without oil at all by using extra lemon or orange juice as a liquid.)
Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Add:
2 bell peppers, cut into strips  (It's pretty to use one green and one red if you can find the red ones on sale.)
1 onion, cut into strips
Cook until vegetables are cooked through.  Serve on tortillas

Tips for making it cheap:
  • Watch for chicken on sale...I usually try not to spend more than $2 a pound for any kind of meat.  (Although that's getting harder and harder.)  When I find it on sale, I buy a lot and then freeze it in the portions for about one meal.  I also like to freeze it already cut into bite sizes, so when I'm cooking dinner, all I have to do is defrost.
  • Bell peppers can be expensive so buy them on sale. 
Makes 4 servings / 260 calories per serving


Kathy Haynie said...

Good recipe choice, Polly - this one originally came out of a Weight Watchers cookbook! I agree - this is a yummy recipe and healthy, too. I'll go dig out the cookbook and add the calorie info to the bottom of the recipe. Mom

Syl said...

Hi--I'm a friend of Katie's. This sounds really good and healthy. We're definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

alee said...

For those of you who don't love your fajita peppers to get too limp, trying blanching your peppers before slicing and cooking. (Remove core and seeds and place in boiling water for a couple of minutes...their colors will get really vibrant.)

the rowley mama said...

Bells are also really easy to grow in containers. Not something you can do year round in places, but bells are an easier plant to grow, and if you just put them in a bunch of 5 gallon buckets on your porch, you'll have free (well, minus the cost of seeds) bells for your yummy fajitas! Great recipe! And, if you want to go even healthier, just dump your fajita filling on top of a bed of greens and other fresh veggies to make a kind of "fajita" salad - that way you get more veggies, and less carbs :) I'm a big fan of taco salads.

Polly said...

Thanks for all the great suggestions to make this great recipe even better!

We'd love to hear from you!

Want to write a guest post for The Skinny? E-mail Katie at kathleenann08 (at) gmail (dot) com.