5.08.2014

no fuss fajita night [whole30 / paleo]

Fajitas [and Mexican food in general] have always been dear to my heart. Growing up, I loved family taco nights and one of my favorite local restaurants to this day offers a "build-your-own-fajitas" entree where all the veggies come out on a sizzling cast iron skillet [after being bathed in jalapeño butter] and you have every topping and salsa you could ever imagine to pile into warm flour tortillas, including homemade corn cake and the most amazing jalapeño refried beans. Yup, I'm pretty sure I could eat at least 6 fajitas. And a blended margarita alongside them wouldn't hurt much either.

But I have learned that many of my favorite restaurant dishes can be made at home -- for less money and for many less calories. One thing I love about the WHOLE30 is that it has challenged me to get creative in the kitchen. I'll get a craving for a meal and then figure out a way to make it WHOLE30 compliant, and even more importantly -- healthy and satisfying. The WHOLE30 so far has been a great experience for me, for many reasons, but the number one thing is that it has opened my eyes to a whole new way of eating. A new way of viewing and approaching food and meals, and a new way of nourishing my body [and mind]. It is a lifestyle change, not a fad diet. And while I have always eaten rather healthy [not that you would know from the first paragraph, ha], this has expanded my horizons even wider to new foods and new flavors that I've never cooked with before. And while I didn't start the WHOLE30 to lose weight or cut calories, I've discovered that so many meals can still be so delicious without all the calories of cheese, beans, and other common sides.

So that brings me to this -- one of my favorite WHOLE30 meals so far! On a whim I told Dustin we were going to have a fajitas night this week and then I headed to the grocery store. With only a few ingredients, I threw together one of the most tasty meals yet. The best part? It is so easy!

Cilantro Lime Fajitas & Grilled Veggies


What You'll Need:
Chicken // 1 breast per person [extra points if it is free-range organic with no abx / hormones added]

Bell Peppers // 1 bell pepper per two people

Red Onions // 1 Red Onion per two people*
*Oh, and can I just say... grilled red onion makes an amazing addition to egg salad so we always make extra.

Guacamole // Pick your favorite WHOLE30 compliant guac up or make your own [can you guess where ours is from?]

Salsa // Find your favorite WHOLE30 compliant salsa or make your own [Hint: the medium tomatillo from Chipotle is compliant... I told you this was no fuss!]

Sweet Potato Chips // Grab your favorite WHOLE30 compliant brand from the store or make your own [recipe here]

2 Limes
1 bunch fresh cilantro
Extra light olive oil
S+P

What You'll Do:
>> Marinate the chicken [I marinated ours overnight]: Finely chop up half of your cilantro and squeeze the juice from one lime; marinate chicken in cilantro + lime mixture for at least 1 hour up to 24 hours; add other seasonings as desired

>> When ready to cook, lightly toss vegetables in olive oil and S+P // I suggest slicing bell pepper into 3-4 thick pieces and then slicing thinly after grilling so it doesn't fall through the grill grates // Quarter red onion into chunks and then peel apart after grilling if desired

>> Grill chicken until cooked through & veggies until tender, adding a squeeze of lime over them while on the grill [optional]

>> After grilling, place chicken and bell peppers on cutting board and using a sharp knife, slice thinly, adding S+P as needed

>> Pile chicken in the center of your plate and top with guacamole & / or salsa

>> Surround your plate with grilled vegetables, a small handful of sweet potato chips and a lime & / or fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

And there you have it -- your very own WHOLE30 fajita night at home, no fuss, no guilt & full of healthy flavor. Enjoy!

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