Fajitas are a hearty meal traditionally made with skirt steak, peppers, onions, guacamole, tomatoes, peppers and grated cheese wrapped in a tortilla. Different protein sources are sometimes used in place of skirt steak, such as chicken and shrimp. Create your own version of fajitas using healthy ingredients such as low-fat dairy products, grilled chicken and whole-wheat tortillas.
Grill or bake the chicken instead of frying it for a healthy chicken fajita meal. To make the chicken breast even healthier, season it with health-promoting herbs and spices, such as garlic and cayenne. Garlic has beneficial effects on your cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce your risk for heart disease, osteoarthritis and some forms of cancer. Cayenne, which is a main ingredient in chili powder, can aid in weight-loss and also has pain-relieving properties.
Replace flour tortillas with whole wheat tortillas for a healthy substitution. Whole wheat tortillas are lower in calories than flour tortillas and have a variety of health benefits. Foods made with whole grains can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, according to the Whole Grains Council. The fiber in whole grains also assists with weight loss. Try skipping the tortillas altogether and enjoy your chicken with an assortment of toppings such as grilled veggies and salsa.
Replace cheese, sour cream and other high-fat dairy products with low-fat or fat free alternatives. Low-fat and fat free dairy products not only have less fat than their high-fat dairy counterparts, but they also have fewer calories. If you are at a restaurant and low-fat alternatives are not available, limit the amount of high-fat cheese and sour cream you add to your fajitas. Instead of adding cheese and sour cream to your fajitas, flavor your meal with lower-calorie toppings such as tomatoes, peppers and salsa.
Vegetables and Fruits
Skip the processed salsa and make a fresh batch of pico de gallo. Only six ingredients are needed to make this fresh batch of salsa: tomatoes, onion, cilantro, peppers, lime juice and salt. Top off your fajitas with slices of avocado or guacamole. Avocados are packed full of nutrition, including fiber, vitamin E and B vitamins. To make guacamole, blend avocados, cilantro, lime juice and salt.
- United States Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
- Whole Grains Council: What are the Health Benefits?
- Health Magazine: Low-Fat Fiesta - How to Make Mexican Food Healthy
- National Cancer Institute: Garlic and Cancer Prevention
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cayenne
- Austin Chronicle: Fajita History
- Healthaliciousness.com: Avocados
- Journal of Nutrition:Garlic and Cardiovascular Disease: A Critical Review1,2