Have you ever went to the grocery store with the intention of making either fajitas or tacos that night for dinner? Did you pick up some amazingly fresh produce, buy some lovely seafood (or equally expensive chicken breasts), and then throw one of those packaged fajita/taco seasoning pouches in your cart? I have. Many times.
I’d go home, cook everything up, add the spice mix (following the directions on the back), take a bite, and immediately wish I would’ve went to Chipotle instead. There’s just always something so funky tasting about those little spice packets, and no wonder! Look at the ingredients:
I’m pretty sure Mexican’s don’t use soy sauce to make fajitas. Or caramel coloring. Or natural flavors. What the heck are natural flavors anyway? Shouldn’t the natural flavors come from the vegetables and the proteins? Where are the spices? After reading the back of that package, there was no way I was going to use that to make our dinner. A little salt, pepper, lime juice, cumin and chipotle would do the trick. I decided to use chipotle chile powder because it has a nice smokey flavor to it, and it’s not an artificial smokey flavor either. Chipotle chile powder is made from ground up smoked jalapenos. It’s not super spicy, but gives the dish the flavor and the kick that would be expected if you ordered fajitas in a restaurant.
I had bought a few green and red bell peppers last week, and they were starting to get a little wrinkly—the red peppers were 88 cents/each…which is a steal in our area. Here, in Rochester, red bell peppers are usually nearly $3 a piece! Isn’t that insane? One red pepper costs more than a whole pineapple! I’m glad summer is almost here so I can grow my own!!!
I didn’t have any shrimp at home, so unfortunately I had to make a trip to the grocery store. I bought a little less than a pound of medium wild US caught shrimp, an onion, and a new head of garlic. When I got home I threw the shrimp in a marinade, cut up all my veggies, and got to cookin’.
One thing I really love about fajitas is that you can make them ahead of time and just reheat when you’re ready to eat them. Piyush decided that he had to go golfing today, so I had no idea what time he’d be back for dinner. Once he got home (at 7:15pm), dinner could be on the table in 5 minutes.
These fajitas were absolutely amazing, and ditching the pre-made spice mix made all the difference, I’m positive of it! I would even go so far as to say that my version of the shrimp fajita could rival that of any restaurant! Yes. They were that good.
I served the fajita mixture on high fiber tortillas (50 calories/ea) that I had spread about a tablespoon of refried beans onto. I topped them with some romaine and greek yogurt. There were some beautiful tomatoes too, but I forgot all about them until after we finished eating. Dohhh!
My shrimp fajitas recipe makes quite a lot. This is a really light supper, and each fajita is only around 160 calories. How exciting is that?! I had two, Piyush had three, and there is more than enough left for dinner tomorrow. I work really early tomorrow and the following day, so not having to worry about making dinner will be a good thing. That means I can (hopefully) go to bed earlier! I might even make it to the gym!
Next time you make fajitas at home, I hope you are inspired to ditch the chemical packets and try your hand at making them “from scratch.” I swear it’s easy…and it’s way more healthy for you than adding a package of powder created in some lab!
- 1 lb fresh medium sized, wild caught shrimps (not previously cooked)
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- juice of half a lime
- zest of half a lime
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp. ground cumin powder
- 1 tsp. ground chipotle chile powder
- 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
Rinse and dry shrimp. Put them in a large ziploc bag along with the other marinade ingredients. Toss everything together until the shrimp are all evenly coated. Let the shrimp mingle with the marinade for around 30 minutes—while you are cooking the veggies.
- 2 large red bell peppers, cut into strips
- 2 large green bell peppers, cut into strips
- 1 large white onion, cut into strips
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once it is hot add in the onions. Cook the onions over med-high heat until they are nice and browned. This will take around 10 min or so. Once the onions are browned, add in the garlic. Cook for about two minutes and then add the peppers. Stirring occasionally, cook the peppers until they are tender but still have a little bite to them. Add the mushrooms and cover the pan, they’ll take about 5 minutes to cook. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Remove the veggies from the pan and set them aside.
In the same pan you cooked the vegetables, add a little olive oil (I used my misto). Dump the shrimp in the pan along with the marinade. Stir everything together and then put the lid on the pan. After a minute give everything another good stir and flip the shrimp. Once the shrimp have cooked for around 4-5 minutes (once the shrimp are fully cooked), add the veggies back into the pan and stir everything together. Let the mixture cook together for about 5 minutes, with the lid on. Take the lid off, scoop the mixture into tortillas, and enjoy!!!
Your mouth will thank you! Mine did. 🙂