Finding different and healthy ways to cook up a feast for a few travel friends without resorting to Spaghetti Bolognese (don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a big pot of spag bol, and you can make it healthily and cheaply – this is just an alternative for that group meal). Cooking in groups is always cheaper than cooking on your own as you can get everyone to pitch in for the cost.
I have always been a big fan of Mexican food – so when I am thinking up something to cook for a group of new mates my mind immediately turns to jalapeno and salsa. If however you are traversing the amazing coast line of Australia – good Mexican ingredients are hard to find. The below is my quick recipe for Healthy Chicken Fajita’s with Lettuce Cups – yes using the Old El Paso mix, its good in this format, and cheaper and easier than buying all of the individual spices and whipping them up… though if I was home this is what I would do.
This is a great healthy alternative as you switch out the normal tortillas for lettuce cups, though if you want you can always by the wholemeal tortillas as well. It’s fairly simple, most of the work is in preparation of the various fillings that you will pile into your lettuce cups.
Some Cooking Hints for creating the best Healthy Chicken Fajita’s with Lettuce Cups:
- Once you have sliced your chicken and Capsicum put it in a plastic bag (a shopping bag will do though preferably one you have checked for holes) then drizzle in some oil, squeeze in half a lemon, shake in the Old El Paso mix. Close the bag and then shake/massage the ingredients together until the chicken is fully coated.
- To make the Avocado Guacamole – just smoosh your avocado with a fork, add some salt and pepper, squeeze in half a lemon, and a splash of olive oil to make it creamy, if you don’t have Olive oil in your hostel kitchen, just leave it out.
- Carefully peel the leaves off your lettuce, ensure not to break them or put holes in them so that when they are piled high with amazing things they don’t fall through… or drip down your front. If you have some small leaves that are too small in the centre, shred them and mix them in with your grated carrot.
- You can add in Greek yogurt if you are a sour cream person and want a healthier alternative – I don’t use either for this recipe as I think it doesn’t need it.
- For a vegetarian or an even cheaper version, replace the chicken with Zucchini chunks.
- 3 tomatoes - $1.20
- 1 red onion diced - $0.60
- Parsley or coriander – whichever is on special - $2
- 1 avocado - $2.90
- 1 lemon - $0.70
- 2 large chicken breasts – if you have more people, just double the chicken, people fill up on protein - $9
- 1 Old El Paso Chicken Fajita mix - $2.29
- 1 cos lettuce - $2.40
- 1 carrot - $0.42
- Cheese for grating – to your preference $3.50
- Slice your chicken and capsicum into small bite sized pieces, mix with the Old El Paso mix, the juice of half a lemon and some oil. Leave to sit while you prepare the rest.
- Create the salsa: Finely chop the tomatoes, onion and parsley. Toss together in a bowl with some olive oil (if by some miracle your AirBnB or Hostel has a hand held mixer you can give it a wiz to make a more saucy consistency).
- Create the guacamole: smoosh the avocado with a fork in a bowl. Stir through some salt and pepper, the juice of half a lemon and a dash of olive oil if you have it.
- Grate the cheese – put to one side for topping
- Grate up your carrot – put to one side, for topping
- Carefully peel off the lettuce leaves and put to one side. Any spare leaves, shred and add to carrot.
- Slice up half a red onion, and gently fry in a large frying pan or wok with some oil till soft.
- Add the chicken and capsicum and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Place the chicken mix in a bowl on the table with the other ingredients.
- People should self-serve by piling each of the separate ingredients into their lettuce cups and eat like a burrito.
- Bowls to hold you various toppings. Or a large plate with all items segregated from one another.
- A large saucepan or wok
- $25 for four people so thats $6.25 per person... and it can feed six if you have people who are slightly hungry.