This weekend I was craving Mexican food, a common occurrence for me! I just love the crisp, spicy flavors, usually accompanied by a large serving of melty cheese; guilty pleasure much?
But instead of defaulting to my old standby of a cheese quesadilla with whatever salsa I could find in the fridge, I decided to go a little bit healthier and make my own salsa and a batch of shrimp fajitas.
For the salsa, instead of just chopping up the tomatoes like I usually do, I used the same technique I did for the enchilada sauce on Cinco de Mayo. I boiled a pot of water, cut an x in the bottoms of the tomatoes and tossed them in the hot pot of water for about 45 seconds-1 minute. I removed them and placed them in a bowl of ice water to cool.
After they are cool enough, simply peel them and cut them into slices.
To finish up the salsa, I placed the lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, onions and spices in my food chopper.
Pulse a few times until chopped. Add the tomatoes and chop until the consistency you want.
And voila! A quick, healthy and easy salsa with just the right amount of kick. I am weak and like my salsa mild to medium, but if you want to give it even more heat, try adding different kinds of peppers or more chipotle chili powder.
For the fajitas I was looking for a recipe that just didn’t call for using fajita seasoning you buy at the store, which is surprisingly hard to find! I wanted something with a little bit of citrus to complement the shrimp and spices to give the fajitas nice flavor. After some digging I found a great recipe from Paula Deen on The Food Network Site. I decided to adapt it a bit and cut down on the oil and add a spice or two.
To start, you make a marinade for the shrimp and let them marinate in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
While the shrimp is marinating, chop up some onion and bell peppers. Toss them in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkle the veggies with chili powder and some garlic salt.
Cook until the veggies are crisp-tender, about 5-6 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking then, don’t forget to stir, remove the shrimp from the fridge and just place them on the grill for about 2-3 minutes, turning half way through.
When everything is done cooking, simply heat up some tortillas in the microwave, divide up the shrimp and veggies, and serve with your salsa and some non-fat sour cream.
To make these a bit healthier, I resisted the urge to top them with cheese and guacamole, but feel free to if you are in the mood!
This recipe was painless and super quick, something that could easily be done on the fly after a long day of work. I even brought leftovers for lunch and they reheated really well. Next time I am craving Mexican, I think I will give these another shot, swapping in Chicken for the shrimp and maybe playing with the combination of spices a bit more!
Nikki’s Salsa (own recipe)
2 large tomatoes
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1/4 sweet onion
1/4 red onion
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
Dash of chipotle chili powder
Boil a pot of water and prepare a large bowl with ice water
Cut an x in the bottom of the tomatoes with a knife
Place tomatoes in the boiling water for about 45 seconds to a minute
Remove tomatoes from water and place in the ice bath
Once the tomatoes are cooled, remove skins and cut tomatoes up
Place the lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, onions, spices and salt in a food processor or blender, and pulse until chopped
Add in tomatoes and blend until desired consistency
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsps lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Dash of chipotle chile pepper
1 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and devined
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, sliced
8 Flour tortillas
Combine first 8 ingredients in a resealable plastic bag, seal and shake until combined
Add shrimp, seal and shake until shrimp is coated
Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to marinade
Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, and add in onion and peppers, and sprinkle vegetables with red pepper and garlic salt
Cook veggies over medium-high heat until crisp-tender, about 5-6 minutes
Heat grill to medium-high heat, place shrimp on grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes, flipping once
Wrap tortillas in paper towel and heat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds
Assemble fajitas with shrimp and veggies and choice of toppings (guac, sour cream, salsa, etc.)
Yields 8 servings