Healthy Cooking With Chef Lala: Fajitas de Pollo

by Chef Lala

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You may love the hearty flavors of the fajita, but have you ever wondered where the dish comes from? The origins of the the fajita, a shortened term for little strips of meat cut from the faja or beef skirt, dates back to the 1930s in the ranch lands of West and South Texas.

When a steer was butchered, the ranch hands were given the least desirable parts, including the meat trimmings such as skirt, as part of their pay. In order to make the meal more palatable, the workers would tenderize the meat by pounding it and marinating it in lime juice before cooking it over an open fire. It would then be serve it with a variety of condiments rolled in a flour tortilla. They made the best of what they had.

I love this dish because it’s healthy, filling and all-inclusive. You can add meat or chicken with vegetables, like peppers, and serve it on either a corn or flour tortilla. More importantly, my son loves it!

Below is one of my favorite fajita recipes. Enjoy!

Fajitas de Pollo


1 pound chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless
½ teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoon lite soy sauce
1 medium orange, juiced
1 medium lime, juiced
1 tablespoon cilantro, fine chop
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1½ teaspoons canola oil
3 ounces red bell pepper, seeded, sliced lengthwise
3 ounces green bell pepper, seeded, sliced lengthwise
5 ounces red onion, peeled, thin slice
1 each jalapeño, seeded, small dice
1 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium


* Slice chicken breasts into ½ inch slices.
* In medium bowl, combine olive oil, lite soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, cilantro,
garlic, seasoned salt, pepper.
* Pour mixture over chicken. Stir to fully coat.
* Cover, refrigerate and allow to marinade for 2-4 hours.
* Heat canola oil in a large skillet over a high heat – to achieve stir-fry.
* Drain excess marinade from chicken.
* Add chicken to skillet, saute for 3 minutes – until golden brown.
* Add red and green bell peppers, onion and jalapeños.
* Sprinkle soy sauce over vegetables, stir constantly .
* Vegetables should be cooked but still firm.
* Serve immediately.

Note: This recipe also works great with beef and shrimp.

Nutritional Guide
Per serving
Calories 117
Fat (g) 2.5
Saturated .3
Unsaturated 2.2
Protein (g) 15
Carbohydrates (g) 9.3
Fiber (g) 1.8
Cholesterol (mg) 35
Sodium (mg) 323

A Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Chef Lala is also a cookbook author, certified nutritionist and motivational speaker who has brought her message to the Today Show, Martha Stewart, Dr. Oz, Discovery Health National Body Challenge and The Biggest Loser, Spanish edition. Click here to go to her website. 

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