Last spring, while on a shopping trip for much-needed summer clothes, I ate lunch at one of my favorite cafes. After much debating, I ordered the Chicken Fajita Salad and it. was. phenomenal. Being a hard-core lover of Mexican Food, especially chicken fajitas, I suspected that I’d love the salad, and boy was I right. Sautéed chicken, roasted pepper strips, garlic, and onions were served atop crisp greens and piled with avocado slices, fresh salsa, shredded cheese, and tortilla strips. The combination of fresh flavors was to die for, and I knew that I just HAD to re-create the salad at home. So I did.
My version is slightly different than the original, but I enjoyed it just as much, if not more. I decided to marinate the chicken in a mixture of lime juice and Mexican-style seasoning before sautéing it with sweet white onions. Then I stirred in roasted red peppers and piled the mixture onto fresh salad greens. For toppings, I went with avocado slices, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, broiled corn tortilla strips, chopped olives, and salsa, but you can adapt to fit your personal tastes. And there you have it! A fast, super-easy, low-carb, pretty darn healthy, utterly DELICIOUS lunch or dinner! I first made this re-creation back in August, and my dad promptly requested that it be his birthday dinner. His birthday is in March, so I took that to mean that this meal was a winner all around :).
Chicken Fajita Salad
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
1 medium white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers (or 1 fresh roasted red pepper), sliced into strips
Fresh salad greens
1 avocado, sliced
Crispy tortilla strips
Combine 1 Tbs olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, and coriander in a large ziplock bag. (If using fresh cilantro, wait until the end to add it in.) Put the chicken slices in the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion slices and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add in the chicken, including the marinade, and cook for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in the red pepper and cilantro (if using) and cook over low heat until heated through.
To serve salad-style, spoon the chicken mixture over mixed greens. Top with shredded cheese, tortilla strips, avocado slices, chopped olives, salsa, and any other desired toppings. Serves 4-6.
(Recipe heavily adapted from this Chicken Fajita Salad)