Saturday, April 5. 2008
Posted by Radar in Food
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I was watching tv one Saturday about a month or so ago when I came across a show on the local PBS station that looked interesting: Zonya's Health Bites. I'll admit that I was just in a mood to not do anything that day because normally I would not have watched that show. Frankly I think Zonya is a total nut. But her message of healthy eating and exercise is fantastic.
Part of the episode that day was to show how to cook healthy Crock Pot Fajitas. As I watched her cook that recipe, I was struck by two things: 1. that the food looked really good, and 2. it was easy enough that I could do it! So I decided to make the attempt. This post shall be my review of this recipe on a few criterion. Though it is a little long, I hope you enjoy it.
Ease of makingThis is quite an easy dish to put together. If you can cut things, then you can make it. That is what drew me to this dish so much. Basically, all you have to do is cut up the onions, peppers, and meat and mix in to a crock pot with a few other minor ingredients. Then set it for low or high (based on when you want it to be done by) for the appointed time and then you're done. I chose to stir the meat crock pot a few times as I wanted to make sure that the seasonings from the fajita mix were widely distributed throughout, but I think it would have been fine if I had not done that.
Please be aware that you do not need to add any water to this dish. The moisture in the vegetables and meat are going to provide all of the liquidity you are going to need. I was quite concerned that the dish was too dry when I first put it all together, but I am so glad that I fought back the desire to soak it, as I would have ended up with fajita soup. Frankly, I wish that I had propped the lid up for a little while to get rid of some of the extra water that cooks off when you make fajitas in a frying pan.
Ingredients/TasteThe one thing that I would recommend is that you choose very strong/good seasonings as this will make a big difference in the taste. I was only able to find the store brand fajita mix and so it was a little bland. I also chose (based on the recipe) to add in tofu along with the steak and chicken. It was an experiment on my part to try tofu in an attempt to be "healthier." Tofu, I have learned, has no taste to it. So when using tofu, one must make sure to add lots of seasoning to ensure a nice flavor. So I had low quality seasoning and too much food-stuffs to properly cover it all.
The fajitas were not spicy at all considering that fact that I added in jalapeños, ground cumin, and fajita seasoning. If you like spicy things, do what you need to, in order get the flavor you like. Also, I would have used more onion. I only put in one medium yellow onion. In retrospect I would suggest using either a large or 1.5 medium sized onion(s), but I love the smell and taste of a strong onion. You should use your best judgment.
LeftoversThe mistake that I made was to use too much meat. I ended up putting in some 2.5lbs of steak, chicken, and tofu. That is too much. Technically the recipe calls for only 1lb. I should have realized that as a single guy, I was going to end up with a lot of leftovers. And boy did I! The good news is that the fajitas tasted the same days later as it did the night I first ate it as it came steaming from the crock pot. Please be aware that I eat a lot of food, so when I made up the fajita I put in more than what most people would put inside the tortilla. Sadly, because of the amount that i made I ended up having to throw a small amount of it away.
DigestionI will be blunt when I say, that I was more than a little concerned about what this dish was going to do to my digestive tract. I would consider myself to have an 'iron gut", but even this dish was a test on my innards. Mexican food of any kind is, was, and always will be a crap shoot as to whether or not you are going to be worshiping upon the porcelain thrown the next day. Lump in tofu, and its history of "moving" experiences from dinner appointments on my mission in Scotland, and I was nervous. But good news, everything was great. I had absolutely no adverse side-effects. It seems safe. But be aware, that this dish includes items such as peppers, onions, and beans; all items that are known to adversely effect a sensitive bowel. Yes mother, you are going to want to make sure you have some Beano if you eat this!
CostIt can be a little pricey. I ended up paying a little extra for the meat because I bought it right before I was to make the dish and I wasn't in the mood to end up de-boning, de-skinning, and de-fatting chicken, steak and tofu . Yellow, Red, and Orange peppers can also be quite expensive. But weigh that against the fact that you should get at least one or two meals of leftovers (based on how many people you are feeding) and it seems like a good price for what you get. With a bit of preparation and forethought it can be quite economical.
RecommendationI would have to say that I recommend this recipe to all as it is was quite good.
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