Cinco de mayo is just around the corner which means time to bring on the Mexican food! I don’t have Mexican food that often but every time I do, I enjoy every bite of my meal. I love fresh seafood ceviche on a hot day with fresh avocado or a juicy carne asada burrito late at night, but I love Mexican salads any time of the day. In order to celebrate the festivities yet still stay within my diet, I made a chicken fajita salad, combining all the favorite qualities of chicken fajitas into a great salad. Marinated grilled chicken on a bed of romaine lettuce with roasted peppers, avocado and corn salsa – you won’t miss the flour tortillas or the calories!
- 2 tbsp cup lime juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp cup water
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch strips
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup yellow corn
- 1 jalapeno chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- juice of 2 limes
- salt and pepper
- 2 medium red peppers
- 2 pasilla peppers
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
- 2 avocadoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup tortilla chips, crumbled
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Let sit for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Mix together ingredients for salsa from tomatoes - cilantro. Season with juice of 2 limes and salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.
- Blister peppers on the stove top over medium heat. Place a pepper directly on the heat and cook until the skin has blackened, rotating to blacken the entire pepper. Remove and repeat with the remaining peppers. Place peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove cover and carefully peel the blistered skin, removing the blackened skin. Slice into strips, discarding the seeds.
- Heat grill on high. Add the chicken strips and cook until no longer pink.
- Assemble salads. Place a bed of romaine onto four plates followed by the roasted peppers, avocado, chicken strips, and corn salsa. Sprinkle crumbled tortilla chips and shredded cheddar. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The fajita marinade above is one that I have used at least 20 times by now. It may seem strange that there’s soy sauce in the mix, but trust me, it’s delicious. You can serve this fajita salad with beef, pork or shrimp and use the same marinade.
For the roasted peppers, feel free to roast them in the oven if the stove top makes you nervous. When blistering the peppers, you want the skin to blacken. Immediately covering them allows the steam from the cooked peppers to circulate in the bowl and makes it easier for the skin to come out. Do not be tempted to wash off the burnt skin! Wear gloves and carefully rub off the skin with either your hands or paper towels. Rinsing the peppers in water will also rinse off the charred flavor.
No fajita salad would be complete without the corn salsa! I find that there is so much flavor from the marinated chicken to the salsa to the peppers that I don’t even need a salad dressing. Just squeeze a little lime juice on top and serve. Great Mexican flavors all in one bowl – and you don’t have to feel guilty enjoying them!