Thursday, May 29, 2008


Yes, you CAN have Mexican food--or Italian, Chinese, Hungarian--and still eat healthfully and take off the pounds. One of the reasons the prepackaged food programs never work for me in the long run is I feel deprived when I can't cook and the meals never taste real. There's always that little off-taste in the background. Any recipe can be lightened, tweaked, and otherwise coaxed into being more in line with what our bodies need. And, this doesn't have to mean that it won't taste as good or better.

This is day 3 back on program and I'm feeling light as a feather (okay, that's an exaggeration, but let's say my stomach isn't protruding quite as much as it was 2 days ago). Tonight we're having slimmed down beef fajitas. You could make the Ole Black Bean Soup as an appetizer and serve these with fat free refried beans and not even miss the rice!

1 package any brand fajita seasoning
2 tsp vegetable or Canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb flank steak (all fat removed)
2 large red peppers
1 large (Vidalia) onion
4 fat free flour tortillas
Optional: 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

Prepare fajita package according to label instructions. Place in large ziploc bag with the flank steak. Turn to coat the beef and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours (I often do this the day before). Seed the peppers and cut into 1/2 inch strips. Slice the onion into rings. Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the garlic. Saute on medium for 1 minute. Add the peppers and onions and saute on low for about 20 minutes, turning to prevent scorching (add jalapenos, if desired). Keep warm. Spray a grill with nonstick spray; remove the steak from the marinade; grill the steak, about 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare. (You can also cook the steak in the broiler, if you prefer.) Transfer meat to a cutting board and let rest about 5 minutes. In the meantime, heat the tortillas--either grill them or place in paper towels in microwave for about 10 seconds. Thinly slice the meat on the diagonal. Fill each tortilla with 1/4 of the steak and about 1 cup of the vegetables. I serve salsa and light sour cream on the side. Guacomole will add additional calories, but it's yummy.

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