I haven't done Mexican food in a long time, mostly because I like to go out for authentic Mexican food. However, I'm still trying to take off that holiday weight and the kind of Mexican food I like isn't exactly within my diet. This is when I turn to Cooking Light! Their recipes turn common dishes into healthy ones, without sacrificing the taste. This is no exception!
Chicken Tacos with Pickled Onions and Cotija Cheese
Recipe from Cooking Light
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium red onion, thinly vertically sliced
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
8 6-inch corn tortillas
1 cup diced peeled avocado (about 1 avocado)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Cotija cheese
lime wedges on the side
- Mix together the fresh orange juice with the lime juice, sugar and cumin seeds. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Put the sliced onion into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Drain and immediately shock the onions in an ice water bath. Drain once the onions have cooled and add to the orange juice mixture. Chill until ready to use.
- Coat a cast-iron skillet with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Season the chicken with oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Add to the hot pan and saute until browned and cooked, about 4 minutes.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the tortilla one by one and bring to heat. You can also choose to warm them in a microwave; put in a ziploc bag, shingling the tortillas and heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Assemble the tacos by dividing the chicken among the tortillas. Top with the pickled onions, avocado and cheese. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
per serving (2 tacos each): 413 calories, 17.1 g fat (5.2g saturated, 2.7g polyunsaturated, 7.1g monounsaturated), 33.6g carbohydrates, 4.9g fiber, 33.4g protein
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Like most recipes from Cooking Light, I did make several changes to this recipe. First off, I pickled the onions overnight to give them more flavor. I did initially pickle them for one hour but thought that it could extract more flavor and so left them in the refrigerator over night.
As for the chicken, I seasoned them with the oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, and added 2 garlic, minced, and 1 tsp coriander. I let the chicken sit in the seasoning, chilled, for about 30 minutes before sauteing, to let it marinate a little.
Mmmhmm! These tacos just hit the spot. All of the components are crucial to completing these tacos. The pickled onions really add the flavor with the tartness while the avocados are creamy and the cheese adds the salt element. The chicken is more on the mediocre side, but the toppings really round it out. I piled on the pickled onions onto my tacos (otherwise they can be dry without them) and was nice and full after two helpings.