Sweet & Spicy Chicken Fajitas
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Ok, so here we go.  It’s my first blog post for Friends with Fridges and I’m so very excited to share recipes and little bits of knowledge about the food we eat.  So excited, in fact, that it’s taken me all week to decide what to cook.  I’ve been staring into my pantry, opening and closing the refridgerator repeatedly.  I’ve been thinking about cheeses at work, contemplating meat or mushroom in the car, internally debating pasta versus potato while I take the dogs for a run, and worst of all, zoning out while talking with my husband because something he just said  made me think of avocados.  You see, it’s not just any blog post…it’s my first blog post.  I want it to be impressive and delicious.  I want you hooked. Red peppers, cilantro and pineapple
If any of you are familiar with the state of Wisconsin (cheeseheads, shaped like a hand, noteable breweries and a plethora of dairy cows), you’ll know that March is generally gray and chilly.  I live here and that’s the truth.  And although March is preferable to January, it’s one of those teaser months where old piles of snow adorn every curb and parking lot, freezing mornings give way to almost spring-like 40+ degree days and cloudy skies mixing with rain, sleet and snow dominate the forecast.  Normally.  But this morning I checked the forecast before choosing between a warm sweater with pants or a warm sweater over a dress to find that, oh my goodness, it’s going to be 72 and Sunny today!  And it doesn’t stop there.  70s and 80s stretch across my weather app, and no, it hasn’t defaulted back Cupertino.  It is really and truly going to be an absurdly beautiful week.
cilantro and cayenne
What comes to mind when warm weather appears suddenly and blissfully?  For me, it’s fresh everything.  Fresh fruit, fresh veggies and zingy-fresh cocktails.  Ok, I’ll admit that I also momentarily contemplate trying on last year’s adorable pair of white cropped denim skinnies to confirm that they still fit the same, but that can wait for later because I’ve now found an answer to my question above.  I’m yearning for some pineapple and have finally decided that my first blog entree will be Sweet & Spicy Chicken Fajitas with pineapple, peppers and cilantro.  I’ve made this before and in remembering good advice, I recall that one should never try a recipe for the first time when entertaining (you).  I’m guilty of that mistake (and occasional victory) from time to time, but I want to get some sleep tonight, so a tried and true is the way to go.  And a dish with pineapple pairs magically with a beautiful, sunny day.

Pineapple is jam-packed with Vitamin C, a whopping 130% of your daily needs in an average one cup serving.

Plus it’s full of manganese, has a good amount of fiber and B vitamins and simply tastes like sunshine.  The bonus is that pineapple is among my husband’s favorite fruits and I always get an enthusiastic response when I announce “fajitas” as the main event of the evening, so in this case, I’m guaranteed at least one person is going to be thrilled with my choice for my first blog post…and that means a lot to me.
stir frying vegetables

One of my goals with this blog, aside from providing you with delicious dishes that are utterly attainable for the average at-home cook, is to impart some sort of knowledge of the foods we all eat.  I’ve never been a dieter because the very second that something is considered off-limits, my brain immediately launches it to the top of my most-desired list.  Rather than getting all obsessed over the calorie content of a dollop of sour cream, let’s rejoice in the vitamins, minerals and other good stuff that a meal stuffed with fresh foods and smart choices has to offer.  Ok, so, keeping moderation of some craveables in mind is a must, but have fun with cooking and play the game of “how can I make this good for me?” when you begin to meal plan.  Trust me, you’ll win.

Welcome to Friends with Fridges.  I greatly appreciate you joining me on this little adventure in cooking and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  Now, let’s go bask in the balmy March air.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 6 whole wheat soft tortilla shells
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of chopped pineapple (fresh is great, canned is good)
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbl cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • dash of salt & pepper

Fajitas cook fairly quickly, so feel free to slice and dice first if you’ll be more comfortable with the timing.  Preheat oven to 350 and warm your tortillas shells wrapped in aluminum foil.  Fully heat 1 tbl of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  

Toss in sliced red pepper and onion, stirring frequently for one minute.  Add pineapple chunks to the skillet and stir until the veggies begin to soften.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  Err on the side of undercooked for the veggies as they’ll continue to soften in the bowl while you cook the chicken.  

Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil and slide the sliced chicken into the skillet.  Shake in your cumin and cayenne, evenly distributing throughout the pan.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir chicken to coat in spices and cook through until no longer pink.  Toss in chopped cilantro and stir.  

Combine the bowl of cooked red pepper, onion and pineapple with the chicken in the skillet and heat for one additional minute.  

Remove skillet from heat, pull tortillas from oven and serve.  A little sour cream goes nicely with the sweet and spice!

  • Susanmonetti

    Dear Melissa,
    Just read Friends With Fridges and LOVE it! Photos, blog, content, personal touches pull it off perfectly. Kudos to you on this wonderful venture & delicious reading. 
    Much love & hugs,
    Aunt Sue

    • Melissa Chelf

      Thank you Sue! I’d love to post that avocado and black bean salad you made for Jared and I. Send the recipe if you don’t mind!!