On my constant search for a healthier lifestyle, I am always trying to reinvent the foods I love. As a runner, I need a variety of real foods to keep my body going. I also need a variety of flavors so that I don’t fall into a slump. It’s extremely easy to fall off the wagon when one starts eating the same repetitive foods every day. And, it is a fact, that many runners choose to “repeat eat” because it is indeed safe, in terms of not gaining weight or losing weight while training. It is also true that most who run, don’t have a lot of spare time. We are busy people, trying to cram in our mileage, so a recipe that takes forever and involves eight thousand ingredients, won’t work either. This recipe is pretty straight forward, tastes incredibly fresh and adds a little spice to your boring repertoire of meals. It also has lots of ways to customize it to your choosing. For instance, you have many choices of tortillas. You can use corn which is typically less caloric (not a lot of nutrition there though), flour (also not very healthy but does come in low-carb options) and wheat (my thumbs up choice). Or, you can do what I do sometimes and skip the tortilla entirely and build a nice bowl of goodness. Now remember, skipping the tortilla is not about going without carbohydrates, we need those, desperately when running a lot. But you have to choose your carbohydrates wisely, white flour tortillas are just going to whiz through your body and turn into sugar, providing you with empty calories. However, life can not be so boring all the time, they are a great vehicle for your chicken taco, so if you go that option, have two, not ten.
Now, I’m only putting measurements here as a general guide. You have to choose amounts really by your personal taste. Some like it hot. Some do not.
For the Pico de Gallo:
8 tomatoes, cut into small cubes
1/4 of a red onion chopped extremely finely
The juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup of cilantro (although sometimes I use more)
Chop all the ingredients as stated above, mix in a bowl and allow to sit together for 30 minutes. (DO NOT STICK IN THE FRIDGE, things will get creepy)
Salt & Pepper
For the chicken:
I usually use one package (3 breasts) for my husband, myself and two children. They are 7 & 2, so they eat almost nothing. That leaves a breast for me and a breast for Josh. If you are feeding more people, use more chicken. It gets chopped up at the end so factor in that a little goes a long way.
The juice of 6 limes
2 tablespoons of cumin
1 tablespoon of chili powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Place the chicken in a large bowl (breasts still in tact), throw all the other ingredients on top of it, mix it well so the chicken is evenly coated and let sit for about 2 hours. Grill when ready until breasts are firm. Allow to rest at least ten minutes. Once rested, chop into small pieces.
As I side dish I make the following corn thingy, I say thingy because I’m not really sure what to call it, but it is delicious:
6 ears of corn with the corn removed before cooking (slide your knife down each side) Or say screw it and use a bag of frozen corn
1/4 red onion chopped finely
1 teaspoon of cumin
Juice of 1 lime
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 fresh cilantro
Throw it all in a saute pan (except the cilantro), with just enough olive oil to get it covered, I would say medium heat. Cook until corn is hot, sprinkle with the cilantro.
NOW! Your chicken is prepared, your pico is in its bowl and your corn is sautéed. Put it all on the table and let people build the healthiest taco ever. I like a little low-fat sour cream on the side but that’s totally up to you.
Don’t go adding cheese or any of that craziness to it because that defeats the purpose. This meal is clean and easy. Keep it that way.
Again, I would say typically serving size is two tortillas with about 6 oz. of chicken distributed evenly, eat as much pico as you want, there is nothing unhealthy in there but stick to 1-2 cups of the corn side.