Healthy Slow Cooker Fajitas for Watching Sports

It’s autumn, and for many around the country, that means family and friend get-togethers to watch post-season baseball or football games. If you’re hosting, it’s nice to have a meal you can prepare and leave, so you’re not stuck in the kitchen. Slow cookers are great for this. And this Slow Cooker Fajita recipe is perfect for a weekend game.

Here’s how to make them and why you might want to add more chili peppers to your weekend.

Healthy Slow Cooker Fajitas

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves or thighs (organic and cage-free if possible), cut into strips (or if shredded chicken is desired, put in slow cooker whole rather than cut)
  • 1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 each red, orange, and yellow bell pepper sliced (or any colors you want, really)
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2.5 teaspoon chili powder (preferably chipotle)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey or Stevia to taste

Optional:

  • 8 corn tortillas or low-carb Keto Tortillas. Alternatively, eat as a fajita bowl with Keto Zone Guacamole.
  • Desired toppings such as salsa, natural sour cream, guacamole, or cilantro.

Instructions – Slow Cooker:

  1. Layer 50% of the canned tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic (in that order) in the slow cooker. Top with chicken.
  2. Meanwhile, mix chili powder through pepper. Sprinkle half of this seasoning on the chicken.
  3. Repeat the layering process with all vegetables and spice mix.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low 6-8 hours (depending on how much time you have to ride).
  5. If shredding chicken, remove chicken from pot and shred.  Also, ladle out as much liquid as possible and discard or save for another use.
  6. Combine lime juice and honey. Add to the slow cooker along with chicken (if removed). Mix ingredients, adding salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Serve warm in warmed tortillas with desired toppings. Enjoy! (of note, one way to warm tortillas is to place a small glass plate on top of toppings in the slow cooker with tortillas on it for 5 minutes or so – they will become moist & warm!

Instructions – Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot):

  1. Place chicken on the bottom of the pot. Mix garlic cloves through black pepper with 1/4 cup chicken broth (or water) and tomatoes w/green chili. Add 50% of this to the pot.
  2. Place peppers and onions on top of chicken. Pour in the remaining 50% of seasonings.
  3. Cover and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes (14 if thighs are frozen) IF chicken cut to strips, and 15-20 if chicken thighs are whole (20 for frozen). Allow to de-pressurize.
  4. Pull out chicken and shred, if needed. Also, pour out as much liquid as possible and discard or save for another use.
  5. Combine lime juice and honey. Add to pot along w/ any ingredients removed. Mix ingredients, adding salt and pepper if desired.
  6. Serve warm in warmed tortillas with desired toppings. Enjoy! (of note, one way to warm tortillas is to place a small glass plate on top of toppings in the pressure cooker with tortillas on it for 5 minutes or so – they will become moist & warm!

Keto Zone: If in the Keto Zone, make sure to use Stevia in place of honey and Keto Tortillas.

Nutrition Information (excluding tortillas): 252 calories, 14 grams fat, 7 grams net carbs (9 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber) 26 grams protein

 

7 Benefits of Chili Peppers in Our Slow Cooker Fajitas

Not only are these fajita great for game-watching, they’re also packed with great nutrition for your body.

Whether dried, powdered, roasted, or fresh, chilies have a lot of health benefits to offer. Specifically, capsaicin, the components of chilies that make them hot to taste, are nutrition powerhouses. Here’s what a little weekend chili can do for you:

1. Improve Weight Loss, Brown Adipose Tissue, and Metabolism

Capsaicin can help you lose weight in 3 ways.

First, they promote fullness which can cause a reduction in calorie intake, especially when added to a Keto Zone diet.

Then, capsaicin actually induces increased energy (calorie) expenditure after they are consumed. This means that they directly boost metabolism (1).

Third, it is one of a few foods likely to increase the conversion of white adipose tissue (low energy expenditure) to brown adipose tissue. Brown adipose tissue increases the cell’s calorie burn and energy expenditure, which is great for fat loss and lean mass (2).

What’s more, they also positively affect blood sugars and insulin (see below) for more indirect metabolism help, promoting fat loss.

2. Anti-Inflammatories Galore

Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.

The hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains the more anti-inflammatory action.

The hottest varieties include habañero and Scotch bonnet peppers. Jalapeños are next in their heat and capsaicin content, followed by the milder varieties, including Spanish pimentos, and Anaheim and Hungarian cherry peppers. Capsaicin is actually being studied as an effective treatment for sensory nerve fiber disorders, including pain associated with arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy.

3. Better Heart Health

Red chili peppers, such as cayenne, have been shown to improve blood cholesterol and increase HDL, and reduce triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation (3).

They also increase the body’s ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots.

Together, these actions are very heart-healthy.

What’s more, cultures in which hot pepper is consumed liberally have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.

4. Antioxidants to Fight Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress

As an antioxidant, chili peppers may also protect the fats in the blood from damage by free radicals (4).

When fats are oxidized by free radicals, atherosclerosis can form.

In one randomized, crossover study involving 27 healthy subjects (14 women, 13 men), eating freshly chopped chili was found to increase the resistance of blood fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, to oxidation (free radical injury). In addition, after eating the chili-spiced diet, women had a longer lag time before any damage to cholesterol was seen compared to the lag time seen after eating the bland diet. In men, the chili-diet also lowered resting heart rate and increased the amount of blood reaching the heart (5).

5. Better Sinus Health and Fewer Infections

Ever eaten food so spicy it makes your nose run? This is common. The peppery heat stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from your stuffed up nose or congested lungs.

If you suffer sinus infections, you can reduce them by keeping sinuses clear with spicy foods!

6. Reduced Risk of Prostate Cancer

Red chili peppers’ capsaicin, the compound responsible for their heat, stops the spread of prostate cancer cells through a variety of mechanisms.

In fact, capsaicin triggers cell-death in both primary types of prostate cancer cell lines, those whose growth is stimulated by male hormones and those not affected by them.

In addition, capsaicin lessens the expression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), inhibits the ability of the most potent form of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, to activate PSA, and directly inhibits PSA transcription, causing PSA levels to plummet (6).

7. Improved Stomach Health by Fighting Ulcer-Causing Bacteria

Chili peppers have a false, bad reputation for contributing to stomach ulcers.

Not only do they not cause ulcers, but they can help prevent them by killing bacteria (H. pylori). This can improve overall digestive health.

8. Reduced Risk of Diabetes

In a study published in the July 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Australian researchers show that the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced if the meal contains chili pepper. When chili-containing meals are a regular part of the diet, insulin requirements drop even lower.

In addition, in overweight subjects, chili-containing meals significantly lower the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar levels after a meal AND result in a lower ratio of C-peptide/ insulin. This indicates that the rate at which the liver is clearing insulin has increased.

Lastly, new in lab and pre-clinical studies are showing promise that capsaicin can reduce metabolic syndrome by improving cell function (7).

Warning: NIGHTSHADE INTOLERANCES

Of note, if you know you are intolerant of affected by nightshade vegetables, you may not tolerate many chilis in your diet, so test it out and take note of any issues. Some people report more food intolerance symptoms from leaky gut when nightshades are included.

Bottom Line

Whether you need a recipe for weekend ball games or a busy evening, these slow cooker fajitas are easy and delicious. What’s more, they are loaded with real food ingredients and chilis to support your health from your cells on up. Try them this weekend!

2 Comments

  1. Peggy Anders says:

    Can I take Hormones and Thyroid?? I’m a 9month Cancer Survivor. Thank You for your answer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Login