If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you’ve heard, in bits and pieces, about my eBook that’s coming out very soon, Conquer Dinner: A Step-by-Step Plan for Getting Healthy, Homemade Dinner on the Table, Fast. Today I want to share with you a recipe from that eBook and give you a look at exactly how the system works.
I created this system because my family was becoming increasingly busy with activities in the evenings and I found myself without the time to prepare the healthy and homemade dinners I wanted. I’d made having a family dinner with healthy, homemade food a priority, yet I was drowning in the reality that it was difficult to make it happen.
There were many evenings when we’d get home from our activities and I didn’t have the time or energy to prepare the meal I had planned. I found myself compromising more and more times. I knew something had to change or we’d we eating take-out or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner more nights than I’d prefer.
Conquer Dinner was born from necessity. After using the system for a year, I knew I had to share it with you. I knew that other families have the same priorities as me, to prepare healthy, homemade dinners for their families, but often lack the time or organization needed to make it a reality.
I put together six weeks of our favorite family dinners, and did all the work for you. You’ll have the meal plans and grocery lists ready to go. This takes a huge time burden away from you!
Next, I break down the recipes to show you exactly what you need to do ahead of time (step-by-step!) so the dinner time crunch is much faster, easier, and less chaotic. It takes about one hour of prepping ahead of time and a few minutes the morning of the dinner.
When dinner time comes, your ingredients are ready to go and dinner comes together quickly. Healthy, homemade dinners are possible for even the busiest families with this system!
If you don’t have or aren’t willing to spend that one hour a week doing the meal prep, I show you an alternative for how you can break up the recipe to do a small amount of prep the morning of the dinner. It’s a flexible system that works with a variety of schedules and lifestyles.
Another thing I’ve done for you is show you how each recipe can be adapted to fit different dietary needs. I give you ideas if you have food allergies or restrictions and even how to make the recipes work for pickier eaters. I don’t make separate meals for my kids, but I am willing to adapt recipes to their preferences, and I show you exactly what I do.
This Chicken Fajita Pasta is a dinner recipe from the Conquer Dinner eBook. I can’t make it look exactly how it will look in the eBook here (it’s organized differently in the eBook as the prep is coordinated with the prep of other recipes for the week), but you will get an idea of how I break down the recipe to show you exactly what you need to do ahead of time so that dinner time is faster and easier.
After the recipe I show you my ways to adapt the recipe to be gluten-free, Paleo, vegan, and picky-kid friendly. The recipe is dairy-free, but I tell you ways you can use dairy if you prefer. I tried to make the recipes as flexible as possible as I know every family is different.
For this recipe, I use the Homemade Taco Seasoning I shared here. When you’re following the Conquer Dinner plan, you will have already prepped it ahead of time a different week.
I have talked a lot about the eBook, but I should mention just how fabulous this recipe is. One pot and so flavorful! It’s definitely one of my favorite dinners. I know you’ll love it, too.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
- 2 cups diced bell peppers (any color, 2-3 bell peppers)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup cashew cream (can sub half-and-half or heavy cream)
- 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
- 8 oz (about 3 cups) penne pasta
- ½ teaspoon salt
- TO PREP AHEAD:
- Make the cashew cream: Boil 1-2 cups water. Remove it from the heat and wait 2 minutes. Pour the hot water over ½ cup cashews and allow them to soak for 15 minutes. Drain the water. Add the cashews and ⅓ cup filtered water to a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes, until super smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container.
- If you didn’t ask the butcher to do so, cut the chicken into cubes. Place them into an airtight container.
- Dice the onion and bell peppers and place them in an airtight container.
- Mince the garlic and place it in an airtight container.
- Morning of: take out the pasta, can of diced tomatoes, and broth (unless using refrigerated broth) and place them on the counter. Measure 3 tablespoons taco seasoning and place it in a small bowl.
- TO FINISH AND SERVE:
- Season the chicken with half of taco seasoning. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil over high heat. Next, add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of avocado oil to the skillet with the heat still on high. When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.
- In the same skillet, add the broth, cashew cream, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.
- Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Note: This recipe was originally adapted from here.
Ideas for Adapting Chicken Fajita Pasta Recipe
To make this recipe VEGAN, leave out the chicken. Follow the rest of the recipe, subbing vegetable broth for chicken broth, and when you add the vegetables back to the pasta, add a can of drained and rinsed black beans.
Paleo and Whole30 Adaptation
To make this recipe PALEO and/or Whole30 compliant, do not use the pasta. Instead, add in zucchini noodles from 2-3 zucchinis at the end. Cook until just tender.
To make this recipe GLUTEN-FREE, you can follow the Paleo adaptation, or sub in your favorite gluten-free pasta for the regular pasta.
There are several things you can do for PICKY EATERS with this recipe. If your eater doesn’t like big chunks of tomatoes, blend the diced tomatoes before adding them to the pan.
If your eater doesn’t enjoy onions or bell peppers, leave them out and sub different vegetables they enjoy. Zucchini would work. Corn would also be nice added in.
My picky eaters don’t enjoy sauce or strong flavors. This is how I deconstruct this recipe for them: I cook some of the pasta plain for them (I cook it in chicken stock) as well as plain chicken. They get raw bell peppers as that is their preference. I almost always add some fruit with dinner, also.
Boring in my eyes, but they clean their plate when it looks like this.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and the sneak peek at my Conquer Dinner eBook! I’m putting the finishing touches on the book and would love to hear any feedback or features you’d like to see included. (I’ll do what I can!)
Also, I’m considering offering the eBook to those on my email list before it officially launches at a discounted price. If you’d like to be on that list, sign up here. (It’s totally free to be on my email list!)