Meal prep made easy and DELICIOUS with Orange and Cilantro-Marinated Chicken Tacos. Healthy, citrus chicken, grilled for tacos to eat for lunch during your workweek. Stay on track by being prepared with my Healthy Week Lunch Series.
And this is it! Triathlon time! Sunday’s HITS Ocala triathlon will be my first for 2014 and first ever at Olympic distance GASP! HITS is the Horse Shows in the Sun, a circuit of hunter/jumper horse shows across the country. The founder for the HITS horse shows is also a triathlete …hence, the connection and why we are heading to Florida’s horse country for this tri. Prior to kid #2, I showed horses but never competed at a HITS show. So instead of going to Ocala to event a horse, I’m going there to do all the work myself. There’s irony there.
I started getting ready for this triathlon 12 weeks ago after taking a month off following the Spacecoast Half Marathon. Three months seemed like a long time then, but man, it sure went quick. I know I’m ready, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. The 1500m open water swim will suck. This is three times the distance I’ve done in triathlons so far. I also haven’t done a tri in a wetsuit before. Or fresh water. Actually, that last part may help. …OK good, there’s a happy thought.
Alright, enough psyching myself out. Let’s talk about food…
Last week, I posted the Orzo Power Salad with Salmon, Walnuts, and Greens that I ate for lunch all week to get ready. This week, I’ve been having these dee-lish-ious chicken tacos. Who doesn’t love tacos? And this marinade makes these sooo yummy. Bright orange, fresh cilantro – this marinade is fabulous! This lunch comes in at about 270 calories, which is not enough for me so I added a whole wheat orzo and black bean salad on the side in a lime vinaigrette (see Note below). This brought my grand total to about 500 calories with loads of fiber, protein, healthy fat, and good carbs. So, if there is one thing I AM confident about, it is that I am fueled up and feeling great! …And deep down I know the rest will sort itself out.
- 3/4 c orange juice
- 2 jalapenos, seed removed and discarded
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 T kosher salt
- 1/4 t fresh cracked pepper
- 5 large skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
- shredded cabbage
- 10 yellow corn tortillas
- cooking spray
- 5 purchased individual guacamole packs (see Note below)
- In a food processor or blender, combine the orange juice, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth. Transfer to a ziploc bag and add the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- To toast the tortillas (this keeps them from falling apart when you're eating), spray a heated nonstick skillet with cooking spray and add a tortilla. Toast lightly on one side. Spray the top side lightly with cooking spray, flip, and toast the other side. Repeat for the rest of the tortillas.
- Grill the chicken over high heat 10-15 minutes or until done (internal temperature of 165F). Set aside to rest a couple minutes, then pull the meat off the bones and chop. Serve chicken in tortillas with guacamole and cabbage. Yield: 5 servings.
I have a wonderful Guacamole recipe and do prefer to make my own. But guacamole doesn’t keep well, so for premaking lunches, I buy the little guac packs. If you look at the ingredient list, they are a clean food.
Also, I had whole wheat orzo and black beans in a light lime vinaigrette with the tacos. Cook 1-1/4 c whole wheat orzo, add 1/3 c black beans and toss in the vinaigrette (1 T country-style Dijon, 2 t extra virgin olive oil, pinch kosher salt, juice and zest of half a lime, and 2 T chopped cilantro). Taste for seasoning (it will need more salt).
The marinade for this recipe was adapted from one published in Fine Cooking magazine.
This is the eight installment in my Healthy Week: Lunches series. I tend to splurge on the weekends and then eat super healthy during the week, so making my lunches and portioning them out in advance helps me stay on track and is a huge time-saver during the busy week. Check out my other Healthy Week Lunches!