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Some people believe that they hate to cook, but often find that what they actually hate is the decision process: What should I fix? What will the whole family eat? What's quick? It's much easier to make those decisions when the plan is already in place. In fact, you may decide that you actually like to cook!

There are five simple steps to meal planning. First, take a quick inventory of what you already have on hand. Are there items in your fridge, freezer or cabinets you should use up? If so, build a meal around that. Second, check the grocery store ads and coupons for good bargains. It may help guide your decision on what to fix. Third, look ahead at your family's schedule. Will you need a quick meal before running to your next stop? If so, look for quick cooking methods, such as chicken on the grill or a slow cooker meal that is ready when you get home.

The fourth step is to actually plan the meals. Write them down on a calendar or on a smartphone so you remember what your plan is! Don't forget to plan meals based on the five food groups. Be sure to have a fruit and/or vegetable with every meal. The last step is to evaluate. Was the recipe too difficult? Did it taste good? Keep track of any changes you made. Meal planning can be fun and easy!

Chicken Fajitas Printable PDF


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 ½ Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

6 whole wheat tortillas, 8-inch

Optional Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeno

Cut chicken into ¼-inch strips. Place in a single layer on a plate. Sprinkle both sides of strips with chili and garlic powder. Add oil to a 12-inch skillet. Heat to medium high. Add chicken strips. Cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers and onion. Stir and cook until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink. (Heat chicken to at least 165°F). Scoop chicken mixture (¾ cup each) onto tortillas. Top with your favorite toppings.

Yield: 6 servings


Nutritional analysis per serving: 310 Calories, 10 grams fat, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 180 milligrams sodium, 26 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 28 grams protein