Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

Researchers suspect that colon cancer may be associated with the typical Western diet, which is low in fiber and high in fat and processed foods.

Sheila Storbakken, RDN at Osceola Regional Health Center shares one of her favorite recipes for colon health: Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas. This recipe is easy to make, colorful and a good source of fiber and vitamins.

Sheet pan recipes are popular now because they are an easy way to prepare healthy meals. There are numerous sheet pan recipes that use the basic protein source such as chicken, fish, beef, pork and then add in a variety of vegetables for increased nutrition.

Begin with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large strips. To not dry out the chicken, keep the strips a little larger. Pat them dry with a paper towel: this will ensure the oil and seasoning will stick.

We will also use sliced bell peppers, red, yellow and orange and some sliced red or yellow onion. Bell peppers are the star ingredient of the show because they are low in calories, and a great source of vitamins C, K, E and A, folate and Potassium. Additionally, they act as a great source of fiber, and this recipe includes nearly 6 grams of fiber overall.

The seasoning contains common spices that you may already have in your kitchen: chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder and salt. Although the recipe calls for olive oil, which works well, Sheila recommends substituting for avocado oil. It works great when cooking foods at high temperatures.

Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees F. Next, coat a large-rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine oil and spices together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir well to coat. Add peppers and onion, then stir to combine. Lastly, transfer the chicken and vegetables to the baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Spread them out as much as possible, so they roast instead of steam.

Roast on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Leave the pan there and turn the broiler to high and broil for 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are browning in spots. Sheila suggests using a food thermometer to check if the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Chicken at higher temperatures will begin to dry out, taking away from the flavor.

Serve the chicken and vegetables in warmed tortillas, accompanied by lime wedges and topped with cilantro, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, avocado and/or pico de gallo if desired.

This nutritious meal serves well to family and guests., and benefits health in many aspects, including the wellness of your colon. Make easily, eat well and most of all: enjoy!