On August 18 has been dubbed National Fajita Day! This delicious dish was developed in the early 1930’s by Mexican cowboys known as Vaqueros. While on the trail doing cattle roundups, the cowboys would butcher a cow so they could eat. The Vaqueros were often given the throwaway cuts (head, hide, entrails and meat trimmings) as part of their pay.

The Vaqueros took the throwaway cuts of beef and cooked them over a open fire and served them with a flour or corn tortilla. To enhance their creation, they added Pico de gallo, guacamole and southwestern spices. The name “Fajita” came from the type of meat originally used to create their dish. Skirt steak, called “Faja” in Spanish, was the original type of meat used, but today fajitas are made using beef, chicken and vegetables. Generally, the meats are cooked with onions and bell peppers.

According to Virginia Wood in her article, Fajita History, this tasty dish started gaining exposure when Austin meat market manager Sonny Falcon opened the first fajita stand at a rural Dies Y Seis celebration in tiny Kyle, Texas, The popular dish got a major boost in 1973 when Ninfa Rodriguez Laurenzo opened a Tex-Mex restaurant on Navigation Boulevard in Houston, Texas. Although she called the dish “tacos al carbon” and “tacos a la Ninfa”, the dishes help catapult fajitas to national notoriety as the Tex-Mex restaurant chain grew.

Fajitas and Weight Loss

Fajitas have been a huge part of my weight loss journey since 2011 for several reasons:

  • Fajitas can be very versatile. You can use Fatty Protein (FP) meats or Lean Protein (FP) meats. If you use Lean Protein meats, you have the option of using tortilla chips or toritllas from the Natural Carb category.
  • Fajitas are easy and quick to make. It only takes about 10 minutes to cook up the dish.
  • Fajitas are a staple of Mexican restaurants making it easy to have a Healthy Day meal while eating out!
  • There is a possible danger with fajitas: the tortilla. Tortillas can be very high in calories and high-processed. As a result, they can cause a rise in insulin and put you in a fat storage mode. The good news is there are tortillas which are approved–in fact, many of them are treated as a Fibrous Carb (FC) on the Achieve Weight Loss program.

    Try our free trial and learn about some of the tortilla options from our grocery database. There are many options and ways to have Healthy Day fajitas!

    Have a Healthy Day,


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