Turkey Lettuce Wraps – give them a try

Why I love lettuce wraps – I believe my first taste was about 5 or 6 years ago and our waiter said it was his favorite app at PF Changs. If we are trying a new place we tend to ask our waiter/waitress what their favorite is and maybe not every time but majority of the time we will take their recommendation. We all really loved their chicken lettuce wraps so much so I actually made a recipe I found online that someone came up with that said they were the ones from PF Changs. They too were delicious but a little time consuming so I have only made them a couple of times.
IMG_2883.JPGThere is an added bonus to lettuce wraps; if you are watching your carb intake you can eat 2 or 3 lettuce wraps without any guilt. Not that I have anything against carbs I mean if you saw me you would be like “oh yeah she eats carbs” but it is nice to know there are other ways to have a tasty filling without having a bun of some sort to hold it together.
IMG_2866This comes together very quickly and would be a great weeknight meal on some hot summer night when you want something quick, light and delicious!
IMG_2873.JPGTurkey Lettuce Wraps

1 package of ground turkey
Olive oil for the pan
Package of white mushrooms – cleaned and chopped
3-4 scallions, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Boston or Bibb lettuce, romaine and iceberg work too
Shredded carrots
Bean Sprouts
IMG_2878.JPGSauce
3 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ tablespoon sriracha sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup water

Thai chili sauce works awesome too
IMG_2867IMG_2868IMG_2870Brown the turkey in a large saute pan until cooked through. Add the mushrooms, scallions, garlic and water chestnuts cook until the mushrooms are soften. In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar and then add to the turkey mixture. Cook for about a minute or so. Remove from the heat.
IMG_2879.JPGCreate the sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together. Once you make your lettuce wrap drizzle a little over the top of the turkey and veggies. Add a little thai chili sauce if you like a little more love.
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Recipe adapted from Melissa d’Arabian Food Network

Thai chicken breast lettuce wraps

The other day I went to my local grocery store with my usual shopping list bread, milk, lunch meat, lettuce, tom’s etc. and they didn’t have romaine or iceberg lettuce. My husband loves lettuce on his sandwiches so I brought home some butter lettuce also known as boston bibb lettuce. Well the lettuce was still in the fridge a week later, he probably looked in the drawer, didn’t see the “norm” and had lettuce free sandwiches all week. His loss!
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So me being well me I needed to use up what was in the fridge before it goes bad. Butter lettuce is perfect for lettuce wraps. I had some chicken breast that needed to be cooked up and it seemed like my fridge wanted me to make chicken breast lettuce wraps. They are simple, light and quite tasty.
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If you do not have thai sweet chili sauce of some sort in your pantry or fridge, you really should put it on your shopping list for next week.  It is simply divine; sweet and spicy. You can use it to top a taco, sandwich add to a salad. I fell in love with it dipping my fried dumplings in. Buy some you won’t regret it!
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Thai chicken breast lettuce wraps

3-4 boneless skinless chicken wraps
½ cup sweet thai chili sauce
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 lime juiced
3 Tbs olive oil
1-2 Tbs sriracha
2 tsp ginger – freshly grated or in a squeeze tube like mine
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1 small red onion – sliced thinly
1 carrot – julienned

In a bowl add chili, soy, lime, olive oil, sriracha, ginger and garlic. Stir and add chicken. Marinate for about an hour or less.
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In a pan cook the chicken till done, no longer pink.  Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes then slice thinly.
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Take a piece of lettuce add some chicken and top with red onion and a few carrots. It won’t be needed but you could also top with a little more sweet Thai chili sauce – just saying!

Asian Lettuce Wraps

My garden is looking pretty good so far, the first thing we harvested besides the strawberries I wrote about recently were some radishes. I shared them with my Dad and he loved them, saying they were the spiciest ones he’s ever had. The ones I ate were cut up super small for my salad and I also sliced some really thin and pickled them so I didn’t notice the spice.  I heard you can roast them so that is on my list of things to try. This week we also got our first zucchini and summer squash and so far one cucumber though most all the plants look great except my peppers and eggplant not sure what happened to those guys?  

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We planted some bibb lettuce this year; mostly because we have the perfect spot for it in the corner of one of the beds; it doesn’t get enough sunshine for anything else to grow there so I would either leave it empty or plant lettuce. I should have staggered the plants so they all didn’t mature at the same time. You can only eat so much lettuce, or at least we can; 6 plants are a little much even for a family of 4.

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The leaves looked perfect for a lettuce wrap; which we all do love but don’t eat very often. Especially at home, which since they are so easy, we totally could have them as part of our dinner rotation. Plus I have an arsenal of Asian spices and oils; probably since my daughter spent 2 years living in Japan. Or maybe because you only use a teaspoon here and a tablespoon there. I also think it is because of the Asian market I like visiting. I love the owner, she is super sweet and very helpful and you can’t beat the prices.

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Asian Lettuce Wraps

Bibb or Butter Lettuce
1 lb of lean ground beef
1 Tbs canola oil
1 large onion chopped
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 dash of your favorite Asian chili pepper sauce
1 8oz can of water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tsp Asian (dark) sesame oil

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat them dry, being careful not to tear them and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the oil and beef cooking until browned. Drain and discard the grease. Transfer beef to a bowl. Cook and stir onion in the same skillet until tender; add in the hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and chili pepper sauce. Stir to combine and add the water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and the cooked beef; cook for 2-4 minutes longer.  

Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile the meat mixture in the center of each leaf.

Add a small bowl of the sweet chili sauce for those who want a little more kick