Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chill out... with Asian Lettuce Wraps!

Ok, so no one can lie... this heat is killer and my food cravings has surely changed with the weather.  I don't know about you, but I want cold foods and salty greatness.  AND quick and easy meals that you can enjoy the evenings on the deck or the porch.  Serve all the toppings on a platter and let everyone make their own lettuce wraps and watch the smiles unfold.

Usually these types of lettuce wraps are served as appetizers...but add a few side dishes and you can make it an amazing meal.  I'm not usually a proponent of chain restaurants, but I must say that Cheesecake Factory's Thai Lettuce Wraps are out of this world... but the calories are out of this world (1, 025 calories) and the sodium content is more than one should have an entire day (2,237 mg, your daily goal should be ~1,500 mg).  These are lighter on the calories and sodium and have just as much flavor!

I splurged a bit and used Bibb lettuce in these Asian wraps and I'm so glad I did.  Bibb lettuce is a butterhead lettuce green that is really tender and has a lot of flavor.  The leaves are pretty flexible so they roll up really nicely.  You could use boston lettuce too, which just has larger leaves, but similar in taste.  
Serve the meat and rice and beans with carrots, scallions, and a lovely ginger garlic dipping sauce.

Asian Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4

Meat Mixture:
1 pound of lean ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbsp lite soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

Dipping Sauce
2 Tbsp lite soysauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Chili Oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl!

1 head of Bibb lettuce
3 carrots, grated
scallions, chopped
1 Red Pepper, chopped
Rice mixture (recipe to follow)

Directions: Brown the chicken in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the remainder of the spices to the meat.  Assemble the platter with the vegetables, chicken, and rice and let everyone dig in!  Easy-peasy!

Nutrition Facts: 3 Lettuce wraps with ground chicken and rice
~250 calories, 18 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, 3 g fiber, 375 mg sodium

Make these easy wraps today!  Recipe for edamame brown rice (as pictured) to follow... tune in then!

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