Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Plan - Lettuce Wraps

Dinner tonight was Lettuce Wraps.  Man, we love these things!  They fit into "the Plan" very well and they're super easy and fast to make. This recipe makes 8 wraps, 4 servings. It's adapted from a recipe I found on the web, which had too much meat and not enough veggies.

You may need to buy some new-to-you Asian sauces for this recipe, but believe me, you will make this again and again!  The original recipe called for Boston lettuce. I use iceberg lettuce when I make these because we prefer the crunch.  To get perfect cups, core the head with a knife and rinse well under very cold tap water.  Shake off water and set aside to drain in a colander, core side down. The easiest way to get them apart without tearing the leaves: Break off part of a leaf rib and discard, then carefully peel/nudge leaves off, one at a time, removing some of each rib first. Some leaves will tear, save those for salad.  Keep 8 perfect cup shaped ones to use for this recipe.

Fresh ginger is totally worth the price.  In fact, it's far cheaper to buy it fresh and keep it in the freezer to use as needed.  Wrapped in a plastic bag, fresh ginger will keep forever in the freezer.  Take it out and grate it on your large hole microplane while still frozen - no need to peel it for this recipe.  The papery peel disappears into the sauce. If you want to peel it, the edge of a spoon works well and doesn't waste the ginger. Then just re-wrap it and pop it back into the freezer for next time.

I like the stir fry veggies from Aldi.  They come in a 2 lb bag.  Throw out the sauce packet - it's gross.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps
8 ounces ground extra lean turkey, other ground meat or veggie crumbles
1 pound package frozen stir fry veggies, partially thawed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water

1/3 cup reduced sodium teriyaki sauce, thicker sauces work best for this recipe
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root (you can substitute 2 TEASPOONS ground dried ginger, but it's just not the same!)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (I use seasoned rice vinegar, white wine vinegar will work in a pinch)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (the brown one from the Asian foods aisle)
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce

To Serve
2 green onions, chopped (keep white part and tops separate)
8 lettuce leaves

Heat a large skillet over high flame, remove from flame, spray with non-stick.  Return to heat and add the ground turkey. Cook, stirring to break up clumps until no pink remains. Add veggies and water, cover pan, and let veggies steam while you make the sauce.

Combine sauce ingredients, add to skillet. Stir to coat everything with sauce. Bring to a bubble and let simmer 5-7 minutes until sauce thickens. Stir in green onion white parts.

Spoon a 1/2 cup or so into each lettuce cup. Sprinkle with green onion tops.  Fold over sides and eat with your hands.
Per 2 wrap serving: 2 ounces meat, 1 1/2 cups veg, 2 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 cup fruit.

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