I had a craving for lettuce wraps for days, and it was time to make it happen. It’s such a simple, healthy dish to make. I love nothing more than including bread into anything I can, but I do try to refrain from too much. By too much I probably mean only two out of the three meals in a day. It’s my weakness.
This recipe however is so packed full of flavor and texture that I never miss the carbs. It would however go perfectly with some white rice, but I was a good girl and had it just as it was. These are the kind of meals that you can completely enjoy if you are trying to eat a little smarter, and it literally tastes so good, you only focus on how delicious it is and not what type of carb you may be missing!
Because I didn’t serve anything alongside this meal, this quantity served both my husband and I, and my son, for one lunch time meal.
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cooked chicken breasts, diced very small
¼ cup green onion, chopped
½ cup green pepper, diced small
½ cup red pepper, diced small
½ cup celery, diced small
½ cup peanuts, chopped finely – for serving
1 head of lettuce – cored and leaves removed – for serving
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon white rice vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon of creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated or crushed fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sweet & sour sauce or sweet chili sauce
Combine all ingredients for sauce and whisk together until it is well combined and set aside. Chop up your chicken, lettuce, veggies and peanuts and have them ready to cook.
Heat the peanut oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and let it brown slightly. Then add the red and green peppers and let them fry for 2-3 minutes. Lastly add the celery & green onions and fry for another 2 minutes.
Add the sauce to the mixture and combine completely and stir for a minute or two to bring it all up to a hot temperature and have the sauce thicken while it cooks.
Serve spoonfuls of the mixture in large lettuce leaves and top with the crushed peanuts.
Here’s how it turns out:
I added all of the yummy ingredients together to make the sauce mix first. There’s a lot of different things in here and most of them you probably have in your fridge. But, if you don’t, I wouldn’t worry. I find that you can really experiment with sauces. If you don’t have hoisin for example, try using oyster sauce. If you don’t have the honey, use some brown sugar. If you like more of a Thai taste with the peanut butter, add more etc. You should end up with about ½ a cup of sauce.
Whisk it really well to combine it all. You might notice it’s still a little streaky and looks like it’s not very smooth but the peanut butter will tend to do that. It looks a little strange here, I know, but it’s ok. Really, who cares. It’s all going to be mixed up in a few minutes and nobody will ever know. Except for every person who reads this and judges my lack of whisking and secretly says “ugh, that looks very un-whisked! She should be ashamed of herself!” I should be, but I’m not.
Then I got to chopping up my chicken and veggies, crushing my peanuts and removing my lettuce leaves. For the lettuce, I always find that if you core it first, the leaves come away much easier without ripping – which is what we’re trying to avoid. Keep em’ big and whole if you can. I keep all my chopping very small with this and pretty even in size. (Note: A lot of times lettuce wraps are made with ground chicken instead – use this if you prefer a finer chicken through your mixture).
Then I heated up my oil in a frying pan on about medium heat and added the chicken. It was cooked already, but I like a bit of golden brown on it.
Then add in your red and green peppers and fry for another 2 or 3 minutes.
And the celery and green onions…..fry for another 2 or 3 minutes or so. I like to fry this just long enough to get it hot, but not soften the veggies. I really like the crunch.
Lastly, pour all of the sauce over it and stir together. It will thicken slightly and get nice and hot and bubbly.
And it’s done!
I serve mine in a bowl (as opposed to filling all the leaves before serving – I find the lettuce can get soft quickly) and everyone can take out as much as they want to fill up their lettuce leaves with.
I filled mine and then topped it off with the chopped up peanuts. Oh is that ever gorgeous!
Although this is typically an appetizer in restaurants, at lunch time, it makes a perfect meal. It’s like a hot salad full of protein and veggies and the flavor is over the moon good. And it’s a lunch you never have to feel bad about eating.
Healthy eating should never be boring or something you don’t look forward to. Always find alternatives that make you excited to eat well and never sacrifice flavor. Life is far too short!
– The Homesteaders Wife