Monday, April 9, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are always so beautiful, a hand-held salad, all on one leaf.  Wraps can go from appetizer to entree, depending on portion size and the ingredients inside.  A few of these Gardein chicken-filled wraps easily make a dinner portion.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 Gardein Tuscan chicken breasts (without sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper*
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 and 1/2 cups grated carrot**
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds***
  • 12 butterhead lettuce leaves (such as Boston or Bibb)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (or this is the time to use a wok, if you have one).  Slice the chicken into thin strips and add to the pan, along with the ginger; saute for 5 minutes.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, agave, crushed red pepper, and cornstarch.  Add the teriyaki mixture to the pan.  Trim the snow peas and cut into thin strips lengthwise.  Add to the pan, along with the carrot, bean sprouts, and green onions.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often - the sauce should be slightly thick.  Stir in the almonds.

3. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture into each lettuce leaf and roll up to serve.

*Add up to a full teaspoon crushed red pepper if you like spicier foods.

**That's a lot of carrot to grate by hand.  Pull out your food processor: 

***You can toast the almonds quickly in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until toasty smelling.  Remember to stir or shake the pan frequently to prevent burning.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (3 wraps), Calories 189 

Tasting Notes:
Very crisp, light, and refreshing, between the barely-cooked veggies and the lettuce leaf wrapping it all up.  The crushed red pepper was verging on too spicy, even though I used the least amount called for, so I would not increase.  Sadly the other components of the sauce got lost; I'd use more teriyaki in particular but there was a nice sweet note from the agave, and great ginger flavor.  I'd also slice one more Gardein chicken breast and add to the mix, to amp up the filling a little. 


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