Cheaper Lettuce Wraps

lettuce1If I had to choose, my favorite food group would probably be appetizers. That’s totally a food group – trust.

It’s not hard to understand why, I mean appetizers are usually fried, filled with cheese and you’re expected to order several so you can “share” with others. Therefore getting all the best foods in one sitting.

One of my favorite apps (that’s what the young kids are calling ’em) are Chicken Lettuce Wraps from P.F. Chang’s. But my husband is in his fourth year of dental school, so we can’t afford that life. Since we don’t go out to eat much, recreating my favorite restaurant dishes is a newfound hobby. Making them slightly healthier also doesn’t hurt.

For the good of the group: This looks like a lot, but it’s not. I actually had a good amount of these ingredients in my kitchen, but I’m weird so… carry on.

(Cheaper) Lettuce Wraps

Serves: More than enough for 4
Prep: 10-15 min – really just chopping veggies
Total: 25-30 min

You’ll Need

  • 1/2-1lb chicken breast, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (Sriracha works too)
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of garlic, minced
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 4oz Shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 lime squeeze (or 1 TBSP lime juice, because convenience)
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce, plus more for the chicken & serving
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 head of cauliflower, shredded (or one bag of chopped cauliflower)
  • Hearts of Romaine for serving
  • Optional Toppings: rice sticks, chopped peanuts, cilantro

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Sriracha (I would recommend more, but it’s your life)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cook the chicken breast over medium high heat. Douse the chicken in soy sauce and toss in the chili paste. Cook until no longer pink. Side note: I used a tablespoon of the chili paste per 1/2lb of chicken and thought it could have been spicier. But I say that about a lot of things.
  2. In another skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add in the garlic until fragrant.
  3. Toss in the green onions and cook about 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the peppers, mushrooms, chicken, lime, soy and about half the salt. Cook for another 7ish minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the cauliflower and remaining salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for about 3 minutes until thickened, stirring frequently.
  7. Serve with Romaine and whatever toppings your little heart desires.

Lettuce3.jpgMost of the recipes I’ve seen for lettuce wraps call for iceberg lettuce. I swear I’ve tried a million times and just cannot peel of the perfect layers of lettuce like the Chang’s can. So instead, I found that Romaine Hearts work so much better. Just chop off the end and voilà, like 10 perfectly shaped boats ready to transport spicy-peanut-chicken-veggie-ness to your mouth.
Connor and I ate this with the Provel Cauliflower Sticks and steamed potstickers from Trader Joe’s. Because I love me a meal consisting of only appetizers. More importantly, there was a TON leftover and the chicken/veggie mix makes a great faux stir-fry for work. Just nuke for a few minute and top with the peanut sauce (and more Sriracha).

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