Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I made these last week and they were a HIT with the whole family!  I love watching my kids enjoy a meal that is wrapped in lettuce :) I served my coconut-lemongrass rice on the side and it was a great meal!  I've been cooking like crazy the past couple of weeks and my creativity is coming back.
Been trying to hit the farmers markets and make meals with whats in season.  Our garden is booming with zucchini, yellow squash, sugar snap peas, green beans, fresh basil and of course a lot of tomatoes!!
It's been awesome to not have to buy much produce at the store.  I encourage you to go check out your farmers markets and create a meal with whats fresh & local!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (serves 5-6) recipe adapted from HERE


  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1/2 inch pieces (or use ground chicken)
  • 1 head Bibb Lettuce or Iceberg Lettuce (look for bibb lettuce at your farmers market)
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, diced (optional)
  • 1 carrot, julienned 
  • 1 small zucchini, small dice
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews (optional)
  • bean thread noodles, fried (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped 
  • 3 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, fined minced
  • 1 jalapeƱo, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. sirracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce (find it in Asian section at grocery store)
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the stir fry sauce and set aside.
Heat a Wok or large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add some oil to the pan (I used canola) and cook the chicken with salt and pepper until done.  Remove the chicken from pan and set aside.  Add a little more oil and saute the carrot, zucchini, water chestnuts and green onion for about 4-5 minutes.  Add the chicken back to the pan, pour in the stir fry sauce and cook until bubbly and thickened, about 5 minutes.  Serve on top of lettuce leaves and sprinkle with roasted cashews.  I fried up some Bean Thread Noodles to serve on top as well.  My kids really like those!  If you would like to have a "dipping sauce" for the lettuce wraps, here is a recipe below:

  • 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. hot water
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 tsp. sesame oil

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grilled Pineapple-Turkey Burgers

It's August already...I seriously can't believe it!  My kids will be heading back to school next week and I'm already anxious to light my Fall candle!  I know, sounds strange that I'm thinking of Fall while it's still 75 degrees and sunny here, but it's inevitable that once school starts, our summer fun will be over :(
Oh well, we had a such a full summer that it will be nice to be back on a routine, which means I'll be doing a lot more cooking.  I'm actually looking forward to it...trying out some new recipes and having the house full of comforting smells when the kids get home from school.
This burger recipe has been on my "have to try" list for a while!  I'm a huge fan of turkey burgers that are seasoned just right, so they don't dry out.  The grilled pineapple definitely makes this burger a top-of-the-line burger (in my opinion).  You could add cheese or some fresh spinach leaves, but I think it's great as is.  Oh, and my new favorite thing to do with the hamburger buns is, lightly mayo the buns then put them on the grill for just a few minutes.  Honestly, I'm not a fan of mayo at all, but it seriously makes for one great grilled bun :)

Grilled Pineapple-Turkey Burgers 
(recipe very slightly adapted from Confections of a foodie Bride )

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 burgers *I made 2 large patties and 3 medium to smaller ones for my kids)

  • 1 pineapple, sliced into 4 rings
  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground turkey (I don't use the super lean turkey)
  • 3 Tbsp. Heinz 57 steak sauce or a little more (trust me, this is SO GOOD)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • handful of cilantro, chopped and divided
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • worcestershire sauce
  • hamburger buns
Heat grill to medium-high.  I used my indoor grill pan this time.  Place pineapple rings on grill and cook about 4-5 minutes per side, or until you get some nice grill marks.  Remove pineapple and set aside on plate.  
In a large bowl, combine turkey, steak sauce, red onion, about 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, and a few dashes of worcestershire.  Mix together well.  *fyi...I left out the cilantro and red onion from my kids burgers.  Place on grill and cook about 5 minutes per side.  After the burgers come off, you can now grill your buns if you like!  Next time I'd also like to grill some red onion rings to place on the burger.  
Serve the burgers on buns with additional steak sauce, grilled pineapple rings, and a little cilantro.  If you have left-over chopped red onion, you can also sprinkle some of that on top if you like, but I left it off.


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