Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Similar to my love of Spinach and Artichoke Dip (Snowed-in-Superbowl 2010), I am also a connoisseur of chicken lettuce wraps. I have eaten them at many a national chain restaurant, and I can't get enough. I often have high blood sugar after I eat the lettuce wraps at restaurants, maybe they are not always as healthy as they sound! I wanted to make a version that had lots of veggies and still tasted great to kids and adults.

These use the juice of a fresh orange for some acid and flavor. There are lots of green veggies, you can swap out veggies if there is something you prefer. The addition of mushrooms and asparagus would be great! Water chestnuts offer some extra crunch and since the veggies are not sauteed for too long, they also remain fairly crunchy. I prefer almonds as a garnish, but cashews or sesame seeds would work too. I have made these several times and even my husband likes them, so that probably means kids would too!



2 tsp olive oil
1/8 cup green onion
1/8 cup chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped carrot
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets (½ lb)
¼ cup soy sauce
Juice of 1 small orange (¼ cup)
Pinch of black pepper or red pepper
1 cup zucchini diced
1 cup summer squash diced
1 cup chopped green beans
1 cup chopped snow peas
1 small can of chopped water chestnuts (1 cup)
½ cup water                                                       
16 whole Boston/Bibb lettuce leaves (1-2 heads)
Thin crispy Asian salad noodles to garnish
Slivered almonds to garnish (optional)
Makes 16 Lettuce Wraps (1/2 cup filling per wrap)



Chop all vegetables and chicken. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan or wok over med-high heat, once sizzling add green onion, celery and carrots. Sauté for 3-4 min to begin to soften the vegetables. Add chicken to the pan and toss with the vegetables and oil, cook until opaque and use a spatula continue to toss chicken and vegetables while cooking, making sure to loosen anything that sticks to the pan. Add soy and the juice from the orange. Add the pepper to the mixture and continue to sauté to allow the chicken to cook through about 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and water chestnuts allow these to cook for about 2 minutes and add water to loosen anything that may have stuck to the pan. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes tossing the mixture and allowing the liquid to evaporate. Serve hot over lettuce leaves and sprinkle about a teaspoon of noodle or almond garnish on each wrap if desired.

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