Category Archives: Uncategorized

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Welcome to my first post in over four years!  I am still amazed that there are people coming of this blog on a daily basis without new content.  I would like to think that it is because the recipes and articles I have published in the past are timeless and useful to the readers who have been visiting site in my absence.  Thank you to all of the followers!  

Even though I have not been actively blogging I can assure you that I think about it often, have written dozens of posts in my head and envisioned a grand relaunch.  The reason I actually am writing this post is because I am scheduled to cook this for a group of 50 ladies this week for my local Chabad Culinary Club.  I was forced to put pen to proverbial paper and write this recipe. I figured that since I was taking the time to actually type it out I should post it as well.  And here we are.

I have had the opportunity to demo other recipes for the club in the past.  It meets once a month and is a place to learn new recipes, sample tasty food and socialize.  This month the theme is Asian food and I thought my Lettuce Wraps would be a fun dish to add to the menu.  They are easy, healthy and so very delicious.

There is another reason I wanted to share this dish.  While I have been on hiatus from blogging I have been on a weight loss journey that has changed my life.  I have lost 60 pounds over the past 2 years and have kept it off for over a year.  The transformation has been equally physical and mental.

These lettuce wraps have been a staple for me while losing and maintaining my weight. They can be made with ground chicken, lean ground beef or veggie crumbles if you would like to make them vegan.  They are a popular  restaurant menu item, and there is no reason you cannot easily make them at home with probably half the fat and sodium.  They are incredibly flavorful and have a good amount of veggies as well as protein which makes them surprisingly filling.  Plus, who does not love eating a lettuce wrap?

I hope to share the many other recipes that have helped me with my weight loss.  Between my hectic job, family, kids activities and my own fitness and self care blogging simply fell by the wayside.  It is my hope that this first step will be the impetus I need to share the dozens of posts, recipes and tips that have been floating around in my head all these years.

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time:  20 Minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

1 head bibb, butter or romaine lettuce

1 pounds of ground chicken breast or lean ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced very small

4 scallions, chopped

4 large cloves of garlic, minced 

4 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger or ginger puree (frozen such as Dorot or fresh)

8 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped fine

1 medium green pepper, diced small

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon siracha hot sauce (optional)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Take apart the head of lettuce, rinse each leaf and set aside to dry on paper towels.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the ground meat with a healthy pinch of kosher salt until cooked almost all the way through and crumbly, about 5 minutes.

If you are using ground beef it is best to remove it from the pan and drain the excess fat.  If you are using ground chicken breast or veggie crumbles you can leave it in the skillet.

Add the diced onion, 2 chopped scallions, green pepper, garlic and ginger.  If the vegetables are sticking, you can add a bit more oil.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes until all the vegetables have softened.  If your ground beef is on the side this is where you would add it back to the skillet.

Add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir well.  Lower heat to low and add the hot sauce and toasted sesame oil.  Allow the mixture to cook for 3 or 4 more minutes so that all the flavors combine.

If your lettuce is wet you will want to pat it dry before serving (no one wants to eat a soggy lettuce wrap).  Place a generous amount of the meat mixture in the middle of each lettuce leaf.  Garnish with finely chopped scallions.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Meat, Uncategorized

On A Personal Note

I first want to thank all the readers who have been continuing to come to the site even though it has been a long while since I have been consistently posting. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many visitors the blog still gets.  I thought I should let people know why the long gaps between posts.  The past few months have been difficult, but also a time of great joy. 

This past November my grandmother was hospitalized with a blood clot.  Although that is quite dangerous, the doctors caught it on time and her prognosis was good.  Unfortunately, while in the hospital she developed an infection.  Due to inadequate and negligent care (in my opinion) she ended up passing away three weeks later.  It was a shock to me and my family and I still cannot believe she is gone. 

Image

From left – my siste Kathleen, my mom, my grandma, me

I wanted to write about her here, on my food blog, because she has been such an influence in my life and my cooking.  She used to take care of my while my parents were at work and my fondest childhood memories are of her.  Mostly of us cooking in her kitchen, watching cooking shows on TV such as Julia Child and The Frugal Gourmet, and creating recipes together.  I recently found Micky’s Cookbook, the original version.  This was a project I did with my grandma when I could only have been 7 or 8 years old.  It was a beat up blue spiral notebook with recipes.  Some of them were family recipes, some were ones that she found in magazines and some were ones that we made up together.  I completely forgot that we even did this and had to laugh as today I have volumes of Micky’s Cookbook.  In college I started collecting recipes from the internet, magazines, cooking shows and my family.  Today I must have close to 500 recipes and three huge binders.  I forgot that it all started with my grandma.  This is why I would like to pay tribute to a very special woman that has shaped who I am as a person, mother and cook today.

Her passing was a time of great sadness and then just to demonstrate the circle of life, I gave birth to a baby girl five days later, Ariel Leah.  My grandmother wanted so much to meet her and I can only hope that she is looking down on her now.  She is the sweetest baby and I am in love.  I am pretty much getting no sleep between her and my 2 year old, but I would not change anything.  I am so grateful. 

As for the blog, I am going to keep at it. I just wrote up a fabulous chili recipe which I plan to post this week as it is a great Superbowl dish.  I am not sure how much posting I will be doing in the upcoming months but I ask that you stick with me and keep checking the blog.  If you choose to “follow me” you will automatically receive an email when I post.   If you “Like” me on facebook I always announce postings there as well. 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized