Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hello, again!

Let's just say, something had to give, and this blog was it. Now that the insanity has passed, it's time for me to get back on the wagon of eating at home, saving money, and finding creative new recipes...just in time for the garden to start producing in bulk.

We had some lettuce volunteer very early this year and let it grow, just to see if it would taste good. Lettuce wraps seemed the ideal recipe to try, with leaves that look like this:

My sister-in-law had mentioned making Lettuce Chicken Wraps from PF Chang's recipe, but after looking at it, I didn't have most of the key ingredients. A little more searching found this recipe, but again, I didn't have all the essentials. So, I improvised. I substituted white radish and turnip for the water chestnut -- YUM! And, the sauce wasn't exactly how they said to make it but it was delicious. From start to eating, including picking the veggies from outside, this meal took about 35 minutes.

8 large lettuce leaves
2-3 Tablespoons canola oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
3-4 white radishes
1 small turnip
1 small onion
6 baby carrots, or one big carrot
1/4 cup almond slivers
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoon soy sauce
4 Tablespoons white vinegar
3 teaspoons EVOO

1. Wash the lettuce and lay flat.

2. Prep work: Cut thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts into thin strips. Dice carrots into matchsticks. Dice 1 small onion. Peel and slice 3 white radishes and 1 small turnip.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. Stir fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Drain.

4. Return skillet to heat. Add garlic, turnip, radishes, onions, carrots, almonds, pepper and ginger to the chicken. Stir fry for about 5 minutes, until radishes and onions soften and almonds start to turn golden brown.

5. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the garlic powder, red pepper flakes, vinegar, olive oil and soy sauce.

6. To serve,  lay a lettuce leaf on each plate. Top with a spoon full of the chicken mixture. Spoon the sauce over the chicken mixture. Roll up, burrito style.

My girls don't like anything spicy, so their lettuce wraps had Western dressing on them instead of the red pepper sauce. Also for the girls' sake, they had asked for oven-baked french fries. That's not what I would normally serve with this, but a peaceful dinner is a beautiful thing. 

The only bad part about this meal: no leftovers for lunch today.

Ways to improve: Add 2 tablespoons teryaki sauce to the sauce mixture. Add fresh ginger instead of ginger "powder". Add more almonds.

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