Eat Healthy For Less than $30 – Lettuce Wraps & Taco Night
Lettuce wraps can either be super fancy or super easy. To make super easy lettuce wraps all you need to do is stick to your basics. Save the fancy stuff for the night in with friends. The great thing about lettuce wraps is the fact that you can stuff them with chicken, or beef, or even sauteed veggies for you plant lovers. Even if you don’t have the fancy ingredients like Hoison sauce, rice wine vinegar, or water chestnuts already in your refrigerator, you can always wrap some meat with some veggies in a piece of lettuce and top with your favorite salad dressing (which I know you have) and call it a lettuce wrap. Who really cares. Leave fancy at the door.
Another tip for those not watching calories is to make it a Fun Taco night for the family. Pick up some torillas (they are always cheap). Put your toppings (lettuce, cheese, tomatoes) in separate bowls and let the kids craft their own taco. It’s always a hit. The love it and it’s super inexpensive.
How to Make Easy Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients (Recipe from The Kitchn)
3 to 5 tablespoons hoisin sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or 1 tablespoon tamari, if gluten-free or coconut aminos)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch, optional
1 pound ground chicken, white meat or dark meat (or ground turkey)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped small
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup sliced green onions (from about 6 green onions), divided
2 small heads Bibb or butter lettuce
Red pepper flakes, to serve
Hot sauce, to serve
Optional extras: chopped onions, chopped bell peppers, chopped or grated carrots
- Mix together the sauce: Combine 3 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk to combine with a fork and keep near the stove. If you’d like a more thickened, glossy sauce, whisk in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
- Cook the ground chicken: Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until cooked through and no longer pink, 7 to 8 minutes. Break up the chicken into small crumbles as you cook. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean bowl.
- Cook the vegetables and aromatics: Warm the other teaspoon of oil in the skillet. Add the mushrooms, along with any other optional extra vegetables you want, and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the water chestnuts, garlic, and ginger, and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
- Combine the vegetables and chicken: Transfer the cooked chicken back to the pan with the vegetables, along with half of the green onions.
- Stir in the sauce: Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken mixture and stir to coat. Cook just until you hear bubbling and the sauce is warmed through, 30 to 60 seconds. Taste a spoonful of the mixture and add more hoisin sauce if you’d like a stronger flavor.
- Serve with the lettuce: Break off all the lettuce leaves and pile them on a plate in the center of the table, along with small dishes with hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and the remaining sliced green onions. Transfer the hot chicken mixture to a serving dish, or serve straight from the skillet. Give everyone a spoon and let them dig in — place a generous spoonful of chicken mixture in the middle of a lettuce leaf, top with green onions and hot sauce or red pepper flakes, and eat right away.
- Make-Ahead Chicken Mix: The chicken filling keeps very well in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Reheat just what you need and add a splash of chicken broth if the mixture seems dry.