Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps (also called Asian Lettuce Wraps)

Fold these lettuce wraps up and eat them like tacos--only a more healthy, equally tasty version!  With less than 150 calories for each wrap, they fill you up with nutrition, not guilt.

Ingredients:  1 lb. ground chicken
                     half to one whole 8 oz. can of water chestnuts, depending on your taste,
                          drained and either sliced or chopped (again, depending on your preference)
                     1/2  to 3/4 cup shredded carrots
                     1/2 to 2/4 cup frozen edamame beans (soybeans)
                     2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
                     1 tsp. reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
                     1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
                     1/2 can of 14.5 ounce reduced-sodium chicken broth
                     1-2 tablespoons hoison sauce
                     12 leaves of Bibb or Boston butter lettuce
                     Optional:  1/2 tsp. Chinese hot mustard, 1 tbsp. chopped onion

Directions:  1.  This recipe can be cooked at least two different ways, depending on what utensils
                    you may have in your kitchen.  You can either use a skillet and then transfer to a
                    crockpot for 2 1/2 hours or you can do it all on the stove in a very large "sauce" pot
                    (as I call it--from the Italian side of our family--the huge pot that you make your own
                    sauce in which is very different from a small sauce pan).  Anyhow, either coat the bottom
                    of the skillet or the bottom of the sauce pot with cooking spray.  Heat the ground chicken
                    over medium-high heat, breaking it up occasionally into smaller pieces, until it is no
                    longer pink. 
                   2.  If you are adding onion to your chicken mixture (my kids won't eat it, so we don't)
                   then add it to the skillet or pan now.  Cook for a minute or two on medium-high
                   heat to let the flavors of chicken and onion mix. 
                   3.  If you are using a skillet, now transfer the chicken (or chicken and onion mixture)
                   to the crockpot.  If you are using a big sauce pot on the stove, turn down the heat to
                  4.  To the chicken, add the water chestnuts, carrots, frozen edamame, soy sauce, teriyaki
                  sauce, vinegar and, if you are using the Chinese hot mustard, add that as well. 
                  5.  Pour the half can of chicken broth into the chicken-vegetable mixture.  Cover and cook
                  on low for 4-5 hours or, if using the crockpot, can also cook for 4-5 hours on low or
                  2 1/2 hours on high setting. 
                  6.  Strain the mixture and discard the liquid.  Add the 1 tsp. of hoison sauce and stir. 
                  7.  Spoon a large portion of the chicken mixture into the hollowed out portions of the
                  lettuce leaves.  May serve with reduced-sodium soy sauce, if desired. 

                  Per lettuce wrap, approximately:  125 cal., 2g. fat, 44 mg. cholesterol, 220mg. sodium,
                      7.5 g. carb., 1.5 g. fiber, 20g. protein. 

Thank you to the 2012 Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication's Skinny Slow Cooker book for the basic recipe--that we then changed a ton, including deciding NOT to use the slow cooker at all...but anyhow--and made into our own version.  It was a wonderful inspiration for this recipe.  We hope that you will be able to use this, change this recipe into something that appeals to your family's tastes, and enjoy healthy eating! 


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