There is a certain Chinese-American restaurant chain that makes a dish they refer to as Chicken Lettuce Wraps. This recipe is not a copycat of the P.F. Chang’s (oops, I said it) version, but rather a healthier rendition, boasting impressive nutritional stats and a whole lot of flavor, too. My Chicken Lettuce Cups have a third less of both sodium and carbohydrates, and three times the protein of this restaurant favorite.
Served as an appetizer, lettuce cups are a fun and healthy finger food. As a main dish with some brown rice on the side, they make a filling and balanced meal, the salad and main dish taken care of in one go. Feel free to substitute any protein you wish for the chicken — these can easily be made vegan by using tofu or tempeh. No matter your main ingredient, the generous dose of garlic and ginger makes for a flavorful dish, and the water chestnuts add a refreshing crunch.
Chicken Lettuce Cups
1 large head butter lettuce
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2″ knob ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ dice
1 (8oz) can sliced water chestnuts, chopped
2 tsp. soy sauce (or tamari, which is gluten free)
1/2 tsp. sambal oelek
1 tsp. agave syrup
1 bunch (6 medium) green onions, sliced on the bias
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
cilantro for garnish
1. Gently break off the lettuce leaves, taking care to leave them intact. Wash and dry thoroughly, and set aside.
2. Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large (12″) nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic, sauteing until fragrant but not browned, about two minutes.
3. Add the chicken to the skillet, sauteing until cooked through, about five minutes.
4. Add the water chestnuts, soy sauce, sambal oelek and agave syrup to the skillet, tossing to coat evenly.
5. Turn off the heat and toss in the green onions and cilantro.
6. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a plate, scooping about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into the center of each leaf. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Serving size: 1/4 recipe Calories: 227 Fat: 8.5g Sodium: 466mg Carbs: 11g Fiber: 3.2g Protein: 24g