About five or six years ago, I had P.F. Changs’ lettuce wraps for the first time. Back then, I was knee-deep in carbs and cheese so the thought of meat and veggies wrapped in lettuce was not appealing. But, as you may know, those lettuce wraps are delicious. So, as an aspiring cook, I scoured the internet for a copycat recipe determined to bring the deliciousness home. At the time, I was living in a studio apartment with a tiny kitchen, and I had just started branching out from cheese quesadillas and spaghetti. It took me a good three hours, but come hell or high water, I made those lettuce wraps. I know when you’re learning to cook you’re supposed to start with simple recipes like omelets and roast chicken. However, when I first start seriously cooking, I decided to jump off the deep end and make super complicated recipes right away. P.F. Changs’ lettuce wraps, three-layer almond toffee cake, authentic Brazilian food – nothing scared me. Sure, there were trials and tribulations, but I never cared. I just enjoyed the challenge of making these complex recipes. Over time, I’ve actually simplified my cooking so I can cook more often. Of course, I still like a good challenging recipe that takes the better part of a day, just sparingly.
So, over the years, I came up with my own quicker and healthier lettuce wraps. You can make this in under 20 minutes - 20 MINUTES! Here’s how you do it.
1 head bibb lettuce
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cup peanuts, chopped
2 cups rice noodles (optional)
Chop your veggies.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook ground turkey until it’s no longer pink. While turkey is cooking, heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook garlic, ginger, mushrooms and onions for five minutes or until the mushrooms are soft.
Add the cooked vegetables to the turkey in the large sauté pan. Add the next seven ingredients, through the wasabi powder, and sauté for five minutes until all the flavors combine. Add sesame seeds and peanuts, and sauté for another minute.
Separate each lettuce leaf from the head. Cook rice noodles according to the package if you decide to add them to your meal.
Finally, add turkey mixture to each lettuce leaf, wrap up as best you can, and enjoy!
Healthy Recipe Ecstasy? This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and carb free if you forego the rice noodles. Nothing beats P.F. Changs’ lettuce wraps, but these come pretty close. You can add a dipping sauce, but I find that there’s enough extra sauce in the turkey and veggie mix that you don’t need the additional sodium and sugar. Note: if you’re serving the lettuce wraps as an appetizer, you don’t need the rice noodles. If you’re making them for dinner, they are very filling on their own, but adding the rice noodles gives them a little more substance. Be prepared because these can get messy, but that’s part of the fun!