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Real Food Fast: Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps

When hockey season starts, the TV is on most evenings around our house, and as in most households, TV and food go hand in hand. Unfortunately it’s most often chips, popcorn and other snacks that are consumed on the couch after dinner so long ago I decided to come up with some munchable snacks that could conceivably count as dinner, yet be eaten on the couch without need for utensils. Something other than pizza or quesadillas, yet just as snackable. And preferably more veggie-laden with less melty cheese (a request of my thighs). Enter hoisin chicken or pork lettuce wraps adored by my 5 year old, niece and nephews because of the hands-on factor, by my husband because they are so much cheaper than Chinese takeout, and by me because they are actually healthy, filling, packed with veggies, and take some effort to assemble and eat, which enforces portion control. (No mindless munching.)

Heat up some frozen potstickers to serve alongside and you have a perfect eat-with-your-fingers meal. What else could you ask for from a TV dinner?

Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps were in fashion far before Dr. Atkins encouraged us to forgo bread in favor of greens as a sandwich casing. Serve on a platter with romaine leaves or wedges of iceberg lettuce; your friends scoop filling onto a lettuce leaf, wrap and eat. Use any kind of veggies you like, or substitute turkey, pork or shrimp for the chicken.

canola or sesame oil, for cooking
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken or turkey breast or pork tenderloin, chopped             
2 cups sliced mushrooms (any kind)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. grated fresh gingerӬ
salt & pepper to taste
Ӭ1 small red pepper, seeded and finely choppedӬ
1/2 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)Ӭ
3 green onions, chopped Ӭ
1/4 cup bottled hoisin sauceӬ
1-2 romaine lettuce hearts, separated into leaves

Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until opaque. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute or two, until they are starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper and cook a minute more. Add the red pepper, water chestnuts and green onions. Cook for another minute.

Add the hoisin sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the chicken mixture to a serving platter and serve alongside the lettuce. To eat, pile some of the chicken mixture onto a lettuce leaf, wrap it up and eat it like a burrito.

Makes about 16 wraps.

Per wrap: 54 calories, 1.3 g total fat (0.2 g saturated fat, 0.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat), 7.5 g protein, 3.1 g carbohydrate, 16.4 mg cholesterol, 0.5 g fiber. 22% calories from fat.

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