Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lettuce Wraps

I am very aware of my lack of posting in the past month or so but, I have been extremely busy. I have moved to San Francisco (yay North Beach) and along with that comes many weekends devoted to putting together furniture (we all know how much fun it is to argue with Ikea furniture). Thanksgiving came and went, I don't even think I'll post my Thanksgiving recipes because everyone has their own style and my family will reserve our turkey and stuffing for those lucky enough to consume it. I am now settling into a new rythm up in San Francisco and takes a few minutes to do that. However, I am back in full force and hope you enjoy

As I kill a massive mosquito in my new place in North Beach I discover I'm craving something spicy, fulfilling, and low in carbs (hello Thanksgiving pounds). I created this lettuce wrap recipe myself from whatever my mother had in her fridge and we all loved them. You take ground beef and cook it with vegetables, herbs and spices and stick it in a butter lettuce cup and it's a great dinner for people who love to eat with their hands. You can serve it with some jasmine rice if you would like some carbys with it.

Lettuce Wraps:

2 tbsp. peanut oil or EVOO
1 lb. extra lean ground beef (preferably 95% lean/5% fat) or 1 lb. or ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, diced
2 bell peppers, one red, one orange, diced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
2 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch of ginger, graded
2 - 3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp lime zest + juice of 1 lime
1/2 orange juiced
S + P to taste
pinch or two of red pepper flakes (optional for those who love the spice)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
1/2 c. toasted slivered almonds
1 head of butter lettuce

In a shallow sauce pan brown the ground beef with some oil (EVOO or peanut oil). Add the onion, peppers, carrots, ginger, and garlic after the beef has browned and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the veggies are softened a bit. Add the soy sauce, citrus juice and zest, vinegar, spices and S + P to taste. Let cook for 5-10 minutes more, depending on how soft you want the veggies. At the last minute add the cilantro and almonds.

To serve, spoon the meat mixture into a bowl and place some cleaned lettuce leaves next to the bowl. Spoon some of the meat mixture onto a lettuce leaf, wrap up almost like a burrito and eat. If you wanted a carb addition, I would serve it with some Szechwan scented jasmine rice.

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