Chicken Lettuce Wraps

My kids jump at the chance to order chicken lettuce wraps from restaurant menus, so I was thrilled when I perfected this scrumptiously lighter version that I can make at home. It has all the punch of the original but with a lot fewer calories, less fat and sodium, and still a hearty dose of protein. I promise, everyone will have fun scooping the chicken mixture into the lettuce and eating this out of hand—it makes for a perfect kid-friendly meal!

Slim & Scrumptious by Joy Bauer; William Morrow (2010)

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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    4 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    2 stalks celery, finely diced 1/3 cup bottled Chinese plum sauce
    1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
    1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely diced 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced 1 teaspoon hot chili paste, such as sriracha (or to taste)
    2 tablespoons grated or finely minced fresh ginger 1/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish (optional)
    1 pound ground chicken (at least 90% lean) 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


    Prep: 5 min Total: 30 min (Quick)
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    • 1

      Liberally coat a large skillet with oil spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat.

    • 2

      Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, water chestnuts, scallions, ginger, and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water at a time as necessary to prevent scorching.

    • 3

      Reapply oil spray if necessary, and add the ground chicken to the skillet. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, breaking the meat into a fine crumble with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with the salt and pepper.

    • 4

      Add the plum sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until heated through.

    • 5

      Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the cashews and cilantro. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

    • 6

      Clean the lettuce and break off 12 individual leaves (trim away the stem ends of the leaves if they are tough). Fill each lettuce cup with roughly 1⁄2 cup of the chicken mixture. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

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