Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

 

(Adopted from Pinch of Yum)

The original recipe uses peanuts; however, as my son is allergic I modified with cashews.  Feel free to use raw unsalted peanuts if desired.

INGREDIENTS:

For the salad
•    1 lb. ground chicken (can also use pork)
•    2 tsp olive oil
•    1-2 tsp Chinese Five-Spice powder
•     1 small head green cabbage (at least 12 large leaves)
•    2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips (can also use orange or yellow)
•    2 large carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
•    green onions, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
•    cilantro for topping


For the sauce
•    ¼ cup fresh lime juice
•    4 teaspoons fish sauce
•    4 teaspoons Organic Tamari/soy or coconut aminos (if Paleo)
•    4 teaspoons oil (I use olive oil, grapeseed or safflower oil)
•    5 teaspoons honey
•    2 teaspoons water
•    scant 1 cup cashews (raw)
•    8 small cloves garlic, minced
•    1½ tablespoons lemongrass paste (I use the lemongrass tubes found in produce section or in jar)

INSTRUCTIONS:

•    Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  When pan is hot, add chicken and Chinese Five-Spice powder; cook 4-5 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring to crumble. 

•    Cut the bottom stem off the cabbage so the leaves come apart easily while still staying intact. Wash the leaves and set aside. Prepare the other vegetables.

•    Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree or blend until the mixture resembles chunky nut butter (just not as thick). Taste and adjust to fit your preferences.

•    Assemble the lettuce wraps by filling the cabbage leaves with chicken, carrots, peppers, green onions, and cilantro. Add a few extra raw cashews if you want. Top with a spoonful of sauce.

NOTES:

You can definitely use regular lettuce but I like the flavor and the texture of the green cabbage leaves better.

Make the dressing a day ahead of time to save time the night you’re making this meal.  The sauce is delicious and you will have plenty left over to use as a dip with raw veggies; perfect to have on hand to satisfy a mid afternoon craving! 

Serve with quinoa or brown rice.