asian turkey lettuce wraps with quick pickled veggies – healthy fare
No wait, let me explain. Despite my last post which would indicate a lapse in our “healthy eating commitment”, we are actually trying to stick to our plan to get back in shape. That carolina pulled pork made its appearance on the 4th of July. It just took me an egregious amount of time to post it. Sorry. For a much more current look at what’s on our dinner table, check out these lettuce wraps.
As hard as it is, we’ve both made this commitment — so Scott is back at the gym 4-5 days a week and I am showing my support and encouragement by going with him. Every morning. At 5 am. Though it’s tough getting up so early, and usually one of us is pretty cranky at that hour, it’s nice to be done with our workouts by 6:30. It also helps set up the mindset to keep the healthy stuff going all day. And with suppers like this one, neither of us feels deprived.
So let’s talk about these lettuce wraps. Visually, they’re a stunner! Gorgeous colors that jump off the plate. If it’s true that you eat with your eyes, then your mouth should be watering. The fact that they are simple to make and have a ton of flavor just make them that much more spectacular! Plus they pack a lot of fiber and lean protein. We had them for dinner a few nights ago and neither of us could stop eating. The flavors just pop!
Quick pickled veggies add a nice pucker and the umami-laden sauce rounds it out. The kale just melted into the background of the turkey, like a saut?ed onion does in a marinara sauce. You can’t really taste it independently, but it’s there, subtly, doing it’s job.
I only wish Emily could have been with us that night. I think this is something that she would really go for.
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1/2 jalapeño, sliced
- 1/2" knob of ginger sliced
- 2 cups sliced vegetables like peppers, onions, radishes or shaved carrots
- non-stick vegetable spray
- 1 1/4 pounds ground extra lean turkey (breast meat)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup. finely diced bell pepper (I used an orange bell pepper)
- 2 cups finely chopped kale (tough stems removed)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 1/2-1 teaspoon siracha (depending on how much spice you like)
- 1 head Boston lettuce (also known as hydroponic lettuce)
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar or one packet of sugar substitute (I used trivia)
- 3 scallions, (white and light green parts, thinly sliced)
- Add vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Microwave for 2-3 minutes on high. Stir mixture until sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Place vegetables in a medium glass bowl, add garlic, jalapeño and ginger. Pour brine over vegetables to cover them. Let brine mixture cool to room temperature and refrigerate 1 hour to chill.
- Make dipping sauce by combining ginger, garlic soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and scallions in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
- Spray a 10" skillet with vegetable spray and heat over medium high heat, add sesame oil and tilt to coat the pan. Add turkey, browning and breaking up chunks with the back of a fork or spoon as it cooks. Add onion, kale and garlic, continue cooking until onion is softened and fragrant - about 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce, hoisin and siracha, stir to combine.
- Carefully pull lettuce leaves from the core so they don't tear. Rinse and dry them with a salad spinner or paper towels.
- To assemble, scoop a medium spoonful of turkey mixture into a lettuce cup. Top with a few pickled vegetables and a drizzle of the sauce. Carefully fold the lettuce leaf over the filling and eat like a taco.