Okay y’all… I’m turning over a new leaf. I have a new job and I sit in front of a computer all day, so I am TRYING to be diligent about posting on here. But remember, for me, blogging is like going to the gym. I will drag my feet for a while, but once I get in the habit, it’ll be good for me and I will post at least once or twice a week (hopefully). But the important part is that I promise I am trying.
So, back to what this post is actually about. I have a new goal. I am going to try to be healthier. And when I say be healthy, I’m not simply talking about eating healthy and exercising (while I am doing these as well), I’m talking about emotional health and spiritual health as well. For example, I just started reading the bible. While I was raised in a Christian household, I had never read more that a few passages of the bible (but I feel like this is not an uncommon thing). So I bought a bible and highlighters and just started reading. Were you expecting a revelation? Not yet. I told you, I just started reading, give me a minute.
And on a much lighter note, I was home the other night and I realized that I had a ripe pineapple just sitting there. I know…get to the point Sarah. I didn’t want to just cut it open and eat the pineapple plain, so I played a little home game of Chopped. You know the show, right? They give you a basket of random but mandatory ingredients and you have 30 minutes to make something palatable. Okay, so I didn’t have a goat’s head or durian or anything crazy, but it was still my own little version with pineapple, chicken, and romaine lettuce. Instantly, I defaulted to Asian flavors and pulled out the soy sauce, hoisin, sambal, and veggies and got to work.
This is one of those recipes that you make in the moment, don’t specifically measure, and leave out all the ingredients so that only at the end will you actually know what you used. It was also an incredibly quick recipe and could be easily frozen so that you could just BYOL at a later time (you’ve seen the commercials right? bring your own lettuce? no? oh well…) Regardless, if you’re looking for a quick late night snack or light weeknight dinner, this is my new favorite. It’s sweet, and spicy and satisfying without leaving you with an aura of guilt. Enjoy!
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
serves two people for dinner or four people for appetizers
4 chicken tenders (or 1 cup chopped)
1/3 cup carrots, roughly chopped
1/3 cup onions, roughly chopped
1/4 cup water chestnuts, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pineapple, grilled (obviously this is not vital but imparts a nice flavor) and roughly chopped
2 Tbls hoisin sauce
2 Tbls soy sauce
1 Tbl seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbl sambal (or less if you want to tone down the spice)
salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce for serving (I used romaine, but iceberg or butter lettuce would be perfect as well)
1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat in a lightly oiled pan. (I cubed the raw chicken just to make it easier to cook, but it doesn’t have to be pretty) After the chicken is cooked, set it aside on a cutting board and roughly chop it up into very small pieces. The reason I do this after it is cooked is so that the chicken can soak up all the sauce when it goes in with the veggies.
2. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic to the previously used pan and cook until the onions become translucent. Next, add the soy, hoisin, dijon and sambal and let cook for a couple more minutes. Lastly, add the rice vinegar, water chestnuts, pineapple, and chicken. Mix well and cook for two more minutes or until the chicken is heated through and all the flavors are blended.
3. There are a couple different ways to serve the chicken on the lettuce: My favorite is to spread it along the lettuce and make it into a wrap of sorts; You may also choose to dollop the chicken on the leafy dark green part of the romaine and eat it as if it were a big spoon; And if you decided to use butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce, pile up that chicken as if it were a lettuce bowl and don’t be afraid to also use a spoon!