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Shredded Chicken & Veggie Lettuce Wraps: A Healthy Mark Bittman Recipe to Love for Summer

Posted Jun 24 2010 11:48pm
The theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Summer Lovin' --recipes to ring in the official start of summer. Actually summer in Hawaii is pretty darn close to the rest of the year. (Don't hate me, I paid my dues living in the rainy Pacific Northwest most of my life.) Even in paradise, summer does get a little warmer, a little more humid and it still inspires lighter, low effort dishes that don't require a lot of cooking time in a hot kitchen. " Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express " is the perfect cookbook for that with its 20 minutes or less recipe sketches, divided seasonally. Having a busy week and unable to get to the store, I selected his recipe for Lettuce Wraps, deciding to use what I had in my fridge. For my protein, I went with shredded chicken using up the leftovers from a rotisserie chicken. In addition to the red onion, Thai chile and cilantro called for in the recipe, I added julienne carrots and zucchini and some chopped green onions, (always good to work in those veggies in for color, crunch and nutrients), and I used a small head of butter lettuce for the wrap. I also punched up the dressing a bit by adding lime juice, rice wine vinegar and a little chili paste along with some toasted sesame seeds. The wraps make a great light dinner or a starter, and would be an excellent "build your own" pupu (appetizer) for a summer party.

Shredded Chicken & Veggie Lettuce Wraps

adapted from "Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express"

Toss good-quality shredded cooked chicken, cooked ground meat, or lump crabmeat with minced shallot or red onion, chopped cilantro, sesame oil, minced Thai chile, salt, and pepper. Take the large outer leaves from heads of Bibbor Boston lettuce, put a couple of tablespoons of the filling mixture in the middle of each leaf, then roll up like a burrito to eat.

Notes/Results: What's not to like? Quick, easy, tasty, and adaptable to whatever you have in the fridge, this is a good basic dish and a great starting point to adapt as you wish. I make a lot of lettuce wraps of various types but I usually end up with ground meat or fish in them so using shredded chicken was a nice change. If I had them available, I would also have added some red pepper and cucumber to the veggie mix--the more color the better. Easy-peasy and a good go-dish to get you out of the kitchen and enjoying summer in no time.

Since this was such an easy recipe (and shockingly I am craving chocolate), I am doing double-duty and will be posting Bittman's Frozen Hot Chocolate recipe (from the same book), as my Simple Saturday Sipper this week. So come back for some more Summer Lovin'.

You can check the summer dishes the other IHCC participants picked by going to the site here and following the links.

Happy Aloha Friday!

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