TWIST Eats: Healthy Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

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Like Pho, baked potatoes, and oatmeal, lettuce wraps (to me) are all about the toppings: less oily meat, and more fresh herbs, veggie sticks, and nuts.

While I can appreciate P.F. Chang’s (one of the first to offer lots of gluten free options for my celiac hubs), the overdose of sugar and sesame oil in their dishes makes me feel queasy after there first few bites. With the massive heat wave this week, I was craving a cool dinner — lettuce wraps (inspired by Yellow Bliss Road) to the rescue.

Coconut Secret Sauce

You can make your own teriyaki sauce, and it can be healthy-ish and easy-ish. Or, you can buy a good quality one like I did. It’s healthier and easier. And, if your kids are like mine, the lettuce part of the lettuce wrap was “disgusting”, so we replaced it with a hot dog bun. It’s not worth the war, trust me.

Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

Yield: Serves about 4 adults as a main course

Ingredients

Teriyaki Sauce: (or buy a good one and skip to the lettuce wraps)

  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I would cut this in half or use honey or agave)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I still added this even though I used store-bought sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Teriyaki Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey or tofu/tempeh/beans
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated (I skipped these)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8 Large Lettuce Leaves (Romaine, Iceberg or Butter Lettuce work best)Add-ons: Basil, mint, peanuts, sticks of zuke/carrot/jicama/radish

     

    Cook the broccoli, onions, and meat till almost all pink is gone.

     

    Add the sauce and simmer for as long as you like.

    If your kids are like mine, the “lettuce wrap” may morph into a “hot dog bun wrap”. And that’s OK.

 Cook the broccoli, onions, and meat till almost all pink is gone.

Cook the broccoli, onions, and meat till almost all pink is gone.

 Add the sauce and simmer for as long as you like.

Add the sauce and simmer for as long as you like.

 If your kids are like mine, the “lettuce wrap” may morph into a “hot dog bun wrap”. And that’s OK.

If your kids are like mine, the “lettuce wrap” may morph into a “hot dog bun wrap”. And that’s OK.

Instructions

Teriyaki Sauce
Mix soy sauce, 1/4 cup water, red wine vinegar, sugars, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a whisk until sugar is dissolved. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons warm water and cornstarch until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Heat sauce over medium high heat. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture and simmer until thickened.

Teriyaki Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I used coconut.
  2. Add diced onions and cook until soft.
  3. Crumble ground turkey and garlic into the pan and cook until turkey is no longer pink.
  4. Add grated carrots (if you use them) and chopped broccoli about halfway through, when the turkey is still somewhat pink.
  5. Pour teriyaki sauce over cooked turkey and vegetable mixture. and stir.
  6. Simmer for about five minutes to combine the flavors.
  7. Spoon meat mixture into individual lettuce leaves.
  8. Serve immediately.

This recipe can be a base to go all different ways and ethnicities. You can replace the sauce with other flavors and go Italian, Indian, Mexican, you name it. I hope you enjoy it in it’s original lettuce wrap form, or kid-style in a bun. Salud Summer!