Asian Lettuce Wraps

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These are quick and easy lettuce wraps.  I came up with this recipe after seeing a similar ready to make meal on a local organic food delivery company, where I occasionally order farm fresh veggies from.  I needed something to make that would be quick since we had a meeting in the evening to get our youngest son registered for high school next year.  And in keeping with trying to incorporate more fresh vegetables into our diets, I also needed something that would accomplish that goal.

I will apologize in advance for this recipe.  I tend to be a “little of this and a little of that, and oh a little more of that” person when I cook, especially when I am creating something without a recipe.  I think these amounts are really close to what I actually used.  You can adjust as needed to suit your taste.

Ground Turkey with Coconut Rice Asian Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients for the wraps (minus the stir fry sauce ingredients – they are listed below)

  • 1.5  lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • Head of butter or bib lettuce
  • 1 14 oz Can of sliced water chestnuts (opt)
  • 1/3 cup thinly shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion tops
  • 1.5 cups uncooked Jasmine rice
  • 1 can coconut milk (1 can is just less than 2 cups)

Stir Fry Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon  cayenne powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

Mix together the ingredients for the stir fry sauce in a bowl.   Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge to marinate for a least an hour.  This can be made the night before.  Once sauce has marinated at least an hour, brown the turkey on medium high heat.  While the turkey is browning, put uncooked rice in a pot, pour in the coconut milk and the water, bring the rice, coconut milk, and water to a boil and then reduce heat and cover rice to cook until done.  Once the turkey is cooked add in cashews, the water chestnuts and the stir fry sauce.  Cook together on medium high, stirring frequently, until sauce is completely absorbed. Remove from heat.

Clean and separate the lettuce leaves while the rice and the turkey are cooking and lightly pat dry.  Once the stir fry sauce has completely absorbed and the rice is complete, scoop the turkey meat mixture and the rice onto the lettuce leaves.  Top with the sliced carrots and green onions.  Wrap up or hold like a taco to eat.

If you make these or adjust the recipe, please let me know what you changed and how you liked these!

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Goodbye winter, it was fun, but I’m seeing another season now.

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I always welcome winter.  I guess having grown up in South Florida, where it is always summer weather, I am ready for boots, sweaters, gloves, fuzzy hats, and a break from gardening and yard work.   And winter means making and eating lots of yummy soups, stews, and hearty meals.  But at a certain point, enough is enough.   Time to move on winter.

Our weather started warming up, forcing many of my plants to start budding out.  I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to plants.  I could spend, and have, all day working in my yard.  So, as you could guess, spring is, for me, a bit of a gift.  With this change in weather, I have come down with a cold that has also resulted in laryngitis.  My husband loves my new raspy Demi Moore(ish) voice.  I just want to be able to talk at a normal pitch and without pain.    In the last year, I started buying more organic vegetables.  And recently, I added more organic products to my pantry.  This work well with my love of gardening and nature.  And we  get the benefit of eating foods that are not filled with antibiotics, growth hormones, or treated with pesticides.  Last week while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I picked up some raw organic honey.   So, last night when my throat felt so raw that even breathing through my nose, was painful.  This would also induce coughing which caused even more pain.  I remembered the jar of raw honey in the pantry, and all the health benefits of it.  Most important one last night was it’s anti-viral effect, it’s ability to promote healing, soothe sore throats, and quiet a cough.  So, I heated up water in my tea kettle, waited for the hiss of the kettle, and then made a cup of hot tea.  I added 2 teaspoons of the raw honey to it and proceeded to sip it.  It felt wonderful on my throat!  And it worked,  it did reduce the pain and my cough went away.  The only downside was the caffeine at 10pm.  Upside to the caffeine was that I got all the laundry done and I re-watched a Discovery Channel documentary on possible real life mermaids.  Raw honey has loads of health benefits, and it tastes yummy.  But please do not give it to young children, especially babies, as just as pasteurized honey, it may contain botulism toxin.

So, cheers to spring!  Bring on the flowers, the bees who pollinate the flowers, and the beautiful raw honey that bees give us.