PALEO THAI CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
These Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps make the perfect summer meal.
It is officially summer here in Washington State. The mornings are still magical, dewy and cool. The days are now pleasantly long, and the nights are that sweet spot between hot and cold that almost beg you to sit outside, and enjoy your dinner while watching the sun fade [and possibly indulge in a second margarita]. Summers are damn near perfect here. Even with the comparably pleasant weather, the days still push 90, and when the temperatures rise I find myself craving foods that are crisp, and cool. I like to think that this is an intrinsic craving from my body’s innate wisdom guiding me to eat more seasonal foods, and more variety, but in reality it might just be the fact that I don’t want to stand by the oven when in is 92 degrees out because sweating into your meal is both unattractive and a food safety hazard.
Well, my friends, if you are like me and find yourself craving something fresh for dinner, or if you are just looking for something flavorful and low-carb to spice up your weeknight routine, then these paleo Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps are for you.
Need a quick and simple weeknight meal?
The only cooking required in this recipe is sauteing the onion, and browning the ground chicken. From start to finish, you can prepare this recipe in less than 20 minutes, and it is supremely delicious. I made this for dinner, and I knew I nailed the recipe when Kevin told me it was the best meal I have ever cooked. My disclaimer is that we had just finished a pretty intense workout, this was the first real meal I had cooked for him since he got back from his deployment, and we had just returned from a week long backpacking trip where dinners consisted of dehydrated meals, and airport food. Nonetheless, these colorful Thai chicken lettuce wraps are loaded with nutrients, low-carb, and sure to please.
Nutritional Benefits of this Fantastic Meal:
- Great Option for Lean Protein – The ground chicken used in this recipe is great way to get a healthy amount of protein while keeping it lower in calories. Although eating full-fat animal products can and should be part of a healthy diet, it is also important to choose cuts of meat that are lower in fat so that you can vary your fat sources. We add a little coconut oil and cashews to this recipe to make it satiating, add some fun texture and supply several healthy fat sources.
- Meet Your Micronutrient Needs – The colors in this recipe are a great indicator that your are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals with each bite. With all the vegetables and herbs in this recipe, you get a hearty amount of Vitamins K, B6, B1, C, A, and folate, along with magnesium and potassium.
- The Benefits of Phytochemicals – The sulfur compounds in the onions, garlic and green onions can help fight off a nasty cold. The anthocyanins in the purple cabbage are important to include in your diet because they can help protect you from a variety of diseases and cellular oxidation.
Paleo Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These fresh and crunchy lettuce wraps are full of amazing flavors, and simple enough for a hot summer weeknight.
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 small onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- cayenne pepper optional
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp sunflower butter
- 1/2 fresh lime, juiced about 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 head butter lettuce washed and dried
- 1 cup purple cabbage chopped
- 1/4 cup cashews chopped
- fresh basil or cilantro chopped
- 1 carrot shredded
Begin by putting the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Once the oil has heated, add the onion and begin cooking on a medium heat until it becomes translucent (about 3 minutes).
Add the ground chicken to the pan. Continue to cook over medium heat, and allow to brown. As chicken cooks, drain any excess moisture.
Add garlic to chicken and stir. Then add spices and coconut aminos.
While chicken cooks, prepare the sauce by combining the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork.
Prepare the vegetables by pulling the leaves from the butter lettuce, and chopping the cabbage, herbs, and cashews. Shred the carrot with a vegetable peeler.
Once the chicken has full cooked, reduce the heat and add the sauce to the pan. Allow to simmer for several minutes and reduce, stirring well.
Assemble the lettuce wraps, and enjoy!
Any nut butter will work in this recipe, but try to aim for an unsweetened variety. I like the mild nutty flavor of the sunflower butter.
Add as much cayenne pepper as you'd like. Cayenne is spicy, while paprika usually is not unless it says something like "hot smoked paprika". If you don't have cayenne pepper on hand but want to add a little kick, you can add 1-2 tsp of chili paste or sriracha to the sauce.