So it turns out that strong black coffee is not meant to be had at 9:30 at night.
Granted, I did have a long-ish lab report to do and had an ochem midterm today so I needed some liquid energy, but two cups was probably overdoing it. Just know that at the moment, I’m practically bouncing off the walls.
One good thing about being so hyped up on caffeine? I have the energy to get up this here tasty post at 1:30 a.m. .
ANYWAYS. Let’s bounce towards the main point of this post: Healthy Asian Lettuce Wraps
When it comes to different cuisines, asian food has always held a special place in my heart. Maybe it stems from all those weekly family gatherings at my obachan’s house, or maybe it comes from the delicious sweet and salty flavors that are characteristic of a lot of asian dishes (sugar+soy sauce on everything, please), but I just plain luuuuuuuuurrrrrve Japanese/Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean dishes.
I know I’ve said this before, but growing up with a Japanese mom and Norwegian dad lends itself to a pretty weird culture mix. Holidays involved Japanese festivals and dressing up in traditional Japanese clothing along with marching in my little bunard dress waving Norsk flags around for syttende mai (the Norwegian national day). Weekly dinners involved copious amounts of steak and potatoes, as well as hot sukiyaki, curry, and sashimi topped with raw salmon eggs and octopus at my obachan’s house. I don’t think I even tried more all-American fare like meatloaf or baked beans until I started dating Kyle and eating over at his house, even though I’ve lived in the US almost all my life.
Even Christmas was celebrated differently. Unlike most families that get together on Christmas day, the festivities for my extended family start on Christmas Eve. We all fit into one house that’s practically bursting at its seams with all the people and love in it and open presents after a fantastic dinner. It wasn’t till I got older that I realized that most kids had to wait till the next morning to open presents and have the traditional Christmas celebrations (muhahah).
Since Christmas day is always left open, we have a family tradition of going out to a nice Chinese restaurant for a big lunch. One of my favorite dishes have always been their delicious lettuce wraps which include a mouthwatering sweet and salty ground beef that’s filled with crunchy water chestnuts. As soon as the waiter would bring the dish to the table, my cousins and I would make a beeline to serve ourselves a heaping pile on a crisp piece of lettuce and spoon a little extra sauce on top. <—— –the BEST.
These are a spin off of those taste lettuce wraps, only they’re much more pimped out thanks to the addition of toppings like roughly chopped peanuts and crunchy carrots for extra texture. AND they’re healthified. Lean ground beef (or your choice of meat, pork and chicken would work great as well) cooked with a little olive oil for healthy fats and, if you’re looking for a dinner that’s low in carbs, the lettuce wraps make the dish come out with only 7g of carbs per wrap naturally. I made a big batch for dinner tonight and Kyle and I inhaled all of it within a day.
I’m telling you, these wraps are that good!
- 1¼ lb 96% lean ground beef (or any ground meat you prefer)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, diced
- ¾ cup water chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 5 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Bibb lettuce
- Optional toppings:
- shredded carrots
- roughly chopped peanuts
- toasted sesame seeds
- chopped green onion
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add in the ground beef and break it apart with a cooking spoon into smaller pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook till no longer pink. Set aside on a separate plate.
- In the same pan, cook the onion, garlic, and ginger for 3-4 minutes. Add the meat and water chestnuts into the pan.
- Stir in the hoisin sauce and soy sauce and cook everything together for a few minutes.
- To serve, place the meat mixture in the lettuce cups and top with shredded carrots, peanuts, sesame seeds, green onion, and extra hoisin sauce.
*Extra toppings not included in nutritional data
*Hoisin sauce can be found in the asian section in most grocery stores. It's not too exotic- I promise!