Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

This recipe was inspired by Giada De Laurentiis, one of my food heroes on Food Network. I started making this awesome dish a few years ago. Most Thai restaurants serve this as a starter, called “larb,” but I find that it’s super healthy as a main dish also — think lettuce wraps from Cheesecake Factory, only way better! These babies are full of flavor and make great leftovers. Aromatic mint is the key ingredient here. You can also substitute the turkey for pork or beef. I prefer ground turkey or chicken to keep it low-cal. Forever watching my girlish figure!

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the dressing
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons honey
For the filling
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 3 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 4-inch piece lemongrass, minced
  • 1 Thai chile pepper or serrano chile, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh basil or Thai basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head butter lettuce or savoy cabbage (light green leaves only), leaves separated
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Optional: sticky white or brown rice, for serving
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lemon juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and honey. Set aside.
  2. For the filling: In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, lemongrass, chile pepper, and water chestnuts. Cook about 5 minutes until fragrant. Add the ground turkey, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until the meat and vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the dressing to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint and basil. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Forming a cup with the lettuce leaves, place a spoonful of the turkey mixture into a lettuce cup and top with chopped peanuts and extra basil. Squeeze lime juice over lettuce cups. Serve with sticky rice, if desired.

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Thai Cucumber Salad

This vibrant Thai cucumber salad recipe comes from Katie Workman’s The Mom 100 food blog! It’s so easy and quick to prepare. From Katie: This salad features bright flavors, exciting textures, and the play of sweet and sour and salty happening in so many ways. Lemongrass, chilies, coconut milk, these ingredients are now popping up all over the country at supermarkets and it’s so much fun to work them into your home cooking. This simple salad features crunchy cucumbers, enhanced with just a bit of citrus, soy sauce and a few other Thai ingredients. Cilantro (sometimes also called Chinese parsley) is an herb people usually love or hate – few people feel “meh” about it, so if it’s not your thing, or someone at the table doesn’t like it, serve it on the side and let people add it to their own salads as they wish. If you want to bump up the flavor even further, substitute fish sauce for half of the soy sauce. It will add a layer of pungency to the dish!  Thanks, Katie, for sharing this delicious salad recipe!

Thai Cucumber Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 seedless cucumbers
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup salted cocktail peanuts, lightly crushed
Instructions
  1. Peel the cucumbers, slice them in half lengthwise and remove any seeds with a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber into very thin slices crosswise, using a sharp knife or a mandolin. Trim the jalapeño, slice lengthwise, remove the seeds and finely mince.
  2. In a large bowl combine the jalapeño, shallots, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and stir to combine. Add in the cucumber and toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl or platter, top with the cilantro and peanuts and serve.
Notes
Recipe courtesy of: The Mom 100