Sesame-chicken lettuce wraps: A healthy summer meal

I knew salad for dinner would be a bit dramatic, so I searched for a lighter meal that would detox without depriving. And these wraps satisfied the criteria

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After a couples-only weekend in Montreal (hello, smoked meat sandwiches, cocktails, and post-dinner cheese plates) we needed a food intervention. I knew salad for dinner would be a bit dramatic for chef in training, so I searched for a lighter meal that would detox without depriving. And Chatelaine’s sesame-chicken lettuce wraps, from the Summer’s Best cookbook, seemed to satisfy the criteria.

With ingredients like lean ground chicken, shiitake mushrooms, green onions, low-sodium chicken broth, and Boston lettuce, this meal is certainly waist-friendly. Not a croissant or cheese wedge in sight. It’s also prepped and on the table in about 15 minutes, with very little cooking time, which makes it perfect for hot summer night eats.

The ground chicken is cooked stovetop with a small amount of sesame oil until it’s crumbly and no longer pink. You then add the sliced mushrooms and diced water chestnuts, and cook it all until the mushrooms begin to soften. Next comes the sauce: a combo of the broth, soy sauce, and a small bit of sugar and cornstarch (for thickening). The sauce thickens quickly when it hits the heat, so it’s a good idea to have the lettuce leaves (which hold the filling) prepared before you do this step.

The final step is to add the grated carrot and green onions to the mix, giving it about a minute to warm through. Then it’s time to dish up. The filling goes in the middle of a lettuce leaf (Boston leaves work well for this, although you could also use a crunchier romaine leaf if you wanted), and after a hit of hot chili sauce (if you’re so inclined), you wrap up the leaf and enjoy. This is a fun and healthy alternative to tacos, and definitely kid-friendly…unless your kid is mini sous chef, who feels lettuce is best left to bunnies. Chef in training preferred the filling in a flour tortilla (another option you could put out on the table), but I was more than happy with my lettuce cups.

So (big) thumbs up on this recipe: It was filling, satisfying, and a great meal to come down from a calorie intense weekend.

Try this recipe: Sesame-chicken lettuce wraps