Monday, July 11, 2011

Chinese Lettuce Wraps

Skip the Chinese take-out and make a nice alternative for the family. This recipe uses tamari sauce instead of soy sauce. Tamari is richer and darker with a smoother taste, and is fermented using little to no wheat. If you are strict paleo, neither is a great option, but tamari would be the better choice. I tend to be forgiving with some of the condiments that we use, but you can decide for yourself. Sometimes you just have to have that Asian flavor!

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and minced
4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
2 tablespoons agave nectar
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
5 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)
1 head of butter or iceberg lettuce, large leaves washed and removed from the stem
1 green onion, chopped
6 cashews, chopped
Toasted sesame seeds

¼ cup water
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons tomato sauce (or ketchup)
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
1-2 teaspoons garlic and red chile paste
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder (optional: used to thicken the sauce)

To make the sauce:
Whisk the first 7 ingredients together. (Start with  ½ teaspoon of the chile paste, and increase to your heat level.) Add the arrowroot powder and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

To make the wraps:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic and cook for two minutes. Pour in the mushrooms and the turkey and sauté until the meat is cooked through. Turn down to a simmer. Combine the tamari, agave nectar, and vinegar. Pour over turkey mixture. Stir in the water chestnuts, if using. Continue to cook for another minute or so and then turn off the heat.

Place a lettuce leaf on each plate. Spoon in a generous serving of the turkey stir-fry. Top with a little of the sauce and a sprinkle of green onions, cashews, and sesame seeds.

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