Leah is a follower of the 21-Day Fix. She works in mental health.
Asian inspired Foods
Jews and Chinese food go together like white and rice (at least in my family). However, I rarely eat Chinese food, for a few reasons:
- It's so hard to find a good, kosher, Asian-style restaurant.
- Every time I eat Chinese food, I'm starving after a few hours.
- Many Asian restaurants use a lot of oil and ingredients that don't help me improve my health and wellness.
So what's a nice Jewish girl to do? My mom always told me growing up that if I want something done right, I'd have to do it myself. And as usual, she's right. So I checked the pantry and the fridge, and got to planning. I wanted to make a simple, healthy, and filling meal while sticking to both my dietary restrictions and those of my mother.
The result surprised me with how easy it was, how quickly it came together, and how incredibly delicious it tasted! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.
I grew up eating iceberg or romaine lettuce only. Recently we've expanded into mesclun mix, but I had never tried Boston lettuce before. When I was planning this recipe out, I knew I couldn't use iceberg or romaine because the leaves are kind of brittle and would probably fall apart when trying to eat this.
I had stopped into Costco this weekend and came across a package of Boston lettuce, which can also be called butter lettuce or Bibb lettuce. It looked very tender and was a beautiful shade of green, and I literally couldn't resist. I had to buy it. It has a nice tender texture and a mild flavor, and worked perfectly for this recipe. It held up to the wrap test. Just be cautious of piling the meat mixture directly onto the lettuce, as it wilted from the heat.
Using lettuce as a wrap not only cuts carbs dramatically, it also allows me to keep this recipe gluten-free. Plus it's tasty and makes me feel like I've done something good for my body.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 16 leaves Boston lettuce
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos, or tamari sauce
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- 1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and diced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Wash the lettuce leaves and pat dry.
- Chop the water chestnuts into tiny pieces.
- Put the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until it is all browned. I like to break it up into smaller pieces as it cooks. This should take about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the water chestnuts and the seasonings. Lower the heat to medium-low and mix it all well for about 2 minutes.
- Place 4 leaves of lettuce on each plate, with 1/4 of the meat mixture on the center of the plate. Spoon the meat onto a lettuce leaf, roll, and eat.
The beauty of a meal like this (and most of the other meals I made) is that it's so easy to customize for your needs. Whether this is diet, allergies, or personal taste, here's a list of some changes you can make to this recipe:
- Vegan or vegetarian. Use your favorite plant-based substitute for the beef. This can be tofu, tempeh, or something like Gardein beefless ground. Or you can totally skip this and add in some beans or nuts.
- Vegetables. This would work really well with some other vegetables. Onions, scallions, mushrooms, broccoli, or whatever else you have on hand or like could easily be added into the recipe.
- Carbs. While I've been cooking lower carb recipes lately, I totally get that not everyone wants to eat low-carb. If you're looking to take in more carbs, add some rice or quinoa to this.
- Meat. I happen to love beef, but not everyone does. Ground chicken or turkey would be another great option in this recipe.
- Seasoning. I noticed that a lot of Asian recipes use exotic sounding spices and seasonings like hoisin sauce or Chinese five spice. I don't have those handy and since my mom is low-carb, hoisin is a no-no due to the sugar in it. If you happen to have those laying around, play around with them! I know ginger is an important part of many Asian recipes, but I don't love the flavor, so I went a little light. If you like ginger, feel free to add more. If you want more of a kick, use extra chili paste.
On an unrelated note—to save time, I use crushed garlic in a jar. That way I don't have to crush it myself. The ginger and chili paste I use come in a squeezable tube made by Gourmet Garden. I prefer this so I don't have to worry about peeling the ginger. The flavors tend to be a little milder than fresh ginger and chili.
21 Day Fix Container Counts
As written, this recipe uses the following containers:
- 1 red container
- 1 green container
If you make any substitutions, make sure to count those as well.
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© 2018 Leah