If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that the trip to thinner isn’t always a direct route. I mean, let’s face it life isn’t linear. Sometimes it’s the most circuitous of routes that leads us to our desired destination. Sometimes it’s the countless number of times that we hit the wall of a maze that brings us to the end of our journey.
So in the quest to lose my Sandy 15lbs, I took a detour to Thanksgiving – read: ate lots of stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie. Look! There I am on Nantucket with Veep Joe Biden:
Do you think he thinks I look fat? Nah, he’s too nice and shiny to think that!
So now that my favorite holiday has passed and my time with Biden (or, more accurately, my time stalking the vice president on the tiny island) is over, I’m taking the right steps to shed a few lbs.
Recent meals have featured Carnival Squash and Simply Grilled Shrimp.
But last night I wanted to do something a little more interesting. So I tried a taste of lo-cal Thai.
You will want to prep ahead cuz this is easy but takes like :90 mins in total.
Pretty Lo-Cal Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (serves 4)
Oh! And they’re gluten-free as well!
OK…First and foremost, there is a lot of prep of ingredients in the chicken wraps – so do yourself a favor and mise en place.
- 3-4 TBSP lime juice
- 1-2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1/8 Cup of sugar
- 2 TBSP Asian Fish Sauce, like Ka*Me found in the Asian area at Fairway
- 1 1/2 TSP Chili Pepper Paste, like Amore – hard to find this – had to ask nice Fairway worker guy
- Vegetable oil – not Olive Oil
2 TBSP grated fresh ginger – remember, you should have some peeled ginger stored in your freezer
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 TSP kosher salt – or less
- 4 Scallions thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1/2 cup canned, drained water chestnuts, diced
- The recipe also calls for 3 TBSP chopped fresh mint leaves and 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro – I prepped both of these ingredients…but then forgot to stir them in at the end. So you can skip it if you like.
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lemon juice, fish sauce and chili pepper paste and set aside. The recipe called for Asian Chile Paste…but I couldn’t find it at Fairway, so I bought Amore Chile Pepper Paste – I think that’s the same thing?
2. Heat about 2 TBSP of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
3. Add the garlic and the ginger and stir until fragrant (about 2 mins)
3. Add the chicken and salt and cook completely – about 6 mins
NOTE: the recipe called for a ton of salt…but, I used just shy of a tsp and it was more than enough
4. Stir in the scallions, carrot and water chestnuts and heat through (about 2 more mins)
5. Transfer the chicken mixture to a bowl and let cool about :05 mins
6. Add in the lemony-limey-fish saucy liquid mixture, 1 tbsp at a time. Once the chicken mixture is moistened, but not swimming, stop adding the liquid. I added too much and it was delicious, but a little messy to eat
7. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for about an hour
8. Prepare 8-10 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves – you know, like wash them and stuff
9. Put a heap of the chilled chicken mixture inside each lettuce leaf and serve
My journey to weight loss like most of life’s journeys has not been via a direct route. But, in spite of stops at Beef Wellington and Thanksgiving Stuffing, I’m getting there. It’s not easy at this time of year what with the Lincoln Center Winter’s Eve fest last night featuring fab food fare from all of the local restaurants (like the toasted gnocchi tastes from Bar Boulud’s Tent – OMG!). But, I am Thai-ing so that maybe next time I see Veep Joe B, I’ll be just a little bit thinner.