Sunday, January 6, 2013

Asian Lettuce Wraps & Baked Eggplant

OK so now I'm on this kick of trying to branch out in the kitchen because I always seem to cook the same ol' same ol' every time its my turn to cook.

Today I decided as per my last Facebook Status Message to try my own take on Asian Lettuce Wraps.  I've never made them before and quite honestly had no idea what I was doing.  I made the recipe up as I went along (I never used to do that because the idea scared me) but here goes...

1.5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup cubed fresh red pepper
1/4 cup cubed fresh yellow pepper
2 tsp of Ponzu sauce (Citrus flavored soy sauce, which is NOT Gluten Free)
 2 Tbs of Asian Thai Peanut Sauce (this IS Gluten Free)
chopped fresh red onion to taste (I used about 1/8 cup)

Dice chicken in to small cubes
Dice red pepper and yellow pepper in to small cubes
Dice onion in to small cubes
Place chicken, red pepper, yellow pepper and onion in pan (as shown below). 
Add 2 teaspoons of Ponzu Sauce

Side Note: *These are the sauces I had on hand but I'm sure you can find Gluten Free Ponzu sauce as well since they make a Gluten Free Soy Sauce. (For the GF ones reading)

Cook on medium high until chicken is completely cooked and peppers/onions are softened.  

It will look a little watery at first but as it cooks the liquid will cook out.  Make sure you keep an eye on it and stir frequently or it could burn and scorch the sauce to the bottom of the pan.

Once cooked thoroughly serve with iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce.  Add extra Ponzu or Thai Peanut sauce for flavor if desired.

I have to say these turned out pretty good considering I just made it up as I went along.  I feel like the recipe could use some tweaking though.  I feel like it almost needs something crunchy in it like the ones at PF Changs (I think they use peanuts?)  Anyway if anyone has any suggestions let me know but the Master Chef in my house thought they were good so if I got his approval then I'd say I'm not doing too bad.   (PS if they sucked he would definitely tell me)

Moving on

Paired with the Asian Lettuce Wraps, I also made Baked Eggplant as a side item.  This wasn't too difficult but I'll explain what I did below. 

Cut eggplant as desired.  I like to slice mine and then cut the slices in to cubes.

Lay flat on a non greased baking sheet (I didn't do too good of a job at making sure each piece was flat)

The next part is where I just kind of winged it.  I drizzled the eggplant with extra virgin olive oil.  Then I sprinkled it with Garlic Powder.  After that I added white pepper, crushed red pepper, and rosemary.  (And no I didn't measure this I just sprinkled across right out of the container)

Then I baked in the oven on 350 until done. 

I also leave the peeling on because I like it but I suppose you could remove it if you don't like it.  This picture below is what it looked like right before i placed it in the oven.

Here is my ready to eat dinner plate.  It was soooo good.  I haven't looked up the point values yet but most of the points will come from the sauces and olive oil as all the other ingredients were fresh non processed items so I'm pretty sure I didn't do too incredibly bad.

I followed dinner with a smoothie as a snack after my 30 minute workout a little while later.  Tonight's smoothie concoction was frozen organic blueberries, frozen strawberries, 1 medium banana, 1/2 cup of So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, and 1 cup of fresh spinach.  It was mmm mmm good until Matt made fun of me for having spinach in my teeth.  That's why God made toothbrushes and dental floss. 

Anyone have any ideas for ways to make the Asian Lettuce Wraps better?  Or better yet, have a easy WW friendly recipe they can share?  If so please do! 

Until next time...

Please excuse me while I go floss my teeth.

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