Sunday, July 15, 2012

Five Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I've got one of my favorite recipes to share with you today.  But we'll get to that in a minute.  Something far more important happened to our family this week...

After a year of being away from us, daddy is home.  We got to go meet him at the gate and surprise him as he got off the plane.  We had flags and signs and apparently we made a scene because a very nice guy offered to take our picture.

I can't even begin to tell you how happy it has made my heart to have our family whole again.  The kids are beyond thrilled to have their daddy to play with and hug... and mama is pretty thrilled too.

Of course, I've been cooking up a storm for my poor husband who has been stuck eating terrible desert food.  Our menu this week included a couple of meals that I knew he would love- including this salmon and these spring rolls.  I also had to make these.

I love a good lettuce wrap and I'll put pretty much anything in one.  These guys are special though.  One of the great things about asian inspired cooking is that it is often gluten free.  One of the hurdles for us is keeping things soy free for Aidric.  Although I've recently introduced a little soy into his diet and he hasn't reacted, I like to avoid it when possible.  

Luckily this isn't really a problem since I discovered coconut aminos.  This sauce is very similar to soy sauce or tamari but has a slightly sweet flavor.  I've noticed when I use it in recipes that I cant even tell the difference.  It gets bonus points from me for being raw.  The only adjustment I make is to use less sweetener (honey) in a recipe than I would normally.

Five Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps

2 tsp sesame oil
1 pound ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 cup vegetable broth
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
1 ½ cups bean sprouts
2 cups carrot, shredded and divided
1 large head boston lettuce, washed
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup mint , chopped
½ cup basil, chopped
3 green onions, minced
1 lime or lemon, cut into wedges

Five Spice Sauce
1 ½ tbsp almond or peanut butter
1 teaspoon five spice powder
½ tsp honey
1 tsp molasses
1 ½ tbsp rice vinegar
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
2 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp red pepper
5 tbsp coconut aminos

Combine all ingredients for Five Spice Sauce mixture in blender and set aside.

Heat oil to medium in large skillet.
Add turkey, ginger and garlic and stir until turkey is cooked through.

Add broth, sauce, rice, water chestnuts, red pepper, bean sprouts and 1 ½ cups of carrots.

Stir mixture and bring to a simmer.

Remove from heat and spoon mixture into lettuce leaves.
Top with herbs and a squirt of lime or lemon.
(My sous chef took care of this for me)

I love these little lettuce cups, they are so full of flavor!

Lucky for me, so do the kids.

This is a fun meal for them because I let them get a little messy and fill their own wraps.

Ever notice how kids like eating food more when they get to be involved?

There were no complaints in our house tonight- maybe it was dinner, maybe it was Daddy... maybe it was a little of both.

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