Sunday, July 27, 2014

Easy Peasy Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps - a quick, easy, and delicious dinner option.


1 lb lean ground beef (can substitute other meat or tofu, if preferred)
1/4 cup zucchini
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup mushrooms
1/4 cup orange peppers
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Chinese 5-spice powder (**see excerpt below):
to taste: chili powder, salt, and pepper
1 head lettuce (the crisper, the better!)

**Used extensively in Chinese cooking, this pungent mixture of five ground spices usually consists of equal parts of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Prepackaged five-spice powder is available in Asian markets and most supermarkets.

Read more at:

How to cook:
1. Dice all vegetables into small pieces.
2. Take your raw meat or tofu and vegetables in a bowl, add water, soy sauce, brown sugar, and spices. Marinate for twenty minutes in the fridge.
3. Cook mixture on the stove until meat is cooked and any excess sauce has cooked off.
4. While the mixture is cooking, take the head of lettuce and rip off the pieces as carefully as possible, in order to make little lettuce boats to fill with yummy meat mixture.
5. Once the mixture is cooked, serve with lettuce and side (e.g. rice, quinoa, couscous, etc).

I made quinoa, rather than rice, as a side dish. To be honest, however, my quinoa failed rather spectacularly. It was a soggy disaster. If you have ever experienced a similar issue, there are some handy tips to be found here:

The wraps were delicious, and the meat mixture was even better the next day.
Because you cook the meat after marinating, however, it might be a good idea to use extra lean ground beef for this recipe. I did find the mixture I made was a little greasy (not that it tasted bad, mind you!).

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