Sweet and Spicy Lettuce Wraps

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope the weekend was a good one.  Ours was filled with plenty of chores at home.  I mowed the lawn on Saturday - how is that possible in March?!?  We’ve been in FL less than a year and it still feels so weird to have all these outside opportunities at this time of year.  I am absolutely not complaining about it!

If you’re looking for fast, flavorful, and budget friendly, this one is for you!  I have to say that describes the vast majority of the meals we eat. Meat is stretched with vegetables or grains to go a little further.  Ton of vegetables are added throughout because they’re healthy and honestly, we love them. Yes, I know we’re weird! Rarely do I make a meal without lots of flavors or spice, because why eat boring food?   

If you do any sort of Asian inspired cooking, the sauce ingredients are probably all pantry staples.  If you’re new to this, they are definitely worth the investment! You’ll have the components for so many different meals.  This really is a quick one. Even with vegetable chopping, you should be able to have this on on the table in 20-25 minutes.  Perfect for those busy weeknights!

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Directions

1 bell pepper

8 oz mushrooms

1 medium zucchini

4 scallions

1 lb ground meat (lean turkey, chicken, or pork)

Sauce

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp sweet chili sauce

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp chili garlic paste*

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tablespoons water

2 tsp oil

For serving

Lettuce leaves* (Bibb or Boston lettuce works best)

Chopped cucumber, green onions, and cilantro, for topping

Cooked rice, if desired

 

1. Finely chop vegetables.  Set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add one tsp oil and meat and cook, stirring frequently, until brown, about 10 minutes.

3. Add veggies and cook until brown and soft, about 5 minutes.

4. While veggies are cooking, mix together sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

5. Reduce heat to medium and add sauce to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until sauce has thickened slightly.

6. Serve in lettuce leaves with desired toppings

NOTES:

* This makes for a fairly spicy sauce.  You may with to reduce the amount and add extra as needed.

*If lettuce isn't your thing, this is delicious just served over rice or in tortillas or another wrap.

Roasted Chickpea Power Bowls

One of my favorite parts of having kids is the fun things they say.  Our 3 year old is a major talker, sounds like he’s 3 going on 30, and is just a ball of fun.  He can’t remember chickpeas, however, and routinely calls them chickies.  It just makes me smile.

I absolutely adore bowl style meals for so many reasons. We eat them frequently, at least once per week, but often more.  It’s just so much more fun to dig into a colorful bowl of food for some reason.

They are such a wonderful mix of flavors and textures. They are totally customizable - don’t like or have a particular ingredient? Sub one you do like and have on hand! My son loves to help construct his own, and I find it helps him have an open mind about trying new things.

Don’t let the long ingredient list or multiple components scare you. This one comes together quickly. While the chickpeas and vegetables roast, I cook rice, chop up toppings, and stir together a quick sauce. This is definitely a formula for a meal. You can switch out the vegetables, type of protein, and seasoning in almost limitless combinations. I’d love to hear any favorite versions you have!

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Directions

For the chickpeas

2 cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

For the bowls

2 cups cooked grains (I used basmati rice)*

Roasted vegetables (8 oz mushrooms, 2 zucchini, 1 onion)*

Raw vegetables (cucumber, green onion, tomato)*

Cumin dressing (recipe below)

Cumin dressing

1/2 cup mayo or plain yogurt (or a combo)*

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 lemon, juiced

Pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. In a medium bowl add all ingredients for the chickpeas. Stir well until everything is combined and spices are well distributed. Spread on a sheet pan. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden, stirring half way through.

On a separate pan, combine zucchini, onion, and mushrooms.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast until golden brown and softened, about 15 minutes.

While the chickpeas and vegetables cook, combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Leftovers will keep for a few days in the fridge and are wonderful warm or cold.

Notes:

* If carbs are a concern, this also great on top of a bed of mixed greens as a salad

*You can use whatever vegetables you desire for roasting.  These are ones I always have on hand.  Bell peppers are great thrown in the mix as well

*Like the roasted vegetables, these bowls can be topped with whatever you desire.  I love having a mix of raw and fresh vegetables in the bowls

*Feel free to use a combination of yogurt and mayo for the dressing.  I typically use mostly plain yogurt and add in 1-2 tbsp mayo