So this is about as healthy as I have gone in the past little while. It’s still cold and wet up here in the Pacific Northwest, and comfort food has been taking a front seat, while health has been lurking somewhere in the background.
That said, I had a little panic attack realizing that we are headed on a vacation, where I’ll likely be in a bathing suit, in 3 months, and I haven’t even thought about potential prep for that! So, without further adieu, here you have it, my way to get shed the winter bulk, fast. Lettuce Wraps. But like really delicious lettuce wraps, that kind of make you think you’re having a taco with all the fixings. YUM!
Cilantro Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
- A handful of fresh cilantro, rough chopped
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 lime, zest
- 2 Tbsp lime, juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 head bibb lettuce, core removed
- Toppings include; Green onions, sliced on a diagonal, Limes, quartered, Radishes, thinly sliced, Pickled jalapenos, Vine-ripe tomatoes, diced, your favourite hot sauce, fresh cilantro leaves, Savoy Asian Pear Slaw (recipe below)
In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, cumin, lime zest and juice, and olive oil. Pulse until a liquid paste forms. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. In a non-reactive glass dish, or a double zip-lock baggie, add the chicken and pour over the marinade. Secure with a lid or lock the baggie. Place in the fridge for a couple hours or preferably overnight.
Heat oven to 400F. Place chicken in a baking dish, and bake in oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165F, and the juices run clear. Let rest on the cutting board for 5 minutes or so, before slicing on a diagonal.
Serve with Bibb Lettuce cups, and the recommended toppings; green onions, limes, radishes, pickled jalapenos, tomatoes, hot sauce, cilantro, and Savoy Asian Pear Slaw.
Savoy Asian Pear Slaw
- 1/2 head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (almost shaved)
- 1 Asian pear, thinly sliced matchsticks (julienne… if you want to get technical)
- 1 tsp diced jalapeno
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 – 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp fermented black bean paste
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Coarse salt and pepper, to taste
In a food processor or using a hand blender, combine soy, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, garlic, sugar, fermented black bean paste, sesame oil, and mayo. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
In a salad bowl, combine cabbage, Asian pear, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro and green onion. Pour over a little dressing about half the dressing, taste, and then add a little more if you would like. Serve within the hour so the veggies remain crunchy!
Can I just say, if you don’t have a refreshing beer to wash this down, you ain’t doing it right. Treat yourself… it’s almost Friday!