Lettuce Wrap Salad with Almond Butter Sauce

Friday, Friday it’s finally Friday! I always forget how hard a “normal” week is after as short week. The first few days seem never ending. But, we survived and Saturday is right around the corner. I am ecstatic because for the next two weekends Ross and I will both be in Iowa City, with no real agenda. This means we can actually get to work on some of the final projects we have left in the kitchen. (Examples include: quarter round on the cabinets and windows, baseboard and backsplash) It doesn’t seem like it’s that much to do, but with these all being the “final” details we want to make sure they are done right – so we will see how far we can get over the next few weeks.

In general, life has seemed very hectic lately – between work, traveling, weekend plans AND dog sitting a 90 lb lab (in addition to our rambunctious brittany spaniel), I usually feel like there is not enough meditation in the world for me to feel calm. How have I been handling the stress? Making lists and taking things one step at a time. This is not a strong point for me, I get easily overwhelmed when I think of everything on my to-do list, but I am working on focusing on one task a night. Then allowing myself time to relax, whether that’s watching House of Cards with Ross (unfortunately I can’t seem to stay awake for more then 15 minutes HAH! I’m 80…), reading a book, listening to a podcast or sitting outside enjoying a beautiful night. If I didn’t let myself have those moments, which I have done before, I find it a lot harder to be motivated and end up wanting to scratch my to-do list all together. (And that’s not helping NOBODY.)

An example of what I mean: Wednesday night I knew I needed to do a mid-week meal prep (check out my Instagram to see what I made – @good.chives), so I got everything prepped that need to go in the oven or on the stove and then got those cooking. While that stuff cooked (spaghetti squash, lettuce wrap salad and breakfast hash) I cut up some fruit and made a quick pesto. The other food still had a bit to go, so instead of sitting down and checking Instagram for the 100th time that day, I grabbed the broom and did a quick sweep of the kitchen floor (2 dogs = 2x the dog hair) & then loaded the dishwasher. By the time all the food was ready to be put away, I felt relieved that we had food for the rest of the and two chores (sweeping and dishes) were checked off the to-do list as well! Were there more things on that to-do list that I could have done? Yes, there always is and there always WILL BE. But I stopped there for the night and cuddled into bed with two tired pups (thank the lord) and read my book before going to sleep.

Maybe this system, or plan if you want to call it that, wouldn’t work for everyone. But if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at all of the things on your to-do list, give it a try – what’s the worst that can happen?

Now, the real reason I think you came to this post – a RECIPE! During Wednesday’s meal prep I knew I wanted to make some type of salad for dinner (trying to get more fresh greens in our diet) and earlier that day I saw another blogger make lettuce wraps – well that sparked something & I decided to make a Lettuce Wrap Salad with Almond Butter Sauce. Not only is it easier to eat than traditional lettuce wraps (hello, fork my old friend…) you have the ability to add SO MANY fresh veggies, packing this dish with even more nutrients.

Lettuce Wrap Salad with Almond Butter Sauce

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Ingredients:

Salad

  • 2-3 T of avocado oil
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or chicken)
  • 1/2 t ginger (either minced, grated or paste – I buy the tub of paste just because it’s easier)
  • 1/2 t garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t rice vinegar
  • 1 T spicy stir fry blend (I use one from the Gourmet Collection BUT you could easily make your own or find another similar blend –  it has: salt, red bell pepper, chili, onion, mustard seed, celery seed, garlic, coriander, parsley, black pepper, oregano and sage)
  • 2 T coconut aminos
  • 3 shakes of fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro + extra for topping
  • Romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • Additional salad toppings can include: mini sweet peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, bean sprouts

Sauce

  • 2 T almond butter
  • 4 T coconut aminos
  • 1 t rice vinegar

Directions:

  1. Heat 2-3 T of avocado oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat
  2. Once the pan is hot, add onions and let them sauté until they are translucent and slightly browned (about 5-6 minutes)
  3. Add the turkey to the pan, break up and mix into the onions – cooking until the turkey is almost completely browned (barely any pink left)
  4. While the turkey is cooking, prep the sauce by combining all 3 ingredients in a bowl and mixing until fully combined (this may take a minute or two, don’t give up!) Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the salads
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, stir fry seasoning, coconut aminos and fish sauce. Mix everything into the turkey and onions, lower heat to medium and let cook for 3-4 more minutes, allowing the flavors to combine
  6. Finally, add the cilantro and the green onions to the pan – mix in and let cook for another 1-2 minutes, then remove pan from heat
  7. Wash and dry your lettuce and separate into bowls or plates – top each bed of lettuce with desired amount of lettuce wrap mixture & add any additional salad toppings you have on hand
  8. Drizzle the almond butter sauce on top and sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro

If you are looking for a fresh, filling and DELICIOUS meal – this is it, people!

Sending Good Chives Your Way,

Shauna

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