Cook This: Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps (paleo and gluten-free)

We are always looking for fun, easy, high-protein, low-carb dinners that everyone in the family loves. We tried the Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps from Nom Nom Paleo and we liked them but I didn’t care for the spice balance or the pickled carrots. So per usual I set to changing the recipe up to meet my own family’s needs!

This is something I encourage everyone to do. Learning to follow your own tastes can make all the difference in the world as far as truly loving the food you make and eat.

But I digress. The last time I made these I also had some leftover sauce that came with one of our favorite take out dishes from one of our favorite restaurants (shout out to PaaDee in PDX). We added the sauce to the wraps and *BAM* the wraps went to top of our dinner favorites list. I recreated the sauce as best I could. Tweak that out if you will as well. 🙂

Note, we served this with a Chinese broccoli sauté and it made for an even more balanced meal.

The ingredients and instructions list may make these lettuce wraps look like a time consuming recipe but it’s actually pretty simple. And fun. As a matter of fact, if you’re a parent it’s a great meal to get your kids helping.

FILLING

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or ghee or coconut oil)
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 lb ground pork or chicken (you could do this with tempeh if you’re vegetarian!)
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno
  • ÂĽ cup minced cilantro
  • 2 TBSP minced basil
  • ½ golden delicious apple (the original recipe used apple, we do half with—for my kid, and half without—for the grownups)

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  1. In skillet or wok heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add shallot, and a pinch of salt and sauté until just translucent.
  3. Add pork and cook until all the pink is gone.
  4. Add ginger, jalapeño and garlic until you can smell the aromatic herbs when you wave the air over the pan toward your nose. 🙂
  5. Season with lime juice, soy sauce (or fish sauce) and pepper.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Add herbs and stir to combine.
  8. If you want to add the apple do so at this point.

We make this ahead of time but if you want to make it the day of, please be sure you make the pickled carrots at least 3-4 hours in advance of your meal. 24 hours is even better.


PICKLED CARROT GARNISH

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ lb carrots julienned
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Sriracha

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix water, vinegar, fish sauce.
  2. Add sugar, stir to dissolve.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, and salt.
  4. Put in a 1 quart mason jar.
  5. Add carrots.

WRAPS

  • 1 head butter lettuce or romaine hearts.
  • Optional tapioca spring roll wrappers

TOPPING SAUCE

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove pressed garlic
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 sliced jalapeno with seeds removed

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix in a jar. Shake. Voilá!


OPTIONAL GARNISHES

  • Pickled carrots
  • Peanuts
  • Minced ginger
  • Cilantro
  • Thinly sliced scallions

ASSEMBLE THE LETTUCE WRAPS

If you’re using the tapioca spring roll wrappers dip in warm water and let sit until soft (don’t stack them or you’ll end up unable to get them apart….we learned the hard way!)

Put lettuce on the wrapper or place lettuce on a plate.

Put meat on lettuce and top with garnishes as desired!

 

 

Enjoy!

Yours in Health,

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