Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lettuce Wraps

My husband and I love to sit at the bar at PF Changs and order Chicken Lettuce Wraps with our cocktail. However, not too long ago I saw the calorie count for them, and realized that they won't fit in with my current eating plan. I tried a few different lower calorie ones, but none really measured up to my expectations. Then I found this recipe, which I changed up a little to satisfy my craving for those high cal babies. Now, these wraps are made from flank or flat iron steak, which, obviously, is not chicken. Nor does it "taste like chicken" as the saying goes. What they do taste like is delicious and they ARE fun to eat, like the inspiration dish. (IF you have not tried flat iron or flank steak, you must give it a try. It is lean and very economical.) I even invented a side dish to eat with them. You can add the slaw to the wrap, or eat it separately. You may also sprinkle this with dry roasted, chopped peanuts if desired, but we prefer it without.
Korean Style Beef Lettuce Wraps
3/4 lb. flank steak, trimmed
1/2 c. green onions, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 T. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. sesame oil
1-2 T. canola oil (divided)
1 T. toasted sesame seeds, optional
3 c. hot cooked rice leaf lettuce for wrapping, washed and dried, separated into individual leaves Asian Cole Slaw (recipe follows)
Cut steak across the grain into 1/4" slices and then cut them in half ( it helps to put the steak into the freezer for about 5 minutes before slicing -- this firms it up just a little). Combine steak, onions, sugar, soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil in a large bowl. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1/2 - 1 T. canola oil, swirling to coat (you can use less oil if you use a nonstick pan, just make sure it's deep enough). Add half of steak mixture and stir fry until browned. Remove to a clean bowl. Add a little more canola oil and stir fry the rest of your beef/onion mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
Asian Cole Slaw
2 cups slaw mix ( I like the angel hair cut, but any will work) 1 green onion, thinly sliced 1 small cucumber, seeded, peeled and cut into "matchstick" pieces dressing mixture Make your dressing first: 1 tsp. sesame oil 1 tsp. canola oil 1. T. brown sugar 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar pinch of salt Combine those ingredients in a jar or small bowl and shake or whisk to combine. Pour over the vegetables and toss it all around, then let it sit for while at room temp. Stir it now and then to distribute dressing and coat the veggies.
To Assemble Wraps: Separate your lettuce leaves. Take one leaf, and spoon about 2 T. rice down the middle. Top with about 2 T. beef mixture and a spoonful or 2 of slaw, if desired. Roll your leaf and enjoy it. Makes about 8 filled lettuce leaves. 2 main dish servings or 4 appetizer servings. Each "leaf" contains approx. 100 cal. (without the slaw), 3 grams of fat and less than 1 gram of fiber.

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