GF: Chicken & Lettuce Wraps

Chicken & Lettuce Wraps, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Just a note before I proceed:

I received a couple passionate email comments regarding our recent eBay auctions and our adoption that demonstrated that our fund raiser was offensive to a few members of our GF and adoptive community. We regret that our choice to eBay items and post about it has offended a few people.

We are also quite thankful for the many more supportive and loving emails and comments received.  We are truly grateful for your love and support.

-Kate & Her Love

And now on to the FOOD!

The grocery store near our home has decided to come out of the 70s (where our house still resides… 1979, to be exact) and remodel. The BEST part about the remodeling job, in my opinion, is that I no longer have to walk a gauntlet of “sale” items as they wind me through the store toward the fresh fruit and vegetables I seek. Now, when you enter the store, you walk immediately in to the fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. (Well, okay.. and there is a coffee spot in the corner there too. I’m a bit of a coffee fan, so this doesn’t bother me as much as the food-in-a-box gauntlet did. LOL)

The fresh fruit that kicks off the shopping trip is not only fresh (and well lit, of course) but there are (so far) several employees there whose job it is to cut up pieces of fruit for you to taste before you buy!. OH YEA!

Entering with the fruit in front of me and a corner of the fresh vegetable curling around the edge of the entrance, I can see the fresh asparagus and brussel sprouts calling my name. Along with these gorgeous green veggies peer the rest of goodies: local carrots, celeries, lettuces, turnips, … and HUGE bunches of cilantro. (Let’s not talk about the cilantro…..mmmm.. cilantro.)

I found some gorgeous carrots, red lettuce, jalapenos, red peppers, ginger root, garlic and cilantro.) Ah, fresh vegetables are irresistible to me. I hadn’t even gone to the market to buy much more than a bag of apples and some red leaf lettuce for my lunches. All of that changed when I got hit with the veg-head, gotta-have-veggies craving.

Since we were off to work out, I knew I needed to make something light and quick as it would be after 7:00PM before I was home for dinner. So I thought these fresh lettuce wraps with ground chicken and fresh vegetables would be perfect.

This recipe is super easy! And the best part? The leftovers make for great wraps at lunch too. And if you run out of lettuce leaves to wrap the goodness in, then just pack a few GF corn chips to scoop it up with.

There’s nothing like a fresh, light, and easy dinner item for midweek – especially during the holiday season! I don’t know about you all, but our house is gearing up for a few cookie exchange parties (always an odd thing for me now that I’m gluten-free, to be honest). Tonight my love and I are making 10 dozen layered peppermint bark bites for a cookie exchange at his work.

And I bet that leaves you all wondering what I do with the cookies that he brings home, right? Well, we divide them for our neighbors and deliver holiday goodies to them with our share of the cookie exchange. We always make gluten-free cookies to share but never expect the same to come back to our house. So, it’s no big deal to me. After all, my Love doesn’t eat sweets and I sure as HECK don’t need 10 DOZEN cookies floating around the house during Winter Break! No WAY!

It’s actually kind of fun for me to make gluten-free cookies with my Love for his work crew. He is a fabulous cook, but his colleagues don’t (didn’t!) know it when he first started there. He is the only man in his office and has HILARIOUS stories about office “Craft Day” parties (Everyone stays in the office for TWO HOURS together to make new magnets for the IN/OUT board….oh-too-funny for the one poor guy with the chatty girl-club…. well, okay.. WAY more funny for me to hear about than for him to experience!)

When they first told him about the cookie exchange, he had never heard of one before. They were worried that he would “feel bad” because they told him they knew that “men don’t bake”. So they “excused” him from baking anything and told him they could buy it all. OH MY – He was offended! (And I don’t blame him!) Needless to say, those ladies got the most ornate, gluten-free, dark chocolate light wafer tea cookies that I have ever tasted and seen. To boot, he wrapped each cookie, tied them with silver bows and placed them in to the cutest cookie boxes ever. Oh were they surprised!

Now they expect something from him each time. This year? Layered peppermint bark bites. Oh man, give me strength! It’s going to be a long night.

And now you know why light, easy and fresh meals are the only way to go around the holidays in our house, at least.

I hope this easy meal delights your taste buds and your waistline too. (I now measure my food bites by the number of miles on the elliptical rather than calories. I am finding this measurement method to be MUCH more effective ….. LOL)

Chicken & Lettuce Wraps
1 pound ground chicken
1 teaspoon olive or rice bran oil
1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
1″ knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 Tablespoons GF soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey (or LESS if desired)
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon black pepper & salt – To TASTE
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (with or without seeds)
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (about 3/4 loosely packed cup)

For the wraps:
Red or Green Leaf Lettuce


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a sauce pan large enough to hold everything.
  2. Sauté the onions, carrot and ginger until the onions are tender. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant – about 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Add the ground chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper flakes, honey (if using), salt/pepper, and cook until the chicken is done. Simmer for an additional 5-6 minutes without a lid. (You can add a touch of corn starch mixed with water if you want a thickened sauce with this too.)
  4. Add the chopped red pepper, jalapeno and cilantro. Stir together well.
  5. Serve with cleaned lettuce leaves and a huge glass of your favorite white wine or water.

Happy Festivities, All.

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