Loving the BITE: Asian Lettuce Wraps (our knock off from P.F. Chang’s)

Ahhh, what a sweet day.  Whether you love your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, kids, dog, cat, mommy or your bike, it’s good to love, right?  And, it’s good to celebrate.  This week, in honor of celebrating and eating out, I’ll give you one of my favorite knock-off recipes (so you can save your money next time!).  And, my Top 7 Tips for Healthy & Lean Restaurant Choices.  If you only go out on Valentine’s and a handful of other times throughout the year, please ignore these suggestions and simply enjoy the food and company.  If you are a regular restaurant goer, though, and especially if you’ve got goals to lose weight and improve strength to weight ratio on the bike, it’s not too hard to stick with your plan and enjoy great foods with this guide.

Asian Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Recipe of the Week:  Asian Lettuce Wraps (P.F. Chang Knock-Off)

Ingredients:

  • 16 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast (or extra-firm non-gmo tofu for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 large oninon, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger (remember, the skin comes off easily by scraping with a spoon
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Asian chili sauce (like Sriracha)
  • 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Instructions:

  1. Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole, and set aside to drain.
  2. Heat coconut oil in large skillet on medium heat and stir-fry chicken for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook until the meat is crumbled and brown.
  4. Add water chestnuts and green onions. Cook until onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in sesame oil.
  6. Arrange lettuce leaves on the outer edge of a platter. Spoon meat mixture in center. Allow diners to spoon meat mixture into lettuce leaves and eat like a taco.

Comments:

I am a big fan of finishing the day with a “light” dinner.  I believe for both health and healthy weights, it’s best to consume the majority of daily calories during the day, while your most active and to end the day with a lighter intake.  And specifically, I recommend nixing most carbohydrates, and especially refined carbs unless it’s the evening directly before a “big” race or ride.  There’s simply not much need for quick-energy carbs at night, and most of them offer little benefit.  What’s more, overloading carbohydrates tends to promote fat storage unless they are readily used in activity.  What do you usually do after dinner?  Ride a metric century or relax and then go to bed?  Me too.  So, I keep it light at night and this recipes like this week’s Loving the Bite allow me to do just that.

On the other hand, every once in a while we eat out.  This all becomes much more difficult at a restaurant.  Give me a client who eats out several times each week, and I’ll tell you that it’s an uphill battle.  But, not impossible.  Here’s how you can stick to your lean dinner plans.

Top 7 Healthy & Lean Restaurant Tips:

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