Sunday, January 23, 2011

That's a Wrap

Made famous by P.F. Chang and also served at other restaurants including Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen, lettuce wraps are a popular Chinese-inspired appetizer choice. Since it is usually a large serving, I tend to order lettuce wraps for my meal. There is something so appealing about the warm chicken and veggie combination served against the cool, crisp lettuce. The sauce in the meat mixture along with the similar dipping sauce makes for an amazing flavor combination. This is a recipe that I would never be able to recreate on my own as I had no idea what ingredients could provide such a succulent sensation. With the help of a fellow blogger, I have perfected this recipe and have gotten compliments by everyone who has tried it. I would have to say the most sincere compliment is from the boyfriend who licks the plate clean after each serving (literally). This is by no means a quick week night meal. There is a lot of chopping and dicing involved but with the help of a veggie chopper, it is not too bad. I would suggest preparing the meat, veggies, and sauces ahead of time. Then the actual cooking time is only about 15 minutes.  Most recipes that I make require quite a bit of nutrition modifications to get them to the point that I will eat them. The original recipe is pretty healthy as it, full of lean protein and veggies with very little fat. I have given the nutrient analysis based on 6 servings with each serving making 2 lettuce wraps for only 95 calories. You can divide the recipe to make 4 larger portions and each serving would still only amount to 142 calories! This is a great meal to serve to guests because it looks fancy and tastes fabulous. I served it over boiled whole grain brown rice along with a dipping sauce that I will post about later. The sauce is so similar to the white sauce served at Japanese steakhouses. It is quite amazing!

Lettuce Wraps
adapted from Fashionably Foodie
serves 6

3 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large carrot
8 whole mushrooms
3 green onions
1 red bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 can water chestnuts, drained
1 head iceberg lettuce (leaves washed and separated in wholes)

(double in order to make dipping sauce)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Splenda
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sriracha sauce (asian chile sauce)
1/2 cup soy sauce
  1. Boil chicken breast for 15 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. Chop finely to the size of a corn kernel.
  2. Finely grate the carrot. Finely dice the onion, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and bell pepper to the same size of the chicken.
  3. Whisk together the sauce ingredients. If you doubled the sauce to make the dipping sauce, set half aside.
  4. Spray a large pan with cooking spray. Add onions, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Saute for 2 minutes to soften. 
  5. Add chicken, water chestnuts, and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes. 
  6. Add sauce to pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced. Add grated carrot. 
  7. For dipping sauce, add an additional 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes to the reserved sauce.

Nutrition: 95 calories, 7g carbohydrate, 14g protein, 2g fat, 1g fiber, 2 weight watchers points


Josh said...

It is a close race between this and the balsamic chicken recipe you posted a couple of months ago, but I think this might be my favorite. I have had lettuce wraps from P.F. Changs and California Pizza Kitchen but I have to say that I like this recipe better. It is especially great when "the girlfriend" makes them for me!

Lauren said...

Always good to have input from the "boyfriend". And you actually helped me chop the veggies for the lettuce wraps...that's probably why they were so good :)

Anonymous said...

Can I make this without using Splenda or is there a healthier alternative? Thank you.

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Nutrition student with a passion for giving yummy recipes a healthy make-over. Future RD on a constant search for the best food finds. And new blogger trying to relay my tasty ideas to everyone else.

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