Turkey Lettuce Wraps & other things I’ve been eating.

The tightening of my jeans tells me I definitely ate during the winter, but, as has happened many a time before, I’ve neglected to write about it.

I admire food bloggers who make this their living, and grace the Internet with beautiful photography and mouthwatering recipes. I am not, and likely never will be, that person. I like to separate the things I do into two lists: “attainable goals” and “imaginary goals.”

Attainable goals are things like:

  • Being a good daughter
  • Being a good girlfriend
  • Being a good friend
  • Being a good employee
  • Being a good baseball fan (Go Tribe!)
  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Other bodily functions

Imaginary goals are more like:

  • Winning the lottery
  • Moving to Sweden
  • Being a food/lifestyle blogger full time
  • Marrying Tyler Hoechlin (Sorry, Dear Boyfriend.)

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll know that I did a #VeganFebruary challenge. It was part of my New Year’s resolution to challenge myself to do one thing continuously for a month. In January, I challenged myself to not use my credit card. That was easy enough, until I moved in with Dear Boyfriend and needed to buy this freaking awesome Midnight blue, velvet, mid-century modern couch from World Market. (Obviously.)

Dear Boyfriend hates it. But we have a second, much more traditional/sensible couch. There’s definitely a his/hers couch thing going on.

My vegan February was successful, thanks in very large part to the wonderful Lauren and John over at hot for food. Their Cauliflower Buffalo Wings got me through the Super Bowl, and this Watermelon Couscous Salad saved me a few weeks ago when I desperately needed some Springtime feelings during another arctic blast in the CLE. Be sure to check out hot for food on YouTube.

While I can appreciate the vegan lifestyle, I know it doesn’t fit my life at the moment. But the challenge did shake up any food ruts I’d dug myself into and brought many new veggie-filled favorites into my life.

About a month after moving, Dear Boyfriend and I hosted some friends for some appetizers before going out to a nearby casino and bars. I’ve recently become somewhat addicted to SORTEDfood’s YouTube channel. And this recipe for BBQ slow cooker meatballs just hit all the right buttons for me.

But now for the recipe you’ve come here for. There are a million of recipes out there for turkey lettuce wraps. They’re ubiquitous on many Asian and chain-restaurant menus. This one is reminiscent of the one at a seemingly “all encompassing, Pan-Asian cuisine restaurant” near my parents’ house. I mean, this place has a sushi bar, makes pho (OK, but I’ve had better) and Pad Thai, and has a really nice General Tso’s Chicken on the menu. I’m never displeased going there, but always a bit overwhelmed.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps, serves 2 as a main & 4 as an appetizer

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced

3 button/cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped into small pieces

2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp. teriyaki sauce

1 tsp. white wine vinegar

2 scallions (green onions), sliced

4 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped (reserve half for serving)

1/2 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)

leaves of Boston Bibb lettuce, separated and washed (for serving)

Method

1. Heat a dry, 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat and cook the turkey, breaking it down into little pieces. Cook for long enough that the water and (minimal) fat are drawn from the meat. Increase heat to medium-high, and allow the water to evaporate. You’ll start to hear more of a sizzle and notice the pan getting dry, which is good because you want to crisp up the turkey.

2. When you start seeing the turkey go golden and crispy, add the garlic, ginger, and serrano pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. (You’ll smell the garlic and ginger!) Reduce heat to medium and add the mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.

3. Add the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for another 3 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat. Add the scallion and 2 Tbs. of cilantro. Fold in to the hot mixture. Squeeze over some fresh lime juice to taste.

5. Spoon into lettuce cups and top with more cilantro and lime juice if desired. Eat immediately.

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