This dinner was special, because I had my wonderful friend Suzy over and Suzy is the reason that I’m writing this right now. Just over two years ago, Suz encouraged me to launch this blog! This blog that has given me so much happiness and creative determination with photography, cooking, and writing – it’s all thanks to her. I had been flirting with the idea of food blogging for months, but I had been lacking the motivation and drive to really get something started. So Suzy, I can’t thank you enough! The highest of fives to you, gal pal!
I had found myself in a bit of a pickle Friday because I had planned on making Greek-style burgers for the occasion but the grill decided that it didn’t want to grill anymore. I hadn’t thought up a Plan B! Though I had stumbled upon a cool recipe for lettuce wraps in a Pampered Chef recipe pamphlet earlier that week, so I took it and played with it. Suz enjoys healthy eats, I enjoy healthy eats, why not make delicious healthy eats? I’ll admit – the first time someone mentioned lettuce wraps to me I thought, “Ugh. Get out of my face.” Because some healthy trends just sound ridiculous. Until you try them and realize that it’s you that is ridiculous.
This recipe is fantastic, though. It’s bright, fresh, slightly creamy and hella crunchy.
I also have a newfangled obsession with Boston Bibb Lettuce. This lettuce is incredible – lettuce celebrate! My favourite thing about it is that it doesn’t taste like dirty water. Does that make me weird? I get that with Romaine or Iceberg sometimes and it makes me gag. No bueno.
I messed around with the Pampered Chef recipe by omitting the citrus ginger spice rub they use and using fresh ginger and lemon juice instead. I also used more soy sauce and substituted the chicken tenders for chopped boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The red grapes and toasted almonds added an amazing touch. That was part of the original recipe though, so I can’t take credit for that.
“Lettuce wrap” sounds very light – and maybe a little bit like rabbit food – but these are actually very filling. I served my Sesame Ginger Soba Noodle Salad on the side and our bellies were quite satisfied.
Anyway, lettuce wrap this up! (I’m the worst.)
Soy Citrus Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- 2 scallions sliced thin
- 1/2 cup julienned carrot sticks
- 1 cup of red seedless grapes halved
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds toasted
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of low sodium Kikkoman soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of grated ginger
- The juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 6 medium or large leaves of Bibb lettuce rinsed and patted dry
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a baking dish.
- Brush with sesame oil and sprinkle a bit of sea salt and ground black pepper. Add a splash of water to the bottom of the baking dish to prevent burning or drying out.
- Cover and bake for approx. 25-30 minutes, or until juices run clear.
- Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a plate and place in the freezer to quickly cool it off.
- Once cooled, chop into cubes and set aside.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, ginger, and lemon juice.
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken, carrots, grapes, toasted almonds, and scallions. Then drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat.
- Carefully spoon the chicken salad mixture into the Bibb leaves and serve.