Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups

Happy Halloween from my sweet little bat dog!!

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This week has been so busy.  Then again, last week was so busy.  Then again…the week before was so busy.  Basically, leading up to moving, moving, and post-moving, has all been SO BUSY! =P  I feel like I’ve hardly had any chance to just catch my breath since we arrived.  I know it will slow down soon, but right now, it’s quite overwhelming.

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In the midst of feeling so overwhelmed, last week I was craving Asian lettuce wraps.  Thankfully, it was while I was meal-planning, so I was able to incorporate it in the plan!  The last time I made lettuce wraps, it was a very long and complicated ordeal – so much chopping!!  Granted, the outcome was absolutely delicious (my husband and I gobbled down an entire head of lettuce because of it), but still…way too much work.  I found this recipe from Women’s Health Mag guest chef, Giada De Laurentiis from The Food Network, and it was much quicker than before, and just as delicious!  It wasn’t super spicy (I omitted the Serrano pepper, as I was cooking for my mom and husband, two non-spice lovers), but it still had a nice kick and zest, mostly due to the lemon and lime juice.  Also, I used cayenne pepper instead of crushed red pepper flakes, I just used half the amount, since it’s more concentrated.  Also, the fresh mint was a nice touch!  I’m not sure if I’ve ever cooked with mint before, but let me tell you, it was very minty!  The leaves smelled like spearmint gum, but they didn’t overpower the dish at all.

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Also, we used this “live” head of butter lettuce.  It was all Kevin could find in the particular grocery store he went to, and it was certainly a new concept to me, but it worked great!

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 WW value of 4 lettuce cups: 9

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 Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups

Serves 4

Ingredients:
-1/3cu fresh lime juice (from about 5 limes, if you’re doing it the old fashioned way)
-3tbsp fresh lemon juice (from about one large lemon)
-2tbsp Thai fish sauce
-2tbsp honey
-3tbsp canola oil
-1/2 red onion, diced
-3 shallots, thinly sliced
-1 piece lemongrass (4in long), minced (my poor husband could not find lemongrass, even at Trader Joe’s, then decided he didn’t feel like trekking to an Asian market, so I substituted fresh minced ginger, which was comparable, according to Google)
-1 Thai or serrano chili, stemmed and thinly sliced (I omitted, cuz my family dislikes extreme heat)
-1lb leanest ground turkey
-salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-1/2cu chopped fresh mint leaves
-1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated

Directions:
-In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, lemon juice, fish sauce, and honey.  Set aside.
-In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, shallots, lemongrass, and chili.  Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
-Add turkey, season with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables and meat are cooked through, about 5-8 more minutes.
-Add the dressing to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes, mixing well.  Remove from heat, stir in the mint, and season with salt and pepper.
-Spoon onto lettuce leaves and enjoy!

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