Monday, May 26, 2014

asian lettuce wraps

Anyone who grew up in Hawaii, or knows of anyone from Hawaii - knows that we LOVE our white rice.  You eat it with everything- which includes spaghetti, sloppy joes, eggs, putting it in ramen- yikes!!  It comes with every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner...  In an honest effort to eat 'healthy' I'm trying to decrease my rice intake and decided to make lettuce wraps for dinner.

YUM-O!  This is going into the dinner rotation for sure!!

First of all, I apologize for my cheesy screen shot of my Instagram- but I posted the pic and then deleted it!  Second of all I apologize for being too lazy to edit and crop the darn photo.  Third of all, I apologize for not taking more pics!  

I swear that it was darn amazing.  Eric told me he'd definitely eat this again!  And the best part is that this recipe can be altered to suit anyone's taste!!  I used shrimp, tofu and quinoa as my main sources of protein.  You can find the recipe on Allrecipes.com 

Here's the Original Recipe with my changes in Blue

16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
 1 pound lean ground beef or  3/4 pound shrimp
 1 tablespoon cooking oil
 1 large onion, chopped
 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
 1 tablespoon soy sauce
 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
 2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger didn't have this on hand
 1 dash Asian chile pepper sauce, or to taste (optional)
 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped didn't have this on hand
 1 bunch green onions, chopped
 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
firm diced tofu (Trader Joe's brand Teriyaki flavor- is what I used)
3 small carrots grated - for color
  • Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and cooking oil in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and discard grease; transfer beef to a bowl. Cook and stir onion in the same skillet used for beef until slightly tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and chile pepper sauce into onions. Add water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; cook and stir until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  • Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center.

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 
  • Add 1/3 cup water and next 3 ingredients (through red pepper), and stir with a whisk. 
  • Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. 
  • Remove from heat; stir in lime juice.
Happy lettuce-wrapping!!

wrapping with lace

A wonderful someone emailed me asking a few questions about my post "bridal shower gift: wine glasses and a wine basket" and mentioned it would be for her daughter's wedding favors.  She wants to wrap the favors similarly to the way I wrapped the boxes.  Assuming the favors would be much smaller I decided to do some research to show her examples of smaller lace-wrapped boxes and wanted to share my findings.

Blogger: Such Pretty Things has a wonderful tidbit on Paper Lace Favors - and the textured paper she uses adds such a delicate detail to the presentation.

(photos courtesy of: Such Pretty things)

I also found one of the greatest inventions to add to a gift-wrappers arsenal- Lace Tape - WHHAAATT?!  Yes I said it, tape with a lace design on it!!  And most are decently priced!!

This one is like a sticker- found on Amazon.com
(photo courtesy of: oyang)

This one is actual lace- found on Etsy - ships from South Korea
(photo courtesy of: fallindesign)

Pen & Paper Flowers has a fantastic use of scotch Duct Tape- lace design
(photo courtesy of: Pen & Paper Flowers)

Oh my!!  Such a wonderful find and I wouldn't have known about it had it not been for my emailer Maria!  The uses for these are endless!!