Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

About two weeks ago we concluded the Whole Life Challenge, and I came in 2nd place! I might be a little bitter, but either way I feel pretty damn good. Other than a few pounds shed, some clearer skin, and increased energy levels, my favorite side effect might honestly be the lack of any hangovers. Crazy, right?! I'm excited to keep up with the nutrition aspect (with natural indulgences here and there of course) because I don't think I can ever go back to having a hangover again.

This will be my last post boring you all with details of the challenge, but I am very excited for what the next few weeks hold in regards to recipes for my blog. The challenge really helped me tap into my creativity, and I'm looking forward to getting a chance to develop a few recipes that manifested in my brain over the course of the last several weeks.

When I first started cooking, I vowed to come up with my own version of lettuce wraps. There are thousands out there, but I knew I wanted to create something that wasn't another PF Chang's copycat (not hating, that meal is addicting). Lettuce wraps are often viewed as the starter meal when adopting a low-carb diet, as they are so versatile and extremely flavorful. Many healthy blogs share their version of the classic staple; there are so many creative versions circling around the web.

Last week I opened up my refrigerator and found that my Thai Red Curry paste was about to expire and I had some left over chicken thighs and few limes, so I thought- why not concoct a Thai version? I hate seeing food go to waste and I love Thai flavors, so I figured it's now or never (not literally, but I can be kind of dramatic so just go with it).

These turned out so well that I've made them twice in the last two weeks, and as I write this I am currently eating leftovers the deconstructed way: with brown rice for lunch. I'm obsessed.

Ingredients

Chicken

1 lb chicken thighs, diced

2 green onions, white parts only, finely diced (save the green part for garnish)

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely diced

2 tsp Red Thai Curry Paste

2 tsp Thai fish sauce

1/2 lime juice

salt and pepper to season

1 tbsp coconut oil

Pickled Veggies

1/2 cucumber, thinly diced (refer to photos)

1/2 small-medium carrot, shredded

1/8 cup rice vinegar

1/8 tsp sugar or stevia

sprinkle of salt

Spicy Vinaigrette *

1 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 lime juice

1 tsp rice vinegar

1/2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce

Cilantro and green onions for garnish

10-12 butter lettuce leaves

*The chicken mixture produces enough flavor on it's own, especially when paired with the pickled veggies- so feel free to omit the dressing. However, the dressing is addictive and I think it gives it a tangy punch so I definitely urge you to try it.

Serving Size: 2 entrees, 4 appetizers

Instructions

1. Pickle the veggies by combining the cucumber and carrot with vinegar, then stir in salt and sugar. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but best to do this the night before.

2. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients, set aside.

3. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add coconut oil until melted and hot.

4. Add in the white parts of the green onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

5. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

6. Use a skillet lid to carefully remove most of the liquid that the chicken mixture produced.

7. Reduce the heat to low and add the curry paste, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir until chicken is thoroughly coated.

8. Serve the chicken in a large bowl, garnish with cilantro and remaining chopped green onions. Serve along side lettuce, dressing, pickled veggies, lime wedges, and Sriracha.