Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps

I was thinking today as I was taking pictures with my phone of these wraps that I really should upgrade to a camera rather than rely solely on a camera phone. As I’ve mentioned before, cameras overwhelm me. I know they take better pictures, especially for a food blog, but I’ll be honest, me and my iPhone 6 work pretty well together considering. Though, while we do have our moments and I come very close to throwing it across the room, I don’t have another camera so you’d all be stuck with just a bunch of words, I’d be phoneless and well that wouldn’t lead to good things. With that being said, my phone and I were on a roll taking pictures of this little dish. I mean, just look at those colors! (gasp) When I got home after picking up some veggies at a local farm stand I knew these were definitely going into some sort of recipe just so I’d be able to photograph it…well and eat it too of course. So, with some bright green lettuce I knew right away I wanted to make lettuce wraps. What better dish to enjoy during warm summer days than lots of yummy ingredients wrapped up in a piece of crisp lettuce? These wraps have quite a kick so if you like spicy then you’ll love this. If you prefer to tone it down a bit just add less green chilies as noted below. This dish makes a great meal for 4 but works just as well as an appetizer, just add less filling and use the smaller inner leaves to wrap instead. Viola, a colorful and healthy meal, app or snack and lots of pretty pictures thanks to my trusty ol’ phone. I’ll upgrade one day…maybe…

Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps

Gluten-free/Paleo/Nut-free/Soy-free

Serves: about 4 (2 wraps per person)/Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 2 small sweet potatoes with skin, washed and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c mushrooms, diced
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 c green chilies, chopped 
  • 2 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch 
  • I head of Boston or Butter lettuce
  • Green onion and Sriracha as optional toppings
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Toss diced sweet potato with cinnamon and oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  2. In the meantime, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and brown beef. When almost cooked through add in the garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook until veggies are soft.
  3. Combine the water, vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic powder, chilies, ketchup and tapioca startch in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over beef mixture and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes on low then remove from heat.
  4. Prepare wraps by gently removing the larger outer leaves from the head. Rinse and lay out to dry on a towel.
  5. When ready to serve, using the lettuce as the base, spoon beef mixture into leaf then top with sweet potatoes, green onion and Sriracha.

Note: If storing leftovers, keep filling in a separate sealed container from lettuce to keep leaves crisp until ready to eat. I also find it helpful to store washed and ready to eat lettuce in a freezer bag with a paper towel in the fridge. This keeps the moisture away and the lettuce stays crisper longer.
Optional plating idea: If wraps aren’t your thing, chop up the lettuce into bite sized pieces and top with filling. Dress salad as desired.
Appetizer idea: If serving as an app, fold lettuce leaves around filling, sealing both ends as well, and hold it shut with a toothpick. Serve with Sriracha for dipping.

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