Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lettuce Wraps

These Asian lettuce wraps with chicken were inspired from, of course, skinnytaste. But that recipe required a lot of random ingredients. I wanted to keep it simple and cheap. (on a budget & time crunch) So I limited the ingredients needed. They were fun to make, fun to eat, and of course, DELICIOUS! I served with the Tomato Soup/Spaghetti Squash, it was a FANTASTIC meal!


  • 2 or 3 4 oz chicken breasts, grounded
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp diced green onions
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • 1⁄2 tsp sugar
  • freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • head of lettuce, or as many leaves as you need


If your chicken isn't already ground you can place it in a food processor (or even a blender will do) and ground it up. It's actually kind cool that it works that way. Or you can buy ground chicken (8 to 12 oz) at the store.
Place the ground chicken in a bowl.
Meanwhile mix soy sauce, olive oil, wine, sugar, & pepper. 
Mix water chestnuts, garlic & onions in with the ground chicken.
Then pour soy sauce mixture over chicken.
Let it marinate for a few minutes.
Make sure it is well mixed (feel free to use your hands if needed)
Add more soy sauce, wine, or oil, if needed.
Transfer to a medium sized frying pan (or wok)
Cook until brown, 5 to 10 minutes, and feel free to add more oil if desired.
Break up and stir meat as you go.
Place in each lettuce wrap and serve with a dipping sauce, if desired. (I eat mine with Ranch!)

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Spaghetti Squash & Tomato Soup

This is a great, hearty, healthy, satisfying meal. Lately I've been cooking a lot with spaghetti squash and really enjoy it. If you don't need to carbo load, then you can replace any spaghetti recipe with spaghetti squash instead to keep the calories down. It's high in fiber and has about 40 calories per cup. I find it to be very very filling. It's hard for me to eat more than 2 cups of it. The result is always yummy. 

At the beginning of the summer some girlfriends & I spent a week together down at the beach. We took turns cooking for each other and for my dinner meal I made lettuce wraps coupled with this spaghetti squash covered with tomato soup.

I got the lettuce wraps recipe from one of my favorite recipes blogs: skinnytaste. The tomato soup w/ spaghetti squash recipe idea was a combination of other recipes I've made and a montage of recipes from allrecipes. Again, let me emphasize how filling and yummy this meal was! It makes 4 to 6 servings.

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 3 cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of fat free chicken stock
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • garlic powder (optional)
Before doing anything else get the Spaghetti Squash started. There are different strategies to preparing & cooking spaghetti squash. Some prefer to cook the spaghetti squash first, then cut it in half. That may be safer when dealing with the knife, but then you have to handle a hot spaghetti squash. I'm not a fan of that. So pick the lesser of two evils for you and go with it. 

Here's what I do...
Cut in half, (it's really really hard to do with a sharp knife before it's been cooked, so BE CAREFUL! I use a "wiggle" method on both sides and crack it in half. It could be dangerous, so if you aren't having any luck just put it in the oven whole and cut and scrape later) scrape out seeds & guts, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and cook for about an hour in a preheated oven at 375 degrees, with the two halves facing upward. 

When there is about 10 to 20 minutes left, combine the tomatoes, chicken stock, whipping cream, butter, and italian seasoning in a large pot. 

Bring to a boil, lower the heat, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Add salt & pepper to taste. If you want the soup a certain consistency feel free to put chicken stock & tomatoes in a blender before bringing to a boil or after you lower the temp feel free to use an immersion blender. I love those things!

Remove spaghetti squash from oven scrape out what's left. Place evenly in 4 to 6 bowls.  Top with more seasoning if desired. 

Cover each bowl with soup. Want to make it better? Add homemade croutons, a dollop of sour cream, or shredded cheese. ENJOY!

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

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