Gluten Free Asian Lettuce Wraps

I worked at Chilis a long time ago…like 10 years ago, and one of the dishes they offered was the lettuce wraps. They were AMAZING, but apparently not amazing enough for the general population, as I noticed a few years ago they were no longer a part of the menu. I have also had cheesecake factory’s lettuce wraps, which I thought were good…not awesome. Then there is P.F. Chang’s (or Pei Wei’s) lettuce wraps…very good, but a little salty for me. I am sure there are other amazing lettuce wrap to be found around the globe, but for celiacs, or anyone with gluten intolerance, the soy (and other possible glutinous ingredients) will cause a serious reaction. The hardest part of Asian cuisine is the gluten laden sauces. So, here I find myself making my own. Something I have done for years. (FYI-P.F. Chang’s does have lettuce wraps on their gluten free menu)

These lettuce wraps are gluten free, as well as low carb, and fairly good for you. You can even substitute the gluten free soy (or tamari) for a low sodium one, if you want to cut back on salt.

While my husband and I were eating these, he said to me, “babe, I am so proud of you for doing something so awesome after being kicked in the gut.” I didn’t really understand what he was saying at first, then I realized that he was referring to me starting a food blog after the frustration and devastation of a celiac diagnoses. Yea, I think “kicked in the gut” is a great description. And, yes, I am awesome.  🙂

Hope you like this recipe!

Asian Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Feeds 3-4

Cost $3.25 per serving

2 Tbsp canola oil

1.25 lb package of ground turkey (I use Jennie-O because it’s GF)

1 cup pre-shredded carrots

1 cup chopped mushrooms (shiitake if available)

1 can water chestnuts-chopped

2 cloves garlic-chopped or pressed

2 green onions-chopped

1 Tbsp ginger-grated

5 Tbsp GF soy or tamari

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 ½ Tbsp agave nectar (or sugar if you don’t have agave)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp cornstarch

1 head lettuce- bosten lettuce forms nice cups, however, iceberg is much crisper, but not as classy

2 Tbsp sliced almonds-for garnishing

Extra shredded carrots-for garnishing

2 Tbsp cilantro-chopped for garnishing-optional

Dipping sauce-recipe following

Mix together your GF soy, rice vinegar, agave, and sesame oil in bowl. Set aside.

Cook the turkey in saucepan until almost browned. Pour out extra liquid. Add in carrots, mushrooms, water chestnuts, garlic, green onions, ginger and the sauce mixture. Mix together well and let simmer a few minutes. Mix cornstarch with a few teaspoons of hot water and mix. Add to saucepan. Continue to let simmer another 5 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat. The longer you let it rest, the better the flavor becomes.

Dipping Sauce

1 ½ Tbsp GF soy sauce

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp grated ginger

½ Tbsp green onion-chopped

1/2 clove garlic-chopped or pressed

1 Tbsp agave nectar

1/8 tsp sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together and whisk. Divide into smaller ramekins or bowls for dipping.

Spoon a few Tablespoons of lettuce wrap mixture into individual leaves of lettuce. Top with raw shredded carrot, sliced almond, and cilantro. Dip into sauce and enjoy!

Gluten Free Thai Basil Chicken

Thai food is so flavorful and fantastic. I first encountered Thai cuisine when I was living in Canada. My loft was in the heart of downtown Hamilton, and located just one block away from My Thai, which became one of my favorite restaurants.

Because I had never had Thai food while living in the states, the menu was foreign to me. I loved to try new things, and usually loved them. My husband and I went through a season where we ordered Thai takeout at least once or twice a week for several months. I usually got the pad Thai, a coconut soup or Tom kha gai, and something else, maybe a curry or my favorite….basil chicken.

I am a sucker for rice with delicious sauce, so Thai basil was a natural choice. It has such a flavorful sauce with sweet and spicy elements, and the licorice tasting Thai sweet basil adds so much to the dish.

Originally the sauce has sweet soy, but I have not yet found a gluten free sweet soy. This recipe doesn’t contain sweet soy and is a glutenless adaption of Foo Swasdee’s recipe. Both soy and oyster sauce contain gluten so make sure you are buying the specified products, or a glutenless alternative.

The Thai chilies, Thai sweet basil, oyster sauce and fish sauce can be found at an Asian market or online.

Hope you LOVE it!

Gluten Free Thai Basil

Makes 3 Servings

Cost: 2.50 per serving

2 Tbsp canola oil

¼ white onion-sliced

3 cloves garlic-mashed or chopped

2-3 Thai chilies-mashed or chopped

1/2 lb chicken breast-sliced

1 cup white mushrooms-sliced

½ Tbsp fish sauce (check for gf)

1 1/2 Tbsp GF oyster sauce (Lee Kum Kee green label)

3/4 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp GF soy (san-j gluten free tamari)

1/3 cup of GF chicken broth (Imagine)

1 sliced red bell pepper

1 cup Thai sweet basil (smells like licorice, if you don’t have an Asian market nearby, you could by this online, or sub regular basil, HOWEVER, you will lose a lot of the “Thai” flavor)

1 tsp cornstarch

Combine the sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and chicken broth in bowl.

Heat the oil in large saucepan. Add mashed garlic, chilies, and onion and brown for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook until the outside turns white. Add the bowl of liquid ingredients, the red peppers and the mushrooms to the saucepan.

Combine cornstarch with small amount of hot water and whisk. Add to saucepan.

Simmer until chicken is done, 5-10 minutes. Add the basil last. Serve over steamed jasmine or white rice.