My mom gave me a copy of this recipe from her WeightWatchers in 20 Minutes cookbook a while back, but I had been a little nervous to try it. My husband loves the Chicken Lettuce Wraps from P.F. Chang’s, and I was fearful that a WeightWatchers recipe could not compete. I got in the mood for an Asian dish this weekend, though, so I decided to give it a whirl.
The recipe was quick to prepare (although it still took me longer than 20 minutes), and the meat mixture smelled wonderfully spicy as it cooked on the stove top.
I ended up having to use green leaf lettuce instead of the Boston lettuce. My local grocery store had the Boston lettuce in stock, but it only had 3 sad, beat-up, browning heads of it. Not wanting to succumb to iceberg, I grabbed a bunch of green leaf instead. When it came time to eat the lettuce rolls, however, I was wishing I had relaxed my no-iceberg rule for just one night. The green leaf fronds were narrow, making it hard to wrap up the filling inside them, and they were slightly bitter in taste. The rest of the ingredients were very pleasing, however. The cilantro sprigs added a burst of flavor, and I wouldn’t go without them. (I did omit the mint sprigs, largely to save the cost of buying them fresh at the store). With the green leaf lettuce, John and I gave the lettuce rolls 3 stars. I plan to try them again, however, and I believe that with the right kind of lettuce, they will earn at least 3.5 stars.
Thai Beef and Lettuce Rolls
1 lb ground lean beef (7% fat or less)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp chili garlic sauce
2 tsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp Asian (dark) sesame oil
8 Boston lettuce leaves
1 cup packaged matchstick-cut carrots
8 fresh cilantro sprigs
8 fresh mint sprigs
1. Mix together the ground beef, garlic, soy sauce, chili sauce, and brown sugar in a medium bowl until combined.
2. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the beef mixture and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil.
3. Place about 1/4 cup of the beef mixture on each lettuce leaf. Top evenly with one-eighth of the carrots, 1 cilantro sprig, and 1 mint sprig. Fold in two opposite sides of each lettuce leaf.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 lettuce rolls). Per serving, 5 PointsPlus.