I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but summer has hit Missouri like a punch in the mouth. We went from rainy, seasonably cool temperatures to mid-nineties and very humid seemingly overnight. I seriously considered shaving my head for about 2 hours last night until I remembered that I have to start my new job on Monday. Between the hot weather and all the deep cleaning projects I’ve been doing in the house, slaving over a hot stove is not high on my priorities list.
2 medium chicken breasts
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons basil
1 cup shredded carrots (will take about 2 medium carrots)
1/2 cup sliced green pepper
1/2 cup sliced yellow pepper
3/4 cup sliced almonds
6 large Bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves
2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground white sesame seeds
1. To make dressing: Mix rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Add ground sesame and sesame oil in the dressing and stir together. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before preparing wraps.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, lemon zest and basil, and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove from skillet and slice into strips (we prefer to slice after cooking as the chicken retains more moisture and flavor).
3. Meanwhile, slice green and yellow peppers and shred carrots and place in a medium bowl. Add cooked chicken and slowly stir in dressing. Stir in almonds and continue to stir until thoroughly combined.
4. Spread lettuce leaves on a plate and add chicken mixture. Roll or eat open-faced, topping with additional almonds or sriracha if desired.
These lettuce wraps are super light and tangy and take less than 15 minutes to make. They are light and filling, but don’t leave you feeling sluggish, a feeling I prefer on a hot summer day. If you prefer salads with lots of dressing, I recommend doubling the sesame dressing, as the amount I made is enough to coat, but not excessively.
I got the idea for making these while talking to a few of my friends about BlogHer ’11. I pulled the trigger a few months ago and bought my ticket. It’s my first blogging conference and I’m super excited, albeit completely nervous. I’m a mixed bag when it comes to socializing. Depending on the group, I’m either really comfortable or painfully shy. I’m so excited to meet many of my favorite bloggers, and tell people about our blog and freelance business. We’ve been going through the process of planning, booking rooms and getting sponsors, and our latest discussions have been about diet. Big events always seem to bring about goals of losing weight or getting a diet back on track don’t they? A few of us are setting goals for BlogHer ’11. Mine are pretty low key and probably borderline cop out. I’d love to shave off the five pounds I gained last semester while finishing classes and moving. I ate a TON of bad food, and I just want to get back on track with my diet and exercise goals. It’s a light goal, but I love food and don’t want to set myself up for failure, so I’m starting easy.
A few of the girls are trying the Cinch Diet, a new diet method by Cynthia Sass. I’ve never been one for super organized diets, but I’ve decided to design some meal ideas for them that are easy and I think (keyword: “think”) would be Cinch Diet approved. These Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps are the first, and I’m making another tonight. Stay tuned!