Cherry-Almond-Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

Cherry-Almond-Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

I made dinner for my best friend’s parents today..
When I offered, I panicked a bit.
I wasn’t going to be cooking in their home, and they required something light and healthy.
When I think of making a transportable meal, my mind immediately goes to lasagna and the like.
Chicken and rice casserole, macaroni and cheese..
I had to peruse some healthy eating websites in order to get inspired, as my limited imagination is somewhat of a hindrance.

I have never eaten a lettuce wrap.
I’ve watched people do it..
I’ve talked about it.
I never actually put one in my mouth.

I read a billion of recipes, then sort of crafted my own from the lot.
(recipe at the bottom)

I used these beautiful cherries(which i pitted myself, tyvm), and some boneless, skinless, chicken thighs.
The thighs were an accident.
I fully intended on using chicken breasts, but the grocery store was out of them.
Like, what?
Chicken breasts?
(just kidding, best mistake ever)

The most challenging aspect of this recipe was the almonds.
I mean..
I toasted them perfectly the first time around.

And then I got all up in Brad’s face, as the food obsessed aunt I am..
I was all, “TRY AN ALMOND. EAT IT.”
She hasn’t ever liked almonds.
That’s a truthfact.
But I’m of the mind that you could really love any food if it’s cooked the right way.
Rather, any food could be good if it’s cooked the way *you* like it.
So here I am bullying a seven year old into trying something proven to be the bane of her food experience, and I toss my perfect almonds on the floor.

I had more.


Fortunately, there were plenty saved from the first batch.
And I almost forgot to add them to the salad.
Because I’m a dummy.

I added half of the garlic, ginger, and fish sauce to the raw chicken, and sauteed it in coconut oil until it was cooked. I drained the excess liquid, and set that aside.
In a small saucepan, I added the sauce ingredients, and let it simmer for around 10 minutes.
I added the cherries, carrots, onions, cabbage, and almonds to the chicken mixture, then tossed in the sauce.

If I were making this dish for myself, I would have added some thai chilis.
I like-a-da-spice.
The pretties were major, though, right?
Easy, and gorgeous.
I might have to do this one again.
It’s like a little sweet and spicy taco with a carb-free hug!

(chicken salad)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs(chopped into bite-sized pieces)
3/4 cup slivered almonds(toasted)
1 cup dark red cherries(pitted, halved)
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup matchstick carrots
1-2 heads Boston Bibb lettuce(seperated)
3/4cup green onion
3 Tbsp ginger
5 Tbsp garlic
1 1/2cup hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
4 Tbsp fish sauce
A squirt of Sriracha

(coconut rice)
2 cups jasmine rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 3/4 cups water
2 heaping Tbsp. dry shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coconut oil
Optional: 1-2 Tbsp. toasted coconut for garnish

For the rice:
..Coat bottom of medium saucepan with coconut oil
Over medium high heat, bring all of the ingredients to a soft boil. Make sure to stir so the rice doesn’t stick, or burn.
Turn heat to low, cover, simmer for 20 minutes.
When most of the liquid is absorbed, fluff with a fork, cover again, and let steam for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut….

Though I used two cups of coconut milk, I think it could have been thinned a bit.
Maybe use the milk with 50% less calories, or less coconut, and more water?
I’m going to have to tweak that one.