Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chicken Lettuce Wraps-- 2 recipes

--4 chicken breast halves or 10-12 chicken breast tenders
--5 chopped cloves of garlic
--1/2 chopped onion
--1/4 cup soy sauce (if gluten free, go for La Choy or Tamari wheat free)
--1/4 cup white wine
--1/2 t ginger
--dash of allspice (or a dash each of cloves, cinnamon and black pepper)
--2 T balsamic vinegar

The Directions:
--chop up chicken into teeny tiny chunks. After I compiled my concoction, I googled how to "really" make this and discovered that most recipes call for ground chicken, turkey, or pork. That probably would have been easier. And I wouldn't have had to sterilize myself quite as much afterwards.

--chop up the onions and garlic, dump into crockpot on top of the meat
--in a mixing bowl, mix the liquid and spices
--pour sauce on top of meat

cover and cook for 4-6 hours on high, 6-8 on low. I did stir this a few times to break up the chicken--it wanted to stick together at first.

--serve over lettuce leaves. I chose Romaine, because Trader Joe's sells them already separated and it makes me happy.

These tasted great. I would have liked a bit more crunch, though, and will add some water chestnuts and green onion next time.

(Recipe from Stephanie and can be found here on her blog.)

Here is a different recipe:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/2 cup prepared stir fry sauce

1 head butter, bibb or green leaf lettuce, cored and washed well

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup broccoli coleslaw or shredded broccoli stems

1 cup Oriental salad dressing

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stir-fry sauce and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until chicken is done.

Place chicken on a large platter along with the lettuce leaves, shredded carrots and shredded broccoli. Serve the Oriental dressing in a bowl on the side for dipping and allow each person to place the desired amount of chicken and vegetables in the center of a lettuce leaf. Roll up, and dip in the dressing as desired.

Makes 4 servings.

For the lettuce, choose butter, bibb or green leaf lettuce. Purchase stir-fry ready chicken or quickly slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts yourself. Look for bagged shredded carrots and broccoli slaw in the produce section.

I chose a spicy stir fry sauce made by House of Tsang when making this dish for my family, but many varieties are on the market. If your family prefers milder sauces over a hot-and-spicy blend, look for a sauce flavored with ginger. There were at least three brands of stir-fry sauces and glazes available at my local grocery store.

The dipping sauce I selected was an Oriental dressing from Wish-Bone, but other brands are available.

Quickly saute the chicken breast strips in a bit of vegetable oil, then add half a cup of the sauce and cook until the chicken is done. Then place the chicken and shredded vegetables on a large platter with the lettuce leaves and let everyone prepare their own wrap.

If you think lettuce wraps are a bit exotic for your family, substitute flour tortillas for the lettuce leaves to make something similar to Chinese Mu Shu chicken. And, feel free to personalize your lettuce wraps by adding cooked Oriental rice noodles, white rice or other vegetables.

Creamy Tortellini Alfredo

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
2 pkg. (9 oz. each) refrigerated cheese tortellini
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1 cup frozen peas
3/4 cup KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

POUR broth and water into large saucepan; stir. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add tortellini. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer 8 to 9 min. or until tortellini is tender. (Do not drain.)

ADD cream cheese and peas; stir. Heat 2 to 3 min. or until cream cheese is completely melted, stirring occasionally.

STIR in shredded cheese and bacon.

Prepare as directed with PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese.

Substitute 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves for 1 cup frozen peas and stir in 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained with the shredded cheese.

How to Warm the Pasta Serving Bowl
Few things lose heat faster than hot cooked pasta served in a cold bowl. To help keep cooked pasta hot, preheat the serving bowl by pouring hot water into the empty bowl and letting it stand for a minute to warm up. Drain water and fill with cooked pasta just before serving.

Foil Pack Taco Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
4 tsp. TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Taco Seasoning Mix
1/2 lb. red potatoes, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
3/4 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Four Cheese Mexican Style Cheese
1/4 cup BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning mix. Place 1/2 cup of the potatoes on center of each of four large sheets of heavy-duty foil; top each with chicken, salsa and cheese.

BRING up foil sides. Double fold top and both ends to seal each packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place in 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165°F). Remove packets from oven. Let stand 5 min. Cut slits in foil to release steam before opening. Serve with sour cream.

One-Pan Roasted Pork Supper

1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup KRAFT Light CATALINA Reduced Fat Dressing
1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves, divided
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1-1/2 cups water
2 small pork tenderloins (1-1/2 lb.)

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Toss sweet potatoes and onions with dressing and 1/2 tsp. of the thyme. Arrange in 15x10x1-inch baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 10 min.

MEANWHILE, combine stuffing mix and water. Cut each tenderloin diagonally into thirds. Push vegetable mixture to edges of pan. Spoon stuffing down center of pan; top with meat. Sprinkle remaining 1 tsp. thyme over meat.

BAKE 45 to 50 min. or until cooked through (160°F).

***NOTE: I am not using Stove Top Dressing as it has much too much sodium, I will be using regular bread crouton cubed stuffing mix which comes with a seasoning packet. This will cut the sodium in half.