Taste of Tuesday: Farm-to-Market-to-Table Asian Lettuce Wraps

With the weather getting warmer and many of our local farmers markets firing back up, the inclination to eat healthier this time of year tends to strike many of us. With that in mind, I headed to the Bernice Garden Farmers Market on Sunday morning (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and came across an abundant selection of lettuce.

Per usual, I was drawn towards the North Pulaski Farms’ booth, where owner Kelly Carney had a nice selection of vegetation. I opted for a beautiful head of romaine lettuce and headed home with really no clue what to do with it.

That’s the beauty about items you buy at farmers markets; they just inspire you. In this case, I wanted to keep things simple and really let the crisp lettuce do the talking.

I found this Asian Lettuce Wraps recipe.

It’s a perfect base recipe. As is, the listed ingredients will produce a tasty lettuce wrap, but most cooks like to add a personal touch, and this recipe certainly allows a little wiggle room to do that.

To keep things even healthier, I opted for some super lean, 94 percent fat-free ground beef. To it, I added some diced carrots and chopped mushrooms. This gave the filling more texture, while providing a vibrant orange to the dish. With kids in the house, I decided to cut back on the red pepper flakes, which decreased the heat significantly. Finally, we have a nut allergy in my family, so I ditched the chopped peanuts as well.

In the end, these Asian lettuce wraps turned out great. Even with a heaping pile of filling, the romaine stayed crisp and provided a perfect canopy for transport from plate to mouth.


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