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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I’ve been MIA, in my own private Idaho, head down, nose to the grindstone. Have you ever been in your car headed toward a destination only to find you arrived but have no recollection of how you got there? That’s basically what my past six weeks have been like. I picked my head up the other day and barely remember the journey that got me to today.

It’s nothing life threatening…it’s just life. Just a lot of life packed into a month or so. That’s all. But, enough of it to make me miss out on get-togethers with friends, skip over online chats with pals, and pass on a virtual baby shower.  Enough to take me away from my blog and make me fall asleep on the couch in front of the TV some evenings. Enough to make me forget earlier this year I pledged to savor the moments.

I did have a few cool moments though…some really cool ones. A girls’ weekend away. A few posts on Martha Stewart’s G-Free Fridays. Some time with the kid over spring break. Walks with the little dogs to clear my head and regular yoga to help ease the stress.

OK, now it’s time to clear the chalkboard and start over again. Yep. That’s what I’m telling myself. ;D

Anyhoo, during the weekend I was away I had the chance to eat at PF Changs and enjoy several of their wonderful gluten-free menu items. My friends and I ordered the Chicken Lettuce Wraps, some Singapore Street Noodles, Garlic Snap Peas and Mongolian Beef. Yes, we were hungry and it was so good.

These Chicken Lettuce Wraps are inspired by that meal. A few online recipes helped me figure out how to make a unique sauce for the chicken. This recipe is not a copycat of the one at PF Chang’s but it’s delicious and suits my hubs and me just fine.

The inspiration recipes:

Gluten Free Cooking School’s Singapore Street Noodles

The Culinary Life’s Lettuce Wraps

Some other recipes to check out:

Chef Jeena’s curry powder recipe…if you’re so inclined.

Elana’s Pantry Thai Chicken Wraps

Life As A Plate Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps

Book of Yum’s Jicama Tofu Lettuce Wraps


Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Make the sauce by mixing the following ingredients together, then set aside:

4 tablespoons SanJ organic gluten-free tamari (soy) sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup or tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce (optional)*
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
pinch turmeric
2 teaspoons organic natural peanut butter
½ teaspoon gluten-free Thai Kitchen fish sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)

Heat in a wok over medium high heat:

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon sesame or avocado oil

Add, stirring for 5 minutes, until fully cooked:

1 pound ground organic chicken or turkey

Add in and stir until just wilted:

¾ cup carrots, shredded
1½ cups savoy cabbage, shredded then chopped
1 cup shitake mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup water chestnuts, chopped
¼ cup snow peas, chopped

Mix in the sauce you prepared earlier and heat through.

Serve with freshly washed organic Boston lettuce leaves.


Notes: *Please use Sriracha sauce only if you determine, based on the ingredients list, that it’s a safe gluten-free product. I couldn’t find a definitive claim this sauce is gluten-free. Sriracha sauce is a hot chile sauce so if you do not like spicy foods omit it from the recipe. If you are not confident it’s gluten-free you can substitute another gluten-free hot sauce in it’s place—add to your own tastes.


Mango Pudding (gluten-free & dairy-free)

Have you ever had Mango Lassi? It’s a spectacular mango yogurt drink available in most Indian restaurants.

Not quite a smoothie. Not really a milkshake. Just cool and creamy and screams, “mango!”.  Perfect with that flaming hot, flavor packed Indian dish you just ordered.

Yep. That’s how I rolled (when I still could have yogurt). Got one every time.

I originally thought I’d post a non-dairy version of that beloved drink.  Then my mind started down a different path and “boom” (as they say in some circles) mango pudding was born.

The Thai and Chinese cultures boast a beautiful mango pudding made with gelatine. Not quite what I was dreaming about. I opted instead to mimic a classic—chocolate pudding—and substitute the bold flavor of the chocolate with the bright taste of mango.

It was a pleasant success. It’s a combination of sweet, almost citrusy, mango and creamy coconut with a hint of secret spices and topped with a crumble of pistachio. Very very pleasant. I will be making this often!

Mango Pudding

In a small measuring cup or bowl whisk together to create a slurry and set aside:

2 tablespoons coconut milk or water
4 teaspoons arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Mix together and heat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it just reaches a simmer:

1 1/2 cups mango puree*
6 ounces coconut milk (full fat) or plain coconut milk yogurt
2 tablespoons agave nectar (more or less to your taste)

Lower the burner heat to low and slowly stream the slurry into the mango mixture whisking it to combine. Continue to whisk gently until the pudding begins to thicken, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and pour into four individual ramekins. Refrigerate until cold. Serve topped with crushed pistachios.

*Mango puree: I used Trader Joe’s frozen mango puree. According to their gluten-free list all their frozen fruits and vegetables are gluten-free. The package does not state gluten-free so please use your own judgment. Alternatively you can use fresh mango—probably two—peeled, diced, and pureed in a blender with a tablespoon or two of water. Frozen mango is another option; process the same as you would fresh mango to create the puree.


Ali from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen posted Mango Coconut Pudding using kudzu as a thickener.