When I first moved to Boston after college, it was to attend graduate school at Emerson College. After I took a little tour around campus, I came up with a serious plan. I would be getting lettuce wraps from P.F. Changs and ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery every single night after class. Grad school was going to be ah-mazing.
Guess how many times I ended up getting lettuce wraps from P.F. Changs and ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery after class in the 2.5 years I was at Emerson? ZERO. Considering I got out of class at 10:00 p.m. and had a 20 minute T ride home so I could go to bed and go to my full-time job in the morning, all I wanted to do after class was get my butt home. Plus, being a broke grad student and all, I didn’t exactly have a ton of money to be throwing around every night. Even if it was just on lettuce wraps and ice cream. Also, my mom would have a panic attack if she knew I was out wandering around Boston past 10:00 p.m. by myself.
These days, I’m making a lot of my own homemade ice cream and can’t remember the last time I went to Cold Stone! And I’m making lettuce wraps, too. I was tasked to make a healthy salad with some of my Crisp Cooking tools and I took on the challenge by building a different kind of salad… One packed with ground chicken, kale, corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, and a dressing with a little kick.
Aren’t they pretty? I’m in love with the colors of Crisp’s kitchen tools and almost don’t even want to keep them shut away in a drawer!
The ingredients are simple and all pretty perfect for keeping your healthy eating resolutions on track.
I started by cutting the lettuce… With the Crisp Lettuce Knife. I’ve actually never even heard of a lettuce knife before and was surprised to see that it was a big plastic-like knife. I did a little research and allegedly, cutting lettuce with a lettuce knife helps keep the lettuce from browning around the edges. So good to know!
I’ve heard lettuce knives are really good for cutting cheesecake, too. Just saying….
I chopped off the end of my romaine lettuce head with the knife.
And peeled away each of the leaves.
Something else I’ve never done before it peel tomatoes. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever even used a serrated peeler. I wasn’t quite sure how it would work, but the Crisp Serrated Peeler peeled the tomato skin off with no problem at all!
It was actually kind of therapeutic. Once the tomatoes were peeled, I chopped them.
In a medium pan over medium heat, I sautéed the minced garlic in about 1 T of olive oil for about 1 minute. Then I added in the 1 lb. ground chicken and cooked until it was no longer pink. In went the 1/2 T chili powder, corn, and black beans, and tomatoes and I cooked until warmed through.
Roughly chop the kale and diced the avocado, too.
I whipped up a quick dressing, which was literally 2 T freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/2 t extra virgin olive oil, and 1/2 T chili powder.
Put the ground chicken mixture in a big bowl, mix in the kale and avocado, and pour the dressing over the top.
My Crisp Salad Tongs were perfect for distributing the “salad” onto the lettuce.
I fully loaded the lettuce up with lots of the glorious chicken mixture.
And ate about 10 of them. And enjoyed every single bite.
I don’t think it’s customary to put greens into the filling of a lettuce wrap. But I rarely eat iceberg or romaine lettuce anymore and wanted to get some healthy greens in there with the kale. This also makes it a lot more acceptable to eat this as a salad without the lettuce wrap part if you want! And trust me, I did.
I love when healthy meals are packed with flavor and don’t leave you wanting an entire fried chicken or 14 bowls of ice cream after eating them. You know that feeling, right??
And now you can win the three Crisp Cooking tools I used in this recipe to create your own healthy salads! To enter to win the Lettuce Knife, Serrated Peeler, and Salad Tongs, simply comment on this post telling me:
What’s your favorite salad ingredient?
Mine is a toss-up between kale and avocado! Comment by Saturday, January 31, by 11:59 p.m. EST for a chance to win!
While we’re at it, I’m going to announce the winner of my last Crisp giveaway… Congratulations to Annie who said, “I really love that you added a good dose of kale in there!! How clever! I think my husband would just die if I had another kitchen tool, but these look so darn handy!”
Apologies to your husband…. I will email you ASAP! 🙂
Southwestern Lettuce Wraps
- 1 head romaine or iceberg lettuce
- 1 T olive oil or canola oil
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 1/2 C corn kernels thawed if using frozen
- 1 1/2 C black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 medium tomatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 T chili powder divided
- 3 C kale ribs removed and roughly chopped
- 1 avocado peeled, pit removed, and diced
- 2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 t extra virgin olive oil
- Trim off the stem of the lettuce head and break off 12 individual leaves.
- In a medium pan over medium heat, add in the olive or canola oil and sauté minced garlic for about 1 minute.
- Add in the ground chicken and cook until it's no longer pink.
- Add in 1/2 T chili powder, corn, black beans, and tomatoes and cook until warmed through.
- Put mixture in bowl and stir in the kale and diced avocado.
- In a separate, small bowl, whisk together lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and the remaining 1/2 T chili powder. Pour over chicken mixture.
- Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce leaves.
Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Crisp, but as usual, all opinions are 100% my own!