For an easy Asian fusion dinner or appetizer, throw together these simply easy and simply tasty Gluten Free Turkey Lettuce Wraps.
How is it that in less than 2 short days we will be ending 2016 as we know it???! What the heck happened?! Where did the year go?! How is time traveling this fast?!
Before you know it, I will be going gray, losing my eyesight, wearing clothes that are decades out of style, and complaining that any and all foods are too spicy for my sensitive granny taste buds. What kind of life will that be?!
I’m telling you, I better live up the next few years of my youth before most everything starts to go downhill.
Actually, I’m pretty sure that the genes on my mom’s side of the family defy the laws of aging. I keep teasing my grandma that every time I see her, she looks years younger. She is the real life woman version of Benjamin Button. You know, that movie where Brad Pitt starts out as an old ugly baby and gets younger and younger as he “ages”.
Besides my grandma being one hot babe in her 70’s, I have a supermodel aunt that just turned 50, another foxy aunt that is approaching her 40’s, and of course my beautiful mother that…well, we won’t say how old she is because she’d probably kill me over it. Let’s just say she’ll be a senior citizen in a few short years.
I still can’t get over the fact that Braelyn just turned SEVEN! She’s really not a kid anymore. I mean, most seven year olds are still considered kids. But let’s face it, Braelyn has been entering the preteen stage for years and it’s pretty safe to say that she has arrived in all her glory.
We threw her a last minute karaoke party for her birthday, and a house full of 13 screaming girls is about enough over stimulation to give anyone a migraine…as well as a one way ticket to the insane asylum. Lock me up doctor and throw away the key!!!
In the scheme of things, the party was quite a success. We made pizza, gave makeovers, and rocked out to some epic teeny bopper songs. And surprisingly enough, no furniture was stained in the process. Hallelujah!
Not only is Braelyn sprouting before my eyes, but Emry has really come into her own this past year. That kid can hang with the best of them. She may be a peanut, but she can hold her own. She doesn’t let Braelyn or any other kid boss her around for a second. She jumped right into the mix at Braelyn’s birthday party. We even paired her up with one of Braelyn’s friends to do makeovers and sing karaoke with. She put makeup on better than half of the older kids and she belted out the vocals for Fight Song. I’m telling you, she is one cool cat and confident kiddo.
Besides my kids growing up faster than I’d like, we sure have experienced a fabulous 2016. It will be hard to top it off next year. Some of our highlights (good and bad) this year have been:
- Learning how to surf while avoiding being eaten by sharks. Whoopee!
- Island hopping to both Maui and Kauai twice with friends and family.
- Spending almost a week in the hospital and watching Braelyn’s entire body peel from a crazy staph infection. Never want to relive that experience again.
- Ben competing in his first Crossfit competition and watching him outgrow his shirts because of his “huge muscles”.
- Eating my first and last Spam musubi.
- Having our first friend visitors from the mainland come and stay for 10 days. It was pure chaotic FUN!
- Participated in my first triathlon, which also encompassed my first jellyfish sting. Foot on fire!!!
- Emry mastering a two wheel bike.
- Dealing with hundreds of millipedes migrating through our house for months, in which I woke up multiple times at night with millipedes on my face. ICK!!!
- Going on my first ever girls’ trip without kids where I got to hike the Na Pali coast, cliff jump off a 35 foot rock, kayak to a waterfall, and lay on the beach without kids pestering me to “come play with me!!!!”
Yep, 2016 was pretty darn outstanding.
Thus it’s time to ring in the New Year. Gather around all your family and friends, celebrate one with another, and look forward to the future.
And in the midst of all your partying, take some time to enjoy these Gluten Free Turkey Lettuce Wraps. I’m talking about the perfect party appetizer here. If anything, you know you can start out the New Year great with a simple bite of one of these flavor filled lettuce cups.
I have a similar chicken lettuce wrap recipe on my site, but after making this stellar teriyaki sauce, I knew I needed another version of lettuce wraps. Although both recipes are delicious, the flavor of these turkey lettuce wraps has won my heart over. I love them so much I might even trade a kiss from Ben at midnight for a bite of these. Oops!
The teriyaki flavor in the sauce is very similar to your restaurant style lettuce wraps. I can’t claim that it taste just like P.F. Chang’s because I haven’t eaten there in years, which is crazy because I used to work there when Ben and I first got married. He hated it because I would come home soaked in sweet chili sauce and smelled like soy sauce. Hey, at least I got a discount on the food…the food I apparently can’t remember exactly how it tastes. Haha!
Well who cares whether they are an exact replica, all I know is they are just as delicious and that’s all that really matters, right???
My favorite part of these lettuce wraps is the flavor combo of the lime, cilantro, and peanuts. It gives so much more variety of taste than just adding teriyaki sauce to your wraps. I also love a dash of sriracha sauce on top to add a little heat and spice. The heat coupled with the crisp cool iceberg lettuce is pure money in yo’ mouth!
The only issue I have with these lettuce wraps is how to get perfect little lettuce cups from a head of lettuce. If someone has some special trick so they don’t all look wonky, I would really appreciate it. Of course, they taste the same whether the cups are pretty or not, but for reals, how do the restaurants do it? They must hire lettuce separating professionals. I’m convinced.
Well ya’ll, I better pause and actually post this last recipe before 2016 really does pass me by. I can’t believe it, the LAST post of the year! Thanks for all the support and kind comments this past year. I love you all!
- For the sauce:
- 1 cup gluten free teriyaki sauce (I used San-J brand)*
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- juice of 1 lime
- For the turkey filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 medium sized carrot, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- ⅔ cup chopped celery or water chestnuts
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1¼ lbs. lean ground turkey
- 1 chopped green onion (about 3 tablespoons)
- Fixings for lettuce wraps:
- 12 lettuce leaves
- chopped peanuts
- sriracha sauce (optional)
- extra green onions
- Make sauce by combining all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a large cast iron skillet or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, add chopped onion, carrots, mushrooms, and celery or water chestnuts. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat just below medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Add ground turkey, chopped green onion, and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up turkey and stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, about another 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid from pan.
- Whisk the sauce mixture again to make sure ingredients are evenly distributed. Pour half of the sauce mixture over meat and stir. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until no longer runny and sauce has coated the meat and veggies. Remove from heat.
- Pour remaining sauce into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken.
- Assemble lettuce wraps by scooping brown rice inside a lettuce leaf. Top with a scoop of meat, a drizzle of sauce, chopped peanuts, and cilantro. Add sriracha if you want additional heat.