Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lettuce Wraps

February's Guideposts magazine featured an entire section on Robin Miller! She bought ingredients for 3 dinners for $30, helping to show how to stretch a budget if you just plan ahead.

One of the recipes was Sweet and Sour Lettuce Wraps with Noodles. I altered the recipe a little bit, cooking as follows:

1 pound ground beef (you can substitute ground chicken or turkey)
4 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
black pepper
onion powder
garlic powder

Cook meat in a saucepan, drain off excess fat and stir in other ingredients.

I used fresh Butter lettuce leaves, grated carrot, and crunchy rice noodles to assemble the rest of the wraps. They were paired with steamed broccoli that I tossed with a little soy sauce and veggie eggrolls from the frozen food aisle.

We've had lettuce wraps at P.F. Chang's and Johnny said that these were way better than theirs. I liked my flavor better, but theirs has some diced water chestnuts in the meat that give it a good, crunchy layer. In the future, I plan on adding them to my meat mixture! These were fun to make and delicious to eat. Again, one of those things that we always eat out, but never think to cook at home!

My cousin and Johnny's brother just started blogs this week, so go check them out! They are the two most health-conscious people I know! My cousin hasn't eaten red meat in over three years and comes up with really amazing vegetarian and low-fat, healthy meals. Johnny's brother has the will-power of champions when it comes to his body. I have never seen him take an unhealthy bite of anything, plus he runs and bikes year-round. He's training for a 100 mile bike race and 50K run, recording his journey on his blog.

Last, but not least, I grocery shopped like it was my job today. I set out, list in hand and coupons clipped and sorted. Little did I know, that the meat department was having the mother of all sales, several things buy one get one free. Preferred card savings were $38.41, coupons I brought to the store totaled $11.50, the meat coupons were $25.56 -- bringing my grand total savings up to $75.47!!! I almost leapt for joy at the register when the cashier told me my revised total, post-coupon scan! Our freezer has enough meat for weeks and weeks of meals! Is it odd to think that half of the packages might taste just a little better, because they were free?!


Nowheymama said...

Those wraps look great! And good shopping!!

Anonymous said...

I love lettuce wraps but have never made them! Thanks for the inspiration.

Nice job on the coupon-ing! Fun, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Yum, that looks delicious! So good and so healthy!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the great grocery shop!!

I like Robin Miller - she's the queen of morphing one meal into something else!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely positively LOVE when grocery stores go on sale! I'm JUST like you! I go the stores with coupons on hand, but when there's a giant sale, it's like X'mas came early and you leave sooo happy! By the way, your dishes look so tasty! all of them!

Anonymous said...

I am going to try the lettuce wraps, I have had the ones at PF Chang's so these much be great! Way to go on that shopping, the 2 for ones and other sales plus coupons really make a difference. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Christina! I AM in the city of Chicago! Do you live near the city? i actually work in Evanston that's a while away. :) I'm so excited to find a Chicago blogger!!! Thanks for the art exhibit valentine's day idea...unfortunately my bf isn't much of an artsy type. hehehhe But thanks!!

Anonymous said...

The lettuce wraps look amazing! And so lucky that you got such a great deal at the store, I love when that happens!!