Easy, healthy, sometimes indulgent recipes

Archive: Apr 2016

Copycat P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps

One of my favorite dishes are lettuce wraps at P.F. Changs.  If I could, I think I would eat them every night, but the restaurant itself is not close to my house or work.  So I set out to make my own and what really surprised me is that is a 15 to 20 minute weeknight dinner.  It is fairly light, highly customizable, low-carb and most importantly delicious!!!  It is really easy to double or triple the filling and make ahead allowing for a weeknight dinner to be ready in a pinch.

P.Ff Chang's Lettuce Wraps

I typically use Boston Lettuce because it happens to be my favorite lettuce because of its tenderness yet sufficient crunch. However, romaine or iceberg will work perfectly.

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Greek Salad

Lately my son’s unexplained love of olives has me craving Greek salads.  I just love the salty, vinegary, fresh flavors that are so dominant in this salad.  I also think it is a great way to get a wonderful meal on the table in about 15 minutes, only a few minutes if you are not doing a protein topping that requires cooking.

Greek SaladI usually use an organic 50/50 blend of lettuce (half spinach, half spring mix) then I top with my ingredients of choice.  This almost always includes the following: feta, tomatoes, olives (I use both green and kalamata), red onions and  fresh cucumber.
A couple of nights ago this was our dinner and we topped with pan grilled shrimp.  I seasoned the shrimp with salt, pepper, a touch of oregano and quickly seared them in a pan lightly coated with oil.  Once they cooked through, I topped them with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Other times, I may add chicken or for a vegetarian option about half a cup of garbanzo beans.
I usually dress this salad with my basic red wine vinaigrette dressing, but any favorite dressing will work.

 

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Red Wine Vinaigrette

This recipe is so much more than a dressing. It is an enhancement to a green salad, but it is also a great marinade for chicken. The acidity in the dressing really tenderizes chicken and it makes it extra flavorful.  As a creature of habit, I typically pack 5 protein packed salads on a Sunday afternoon and have them ready for lunch at work. I have to admit, this does not work out every week, but most times I attempt to do this. At the same time I make a large batch of this dressing and pack it in small containers.

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