Have you ever done something on a whim, without actually thinking much about it, and had it magically turn out much better than if you’d spent a lot of time planning, stewing and fussing?
For example, have you ever just jumped in the car and taken off to parts unknown, only to find a favorite vacation spot? Thrown together an outfit in 30 seconds that actually looked really good? Bought last-minute tickets to a concert that turned out to be the best you’d ever seen???
I’m sort of a planner. I like to analyze, research and discuss big things, like vacations or large purchases, before jumping in. But sometimes, the best-laid plans are ones that actually aren’t planned! Drew and I had been trying to connect with some friends for literally months to go do something. A few weeks ago, we called them on a whim, at 5:00 on a Saturday night, and asked if they could come jeeping in the mountains with us. Turned out they were free, and the four of us had an incredible evening together, exploring our amazingly stunning mountains, watching the sun set from the top of a mountain peak and having a charming dinner together. It was awesome…all without a single thought of any sort of plan!
Where’s this all going? Well, this recipe for Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps was one of those whims!
We had a plan to use soy sauce in a recipe. That was our plan. Not much of one, was it? Well, we just started whipping out ingredients from fridge and cupboard, stirring together this and that, and in less than 30 minutes, lo and behold, we had concocted a dish. Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps!
When the boys in the family smelled the chicken cooking, they came running with forks in their hands. They kept stealing tastes straight from the frying pan. And when it was all said and done, we had a delicious meal, just standing in the kitchen, lapping up lettuce-wrapped chicken, mangos and sweet peppers without even a plate in sight. The perfect dinner plan for those nights when you don’t have a dinner plan!
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. ginger, peeled and grated
- Zest AND juice of 1 lime
- 1 Tbsp. hoisin
- 2 lbs. ground chicken
- 1 bunch green onions (about 6-7 onions)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch + 2 Tbsp. cold water
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1 mango
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 cup red cabbage
- 1 cucumber
- 1 head leafy green or romaine lettuce
- Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir together.
- Combine chicken, onions and peppers in pan and sauté until chicken is cooked.
- Pour sauce into pan.
- Stir cornstarch and water together until starch is dissolved; add to pan.
- Cook until slightly thickened and hot.
- Crush cashews.
- Chop mango, cilantro, cabbage and cucumber.
- Wash lettuce and separate leaves. Dry completely.
- Place hot chicken mixture on lettuce leaf.
- Add toppings as desired.