Whole30 Day 16: Back on Board

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last night the nausea was gone and I was able to enjoy (and help make) some delicious lettuce wraps. Originally, we had intended to make chicken fajitas without the tortillas...which basically just leaves chicken, onions and bell peppers, and guacamole. Then T.J. said, "Why don't we wrap them in lettuce?" and I immediately started fantasizing about the lettuce wrap appetizer from Cheesecake Factory. So, after finding this list of recipes and picking up some missing ingredients, we quickly shifted from making chicken fajitas to Cheesecake Factory-style lettuce wraps.

If you're unfamiliar with the Cheesecake Factory lettuce wraps, here's a picture of them I found online. I'll give you a moment just to take in all the yummy goodness.

Picture from biggestmenu.com.
This lettuce platter includes Thai chicken satays, Thai bean sprouts, Thai coconut noodles, Thai marinated cucumbers, julienne carrots, lettuce (obviously), and three dipping sauces: tamarind cashew, peanut sauce, and sweet chili sauce. Obviously, we couldn't make the noodles, and there were so many contraband ingredients that we couldn't make all the dips, BUT we did make ONE dip, and we made everything else.

This meal was So. Good.

Our delicious wrap ingredients. Not arranged as prettily as at Cheesecake Factory, but perhaps more practically.
We broke out the mandolin slicer and grated some julienne carrots and washed some big, leafy organic lettuce for the wrap base. 

For the chicken, we followed the recipe in the above link pretty faithfully, although we just grilled the chicken on the stove instead of on skewers, and we substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce. 

For the bean sprouts (which ARE allowed on Whole30; we checked), we followed the recipe but again traded the soy sauce for coconut aminos, and we didn't have sesame seeds, so we left those off. They were just as delicious without them. 

For the Thai marinated cucumbers, I had to get a little more creative since the recipe calls for rice vinegar (not allowed) and sugar (definitely not allowed). I used white vinegar instead and a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar and sesame oil. I also added a dash of red pepper flakes. 

Then the tough part came. What sauce to make? At first I was going to try to adapt the tamarind cashew sauce, but almost every ingredient had to be substituted. Instead, I decided to make the peanut sauce and substitute almond butter for peanut butter. I also substituted coconut aminos for soy sauce and sesame oil for chili oil. The sauce turned out a little more solid than saucy, but it was so good and and really complemented the rest of the ingredients. 

Tada! Delicious final product.
We also had some fresh mango for dessert.

Dinner was delicious, but after eating it last night and again for lunch today, I was starting to feel like I was subsisting on rabbit food. Probably because I didn't have much to eat yesterday, I've spent a lot of today hungry. Eventually I caved and ate half a lemon Larabar for a late afternoon snack. (T.J. ate the other half because he too was starving.) I also decided dinner needed to be a bit more substantial, so I went out and bought steaks!

Amazingly, it took until day 16 for us to make steaks. We love steaks, but we got rid of our grill when we moved south, and we've kind of been waiting until we got a new one before we made steaks, I think. We needed "real" food tonight, though, so decided to give stove-top grilling a shot. So glad we did! This was one of the quickest and easiest dinners we've made. We used the mocha steak rub recipe from It Starts with Food, and it was really amazing. Much better than we imagined. We were also amazed at how different these basic organic sirloins tasted from the regular ones we used to buy. Although we've been impressed by the quality of the organic, grass-fed meats we've been trying on Whole30, this was the first time we could taste a profound difference between the quality of organic meat and the regular supermarket variety we used to buy. 

The steaks were big enough that we cut them in two so we will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. We paired the steak with baked sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli, both easy fixes. So for once dinner was done a little after seven, the kitchen was clean almost immediately, and we can spend the night relaxing and watching TV! 

Oh, wait. I can do that. T.J. had to go into work to help with the "Midnight Breakfast" they are hosting for students. (It's finals week.) Guess it's time for me to catch up on Bates Motel, then!

Until tomorrow...


Post a Comment

  © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP