Full flavor with out all the calories
| January 04, 2013
In Kitchen Basics
Featured Recipe: Beefy Asian Style Lettuce Wraps
Over the last 20 years as a food writer, the month of January has been about low calorie meals. New Year’s Resolutions aside, after the last 6 weeks of mostly eating outside our normal guidelines, January usually needs to be a “slimmer” month. Since I eat what I write about, the mainstream needs become my personal needs too.
But one problem I have always had in adjusting to the lower-fat recipes is my body’s addiction to full fat flavor after all the cakes, creamy drinks, and buttery entrees I consumed over the holidays. I crave full flavor, meaty flavor, something that fills me up and satisfies those cravings.
My answer is Asian inspired flavors. They are bold, mouth-popping flavors that don’t usually carry with them the high levels of fat and calories of cream, butter and sugar. Today’s recipe for Beefy Asian Style Lettuce Wraps is perfect. There’s an amazing texture from the crisp lettuce, plenty of flavor from the spices and sauces and appetite gratifying protein from the lean beef. In short, this is the perfect light dinner for a cold January night.
Sriracha sauce is an awesome new condiment for my house and one I have come to love to add heat with just a splash. Traditional hot pepper sauces such as Tabasco can also be used. As for the rest of the ingredients, they are easily found in the Asian section of the grocery store and will keep for up to 6 months in your refrigerator so adding them to your dinner repertoire will not cost you a bundle either. Besides, it’s not just our waistlines that feel the tightening in January; it’s usually our wallets, too.
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My husband grew up in Michigan and his mother was originally from the hills of Kentucky. I first had Chocolate Gravy one winter when she was visiting. Growing up in the South, too, I was surprised that I had never had it nor even heard about it. Anyway it was rich and delicious and she served it over hot, flaky biscuits.
My husband told me that when he and his cousin were running cross country in high school, before each Saturday race, his mother would make them biscuits and chocolate gravy. Now thanks to Cheap. Fast. Good! I am preparing your version of biscuits and chocolate gravy. Except now instead of heading to a cross country race we will be headed to our son's swim meet. Thanks for helping me carry on a family tradition.
-- Louanne Bisel
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