Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Turkey taco lettuce wraps are a healthier version of the classic weeknight dinner we all know and love. 

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Tacos are one of my go-to dinner ideas when I’m in a pinch. Or when I’m not in a pinch. Basically, I could eat tacos of all sorts at any time. Tacos = love. My most favorite is a classic beef taco, slathered with cheese and sour cream and guac, all piled high in a crispy, crunchy shell. If it’s a Dorito shell, it’s even better. 

But I can be a realist sometimes and admit the tacos of my youth aren’t the best for me, health-wise. I honestly can’t remember the last time I used sour cream. It’s all Greek to me now. And beef has been swapped for ground turkey. These little differences make tacos better for me without sacrificing flavor. To me, there is no real difference.

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Giving up the hard shell, now that is a struggle. A serious, serious struggle. I live for the crispiness of a good, fried corn shell. The Dorito taco speaks to me in a way I can’t even explain. I’m a big texture person so having that lovely crunch mixed in with the flavorful ground turkey and the creamy Greek yogurt and guac is imperative.

Enter lettuce. It might not pack the serious crunch that a fried shell would, but it certainly makes a decent stand-in. It’s crisp and cool, which nicely offsets the spicy flavors of the taco meat. And because you are using a lettuce wrap, it’s ok to eat more of these, right? It’s what I keep telling myself.

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • guacamole
  • romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Place the ground turkey in a skillet over medium high heat and crumble it with a fork.
  2. Cook until it is no longer pink. Sprinkle on the taco seasoning and stir well.
  3. To assemble the tacos, place some of the meat onto a lettuce leaf, followed by cheese, Greek yogurt and guacamole.
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Mango Chili Glazed Shrimp #FoodieMamas

Mango chili glazed shrimp are a super fast, super easy dinner option for any weeknight meal. 

Mango Chili Glazed Shrimp

I’m not sure why but I almost always forget about shrimp as an excellent dinner option. Shrimp is fast, it is easy, it’s tasty. There aren’t a lot of reasons NOT to eat shrimp, especially during the summer. Five minutes over the stove or grill and you have a meal completed and ready.

Recently, I joined up with a few fellow bloggers to bring you tasty and family-friendly recipes each month. We choose a different ingredient and go from there. And in June, mangoes were chosen. I waffled back and forth between a sweet and savory dish for a while, but ultimately a quick dinner option won out. 

Mango Chili Glazed Shrimp

From start to finish, this entire meal takes less than 25 minutes.  The most time consuming part is peeling the skins and legs off the shrimp. The rest is easy as pie. A quick glaze comes from some mangoes, a bit of red onion, honey, juice and a healthy scoop of chili powder for some great spice. Slather that on your shrimp while they grill and you’re done. It really is nothing more. The chili has a great kick and the mango is sweet, giving these shrimp an awesome, sweet and spicy flavor fit for any summer time meal!

Mango Chili Glazed Shrimp #FoodieMamas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. 26-30 shrimp, peeled
  • 2 mangos, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp. chili powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium.
  2. Place the shrimp on skewers, 5 or 6 shrimp to a skewer. Set them aside.
  3. In a blender, combine mangoes, red onion, honey, orange juice and chili powder. Blend until smooth.
  4. Place the shrimp on the grill. Using a brush, brush the mango mixture on liberally. Cook for about 1 or 2 minutes then flip and brush the other sides. Cook another minute until the shrimp are pink.
  5. Serve.
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Be sure to check out the rest of the mango posts from my fellow Foodie Mamas!

Mango Habanero Preserve Chicken

Mango Habanero Preserve Chicken

Mango Salsa

mangosalsa(FM)

Mango Coconut Sorbets

dairy-free mango coconut sorbet


Dairy Free Island Smoothies

Dairy-Free Island Smoothies

Cheesy Corn Dog Nuggets

Don’t bother getting take out. Cheesy corn dog nuggets are easy to make at home, and more tasty than store-bought! 

Cheesy Corn Dog Nuggets

Making these cheesy corn dog nuggets was an experiment in home cooking. So often, people say that they can’t cook or could never replicate store-bought or restaurant food at home. And when they said it, I always want to scream a little. I’m not saying everyone should be creating five-star meals in their home kitchen. Everyone likes a splurge every now and again. But to say no, it can’t be done is ludicrous.

This rant is thanks in part to my family, who begged for take-out lunch this past weekend. All they wanted – begged for incessantly – was junk food. We try to eat healthy but sometimes, the weekend just calls for junk. But I refused to spend the money. The truth is I really wanted corn dogs and knew I had the ingredients at home. Despite screams and protests  – maybe there was even a picket sign and a rotten tomato throwing – I made cheesy corn dog nuggets. And then made those doubters eat their words.

Cheesy Corn Dog Nuggets

Because these corn dog nuggets were infinitely better than anything that could be bought at any store, take-out joint or restaurant. You have the absolute power to customize the batter to your liking, to your tastes. I added some smoked paprika in mine to give it a little kick. And because you are making these at home, you can also choose your hot dogs. I went with cheese-filled because, you know, cheese-filled. 

The best part, however, of this whole homemade corndog ordeal is the fact that you get these babies right out of the fryer (healthy, they are not). They are hot and crunchy and gloriously fried to golden perfection. They hit your mouth before they’ve even had time to cool off. How’s that for fresh?

Recipe slightly adapted from Buns in my Oven

Cheesy Corn Dog Nuggets

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp.salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 cheese-filled hot dogs, cut into thirds
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a sauce pan to 350 degrees.
  2. While the oil heats, prep the batter. Combine 2/3 cup cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika in a bowl and mix well. Adding milk and stir to combine.
  3. Place the remaining flour on a plate. Dredge the hot dogs through the flour, then place them into the batter. Coat them with batter and drip off the excess.
  4. Carefully place them in the frying pan and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with all remaining hot dogs.
  5. Serve with ketchup or mustard.
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Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Plum Sauce

I received free samples of California Dried Plums mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Dried Plum Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Plum Sauce

For our first anniversary, Brian and I enjoyed a  dinner at P.F. Chang. At the time, I thought it was fancy, exotic, intimate. I now look back to my younger self and chuckle. There’s nothing wrong with P.F. Chang, to be sure. It’s just, it’s not exactly fine dining. And when you live in a town filled with independent restaurants catering to every want you could ever have, picking a chain restaurant is sort of silly. Annapolis is a foodie’s dream, with new restaurants popping up every two seconds. By the time you’re able to score a spot in one, it’s already old news and a newer one has popped up. So you can understand my amusement at my 25 year-old naïveté.

However,  the first time I ever tried plum sauce was at our anniversary dinner. I promptly decided I loved it, needed it, couldn’t imagine how I’d previously lived without it. I have a weird relationship with food, I guess. But it was velvety smooth, sweet, a supreme compliment to my chicken. I now spoon it over basically everything I can get my hands on.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Plum Sauce
It’s no surprise I wanted to test my hand at a homemade plum sauce. Five years later, I have achieved perfection. I really had my doubts but this plum sauce, made from California dried plums, is a near-perfect recreation of restaurant quality plum sauce. Frankly, it’s the star of this whole chinese food rodeo. It’s rich and deep, smooth and velvety, amazing on top of any number of Chinese-style dishes. I won’t mention how easy it is, just take my word for it. If you’re in a weeknight dinner rut, this meal as a whole is sort of splendid. The entire thing takes maybe 30 minutes, start-to-finish. You can have it on the table in less than one New Girl rerun or two quick 15 minute yoga practice videos.  Bonus: it is also nice and light, so it will be a great recipe to keep on hand for the upcoming summer months. Give it a whirl for yourself. I’m convinced you’ll never go back to store-bought plum sauce again.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Plum Sauce

Ingredients

  • For plum sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups California Dried Plums
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • For chicken:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 grafitti eggplant, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup homemade plum sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 head romaine lettuce

Instructions

  1. To make plum sauce: combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth, adding a tablespoon or two of water to thin, if necessary. Transfer to a jar until ready to use.
  2. For chicken: chop the chicken into cubes. Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook five minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate.
  3. Whisk together plum sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic and set aside.
  4. Add the red pepper and cook until softened. Once softened, add eggplant and cook until browned.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan and toss to combine. Pour the sauce on top and toss to coat.
  6. Remove the pan and place the chicken mixture into a bowl. To serve, place a heaping spoonful on a lettuce leave and top with additional plum sauce.
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Blackened Chicken Wraps

You can shove anything inside a tortilla, wrap or piece of lettuce and call it a day. The trick is picking the most flavorful ingredients to jazz it up and take your wrap from boring to fabulous. These blackened chicken wraps are filled with just the right amount of spice to make them anything but ordinary.

Blackened Chicken Wraps

About a year ago, I discovered blackened chicken salad. I like to consider it something of an awakening because prior to that moment, I was completely anti-salad. The blackened chicken salad was sort of my gateway salad, opening me up to new and different salads that I never would have tried previously. Now, I actually opt for the black and blue steak salad at lunch. It still feels a little foreign, choosing a salad over a really meaty sandwich, but I like it. The crunch of lettuce and the zing of dressing speaks to my soul. 

Still, sometimes I yearn for just a little more heft in my lunch. When that happens, I just toss all of those salad ingredients inside a tortilla or wrap and call it a day. Wraps don’t require a ton of thought, just instinct. If you aren’t eating it as salad, you probably won’t eat it in a wrap. It’s just logic. Throwing a few pieces of iceberg on top of a tortilla and coating it with French dressing will never fly. Believe me. I speak from experience.

Blackened Chicken Wraps

That’s why I love this little blackened chicken wrap. It’s still mostly veggies, so I at least feel like I’m eating healthy. But it’s got the spicy chicken to make me feel full and satisfied. A slick swipe of Ranch dressing to offset too much spice and you can call it a day. If you’re organized enough to prepare the chicken on Sunday, you can have lunch ready for the week in less than 5 minutes. No lie. So really, there is no downside here. Trust me, I wouldn’t steer you wrong!

Blackened Chicken Wraps

Ingredients

  • For spice blend:
  • 2 tsps Smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • For filling:
  • 2 tortillas or wraps
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 large romaine leaves, cut into strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • For dressing:
  • ½ cup light mayo
  • ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dill
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup low fat buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking your chicken. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat until shimmery. While it heats, coat the chicken with the blackened spice mix. Place the chicken in the pan and cook 5 minutes per side until cooked through.
  2. While the chicken cooks, make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients and whisking with a fork.
  3. Remove chicken from the pan and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice into chunks.
  4. To prepare the wrap. place your tortilla or wrap on a flat surface. Spoon 1 to 2 Tbsp. dressing on the wrap and spread it in a thin layer.
  5. Next, add half the lettuce across the wrap. Top with bell pepper, cheese and chicken. Fold. Repeat with other tortilla.
  6. Note, you will have leftover chicken and dressing for more salads or wraps on day two.
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