Thursday, March 29, 2012

Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps

I was trying to decide what to make for dinner on Monday during a particularly boring class. Then I remembered the cubed pork in our freezer, the teriyaki in our pantry, and all the veggies in our fridge. I suddenly had an answer. Lettuce wraps! All I had to do was go buy lettuce and bean sprouts.

Is anyone else as obsessed with bean sprouts as I am? They're so crunchy!

This recipe came together very quickly. It would be great for a weeknight. You could even make a double recipe and turn the leftovers into pork fried rice the next night!

You will need: 1 head of butter lettuce, 1/4 of a red onion, 1 medium sweet bell pepper (or several small ones), 1 large carrot (or several baby carrots), bean sprouts, 1/4 cup garlic teriyaki sauce, 1 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 4 cups of cooked rice, and 1 1/2 lbs ground pork.

My roommate's awesome parents were kind enough to give us these pork cubed steaks. I just chopped them up instead of using ground pork.

Thanks again for all the food Mr. and Mrs. Bonecutter!

Over medium high heat, add 1 Tbsp butter to a large skillet...

And 1 Tbsp sesame oil.

Add in the 1 1/2 lbs ground pork.

Season with salt...

And some fresh ground pepper.

We just bought a pepper grinder. I'm embarrassingly excited about it.

Stir the meat around and allow it to cook through.

While the pork is cooking, get your veggies ready! Chop up the 1/4 red onion...

The bell pepper...

And the carrots.

At this point the pork should be cooked through. Isn't it a pretty color?


Pour in 1/4 cup of the garlic teriyaki sauce.

If you can't find garlic flavored teriyaki, just use regular teriyaki and throw some garlic in there.

Stir it around and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes or so. You want the meat to absorb that flavor and turn a more appetizing color.

Once the pork had absorbed the sauce, throw in the vegetables...

And stir them around. Only allow them to cook for a few minutes. You want them to retain their crunch.

Tear a bunch of leaves off the head of lettuce, give them a good rinse, and dry them.

To assemble your wrap, grab a piece of lettuce...

Put some rice in the middle...

Topped with the pork mixture...

And place lots of crunchy bean sprouts on top...

Then roll it up and tada! Lettuce wrap.

Serve with extra lettuce, rice, pork, and sprouts on the side to make more!

Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps
Serves: 4

  • 1 head of butter lettuce, washed and leaves separated
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet bell pepper (or several small ones), chopped
  • 1 large carrot (or several baby carrots), julienned
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup garlic teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 cups of cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork.
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the butter and sesame oil. Once the butter has melted, add in the ground pork. crumble and brown until fully cooked.
  2. Add the teriyaki sauce to the pan and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bell pepper, carrot, and onion and cook for just a few minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. To serve: layer rice, pork mixture, and sprouts in a lettuce leaf, roll, and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I first had this simple appetizer at the Hard Rock Cafe in Downtown Disney several years ago. It was so tasty that my sisters and I woofed it down in minutes.

In all fairness, we do this with most foods.

Then I went to college and started making this easy version as a quick dinner. A lot. There's something about tomatoes and basil that make any meal delicious.

You will need: half a baguette, 2 medium tomatoes, 10 basil leaves, 3 cloves of garlic,  4 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp butter.

First smash the garlic with your knife to get the skins off and give it a rough chop.

Next sprinkle the 1/2 tsp of salt on top of the garlic and start scraping it onto the board. The salt halps break up the garlic and make it into a kind of paste.

Throw it into a medium sized bowl.

Next get a bunch of basil leaves...

And give them a rough chop.

Throw them into the bowl.

I've been over-picking from my basil plant lately. He's starting to look sad.

Now add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the bowl.

Followed by 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar. I love balsamic vinegar.

Now chop up some tomatoes...

And throw them into the bowl too.

I love tomatoes. My whole family does. In the summer we eat them with every meal. Literally. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Next add the 1/2 tsp of slat. I got excited about the photo and went a little overboard on the salt there. Try not to do that.

Then add the 1/4 tsp of pepper.

I actually went overboard on the pepper on purpose. I love pepper.

Now stir it all up.

Let the tomato mixture sit for a bit while you get the bread ready. Add 2 Tbsp each of butter and olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the sliced half baguette to the skillet. Allow to brown.

Once it's brown on one side, flip it over and brown the other.

Arrange your bread on a plate...

And top with the tomato mixture. So tasty.

Serves: 2

  • half a baguette, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced and ground into a paste
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter.
  1. Combine all ingredients except 2 Tbsp each of butter and olive oil in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, add the 2 Tbsp each butter and olive oil.
  3. Once the butter and oil are hot, add the sliced baguette and toast on both sides.
  4. Arrange the toasted bread on a plate and top with the tomato mixture.
  5. Enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chicken Alfredo

My father rarely cooks anything that isn't on the grill or for breakfast. One thing he does make is chicken alfredo. It is the best chicken alfredo you will ever have. Trouble is, you have to literally beg him to make it.

This is my version of chicken alfredo. I make it a lot for my roommates and my Italian-food-loving boyfriend. It's fast, easy, and we usually already have the ingredients.

You will need: 1 lb chicken breasts, 1/2 medium onion, 8 oz of good parmesan cheese (no sawdust!), 1 lb pasta (I used 2 because I feed a crowd), 2 Tbsp flour, 4 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, minced, 1 cup of white wine, 1 cup of heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste

First get your super helpful roommate with the psychedelic nails to grate the parmesan.

Now dice up half of the onion.

Add the olive oil...

And the butter to a large pan over medium heat.

Now would also be a good time to get the water started for your pasta.

Add the onions...

And the garlic to the pan...

And give it a stir.

Now slice the chicken into thin strips.

Once everything in the pan is starting to look golden...

Throw in the chicken.

Salt and pepper the chicken...

And toss it around.

Once the chicken has cooked, remove it to a plate.

Now add 2 more Tbsp of butter to the pan.

With 2 Tbsp of flour.

Stir for 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Gross.

Next pour in the 1 cup of wine! Stir it up. It will get to a kinda weird consistency.

See? Looks pretty gross. You know what will fix that? Adding the cup of heavy cream.

A cup of heavy cream fixes everything.

Stir it up and it will start to look like a sauce.

Now's the time to add all of the cheese. It may seem like a lot. And it is. But it makes it so tasty that you just have to do it. Stir it up. If the sauce gets too thick, add more wine.

Adding more wine also fixes everything.

Now drain off your noodles and stick them back in the large pot you cooked them in.

See those funny green guys? They're spinach pasta I got from the Dekalb Farmer's Market. If you live in the Atlanta area you have probably heard of it. It's AWESOME. This is fresh pasta I got that they make there. It was awesome and has such a unique shape!

Now toss in the chicken with the juice that has collected on the plate. Meat juice=flavor.

Pour all the sauce over the top.

You are getting very, very hungry.

Next toss it all together.

Serve it up with a chunk of crusty bread and some spinach salad. Super tasty guys.

Chicken Alfedo
Serves: 5

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 8 oz of good parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 lb pasta, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the chicken to the pan and toss until cooked. Remove the chicken to a separate plate.
  3. Next add in the flour and remaining butter and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Stirring constantly, pour in the wine. Pour in the heavy cream and stir. Add in the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the pasta, chicken, and sauce together and toss until all of the noodles are coated. Enjoy!