Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (With a Twist)

For the past few months, we’ve been designating Monday as “Movie Night”. We’re pretty hopeless at going to the theatre on a regular basis. If we average one theatre-movie per year, we’re doing pretty good! And sometimes Netflix seems overwhelming with so much to choose from! So we’ve started to tackle this by picking one movie a week to watch. It makes for a nice start to the week, almost like it’s still the weekend.

If we can, we try to make our Monday Movie Night meals on the lighter side. This week, we made these Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps and immediately decided these should be in our regular meal rotation. They’re easy to make, fun to eat, and still leave enough room in our tummies for popcorn afterwards!

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I didn’t really follow any recipe of sort, but tried to incorporate those classic Thai flavours that we all love: fresh lime juice, tangy fish sauce, and a healthy addition of red Thai chilies. To add a twist on the classic flavours, I threw in a handful of pomegranate arils and some walnuts for a bit of crunch. Yes, this part was decidedly not Thai-inspired, but the combination was so, so good!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thai chicken lettuce wraps with pomegranates and walnutsClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Thai chicken lettuce wraps with pomegranates and walnuts

I would say this meal, as written, would feed 2 people, with nothing else added. If you were using it as a side salad, or in addition to something else, you could probably stretch to feed 4 people. To get a decent amount of protein, I’d aim for a cup of chopped chicken per person, and adjust everything else from there. We usually buy a roasted chicken from the store on a weekly basis, which makes the prep for this meal super quick and easy.

For the best flavours, definitely let this sit at least 30 minutes in the fridge. We left it for about 4 hours, and it was awesome! I know it would be one of those salads that would taste even better the next day, assuming you could restrain yourself by leaving some left over. We were not that restrained 🙂

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To eat this salad with lettuce wraps, just scoop a bit of the mixture into a tender-leaf lettuce (we used butter lettuce), and wrap away! Something about the sweet-and-spicy-and-crunchy combination, was a winner. I can see this being on repeat for our Monday movie nights!

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Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps with a twist
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps are easy to make and fun to eat. It's a healthy meal, when you're looking to lighten up your dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 2 Thai red chilies, chopped
  • 3 - 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped roasted chicken
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup chopped walnut pieces
  • Handful of arugula (optional)
  • I head of butter lettuce, for wrapping
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the sesame oil, fish sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, chili peppers and green onions.
  2. Add in the chicken, pomegranate arils and walnuts, and toss to combine.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The longer it sits, the better.
  4. If you are eating this as a side salad, toss in some arugula before eating. Otherwise, scoop the mixture into lettuce leaves to eat.

Enjoy these Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (with a twist)!

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One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken

Have you ever had an idea for something you want to eat, and it comes together exactly as you hoped it would? This Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken dish was that meal. Quite often, we start talking about our “weekend food” early in the week (like, Tuesday morning 😉 ). If we can, we try to cook something new on the weekends, because it can often take longer to make than a standard weeknight meal and we have more time.

I made a batch of my slider buns the previous weekend, so the plan was to do pair those with something. Our first thought was pulled pork (because we love it), but then I saw a few recipes float by online that used tantalizing words like Vietnamese and lemongrass and slow-cooked.

So my brain took those words and ran in a completely different direction and came up with: chicken breast, poached in a Thai broth, shredded and tossed in a spicy peanut sauce.

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-pot Thai peanut shredded chicken

Have you ever used the poaching method to cook anything other than eggs? We’ve poached fish before, but nothing else. I must say, this method was the main reason this meal came together so quickly, it’s fast and easy, and keeps the meat juicy and flavourful.

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As a bonus, I found this was so quick to make that it could easily be moved into the weeknight meal category… and it only uses one pot… and you get super tasty leftovers…

What’s not to love!

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We ate this Thai peanut shredded chicken piled high on the slider buns, topped with slices of fresh, juicy pineapple. It was a match made in Saturday-night food heaven.

I bet it would be equally fantastic in a taco or alongside a crunchy salad, or simply straight from the pan. This wild-card recipe is definitely going to be added to our weeknight rotation!

One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 500 g boneless skinless chicken breast, or 750 g bone-in chicken breast / thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 4 Thai red chilis (depending on how spicy you like your food)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (bottom ⅓ thinly sliced, middle ⅓ chopped into large pieces, upper ⅓ discarded)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 - 3 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lime, zest + juice
  • 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil, or neutral oil
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, saute the garlic, ginger, lemongrass slices and red Thai chilis in peanut oil until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken broth, chicken pieces and lemongrass chunks. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and poach the chicken until the meat is cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, shred the meat with 2 forks.
  4. Skim off any fat from the chicken broth and return the pot (with broth) back to the stove top. Add the peanut butter and soy sauce and whisk to combine. Over medium-low heat, allow the mixture to reduce and thicken. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and zest and chopped cilantro.
  5. Add in the shredded chicken and stir to combine. Once the chicken is warmed through, it's ready to serve.

Enjoy this One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken!

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One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese

The holiday season seems to ensure we consume more than our daily quota of sugar intake, which is probably why we crave our veggies and greens. With Vancouver still reeling from its unusual cold snap, we’re also embracing our veggies roasted or sauted. This one-pot sausage and chickpea bowl with goat cheese hits many of our winter food requirements:

  • It’s hot (hello, roasted goodness)
  • It still has lots of colour (hello, tasty veggies)
  • It’s satisfying (hello, chickpeas and local sausage)
  • It has cheese (enough said) 🙂

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This meal is quick to put together (think, under 30 minutes) and I like to think of it as more of a broad pairing-guide, than a recipe. During the winter, we usually have roasted vegetables 4 or 5 times a week and change-up the protein as our cravings desire. So this recipe is more of a “what to add to your warm veggies” meal, than anything else.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but we like spicy food. We picked up a few pork Habanero sausages from the local butcher, and they really added a great flavour to this meal. Pair that with a few cloves of garlic, a glug or two of white wine, and a sprinkle of tangy goat cheese, and this meal definitely elevated our roasted veggies up a notch or two.

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I can see this sausage and chickpea bowl coming together in one of two ways:

  1. The lazy-man’s approach: Roast your veggies and chickpeas together on a tray in the oven. Cook the sausages at the same time, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes, until they’re cooked through. Then throw everything into a large bowl, mix with the fresh herbs, and top with a sprinkling of goat cheese.
  2. The slightly more active-man’s approach: Saute the veggies and chickpeas together in a large pot on the stove. Cook the sausages in the oven, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes until they’re cooked through. Then throw the sliced sausages, fresh herbs and a sprinkling of goat cheese into the veggie pot.

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Either way, the result is quick, flavourful and healthy meal that will ease any guilt you might have after taste-testing all those extra rugelach, for quality-assurance purposes 🙂

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One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This healthy one-pot meal comes together in under 30 minutes. Use any veggies you'd like, to completely customize your dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 pint (~350 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 red thai chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of kale, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 can (398 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 150 g (~2 large) pork Habanero sausages (or flavour of your choice)
  • Glug of white wine, or white wine vinegar
  • 50 - 75 g soft goat's cheese
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Prick the sausages and place on a tray. Broil in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cooked completely, flipping every 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before slicing into pieces.
  2. At the same time, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and chilies and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with a glug of white wine, then add the chopped kale and stir until the kale starts to wilt.
  5. Add the sliced sausage, cilantro and mint to the pot and stir until combined.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with the goat cheese.

Enjoy the One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese!

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One-Pot Chicken Burrito Farro Bowl

This past weekend, three separate storms blew through the Pacific Northwest. We had lots of rain and lots of wind and there were generally times when we wanted to do nothing but hole up in the apartment with a bowl of warm food and a good movie. So, in between the climbing and the van work, that’s exactly what we did! I love meals like this Chicken Burrito Farro Bowl. This one-pot meal is full of protein, nutrient-dense carbs and lots of veggies. It requires minimal prep time, and minimal hands-on time. And did I mention it only uses one pot? These are the meals that make me happy 🙂 When we need to fuel our bodies for a big climbing day, this is the type of food we love to eat.

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There are certain foods we like to buy every week, to make our lunch and dinner prep much easier. One of these is a roasted chicken from a local grocery store, which we split and keep in the fridge, using the leftovers as one of our meal-savers.

Need to bulk out your lunch? Add some roast chicken.

Want to make your dinner omelettes more interesting? Leftover chicken to the rescue!

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The inspiration for this meal came from this Chicken and Rice post; as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to try a simplified version. To make it quicker (hello, roast chicken!) without sacrificing flavour, and add a bit more nutritional heft (hello, nutty farro) without taking away the goal of using only one pot.

This recipe is one of those that can be whipped up on a weeknight when your time might be crunched. We diced up fresh heirloom tomatoes, but using canned tomatoes along with roasted leftover chicken means the prep for this meal is minimal. And while it may not look like much, it is unbelievably tasty!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-Pot Burrito Chicken Farro Bowl

We’ve made it a few times now – the first, we added big dollops of guacamole to it, and nibbled it on the weekend, alongside some tortilla chips and a Netflix movie.

Highly recommended.

The second time, we were more civilized and ate at the table.

Equally tasty.

And the bonus of a one-pot meal like this is that, for a household of two, there is more than enough left over for lunch the next day! And believe me, you want to eat these leftovers.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-Pot Burrito Chicken Farro Bowl

The idea is the same as a basic chicken-and-rice meal, where everything is simmered under enough liquid to cook the rice. Think of it like making risotto, but with less hassle in the stirring department. The spices and black beans take it into “Burrito Territory″ and, although we prefer the nutty bite of farro to standard rice, we have made it with brown rice and it still tastes great.

Again, like many of these one-pot meals, it’s easy to customize depending on your dietary preferences or what you have in your pantry! I bet tofu or chickpeas would make a great substitute for the chicken. Maybe try quinoa or cauliflower rice instead of the farro! So many variations, so few stormy weekends 😉

One-Pot Chicken Burrito Farro Bowl
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Inspired by the recipe from How Sweet It Is
Ingredients
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 2 - 4 red thai chilis (depending on your spice tolerance, omit if necessary)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or less, depending on your spice tolerance)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 700 g fresh tomatoes, diced (or 1 - 14 oz can)
  • 1 cup uncooked farro, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 250 g (~2 cups) roasted chicken, cut up into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, garlic and red thai chilies and saute for a few minutes, until the onion starts to soften.
  2. Add the cumin, chipotle powder, cayenne powder, paprika, sea salt and tomato paste. Stir around until the onion mixture is completely coated, then add the red pepper and saute for a few minutes until the pepper starts to soften.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (and juices), uncooked farro, black beans, roasted chicken and broth. Stir until everything is mixed together.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer until the farro is cooked, about 30 to 40 minutes. Stir every so often to prevent sticking to the bottom.
  5. Once the farro is cooked, add in the lime juice and zest and sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the chicken mixture. Stir to combine, and serve!
Notes
If you want to keep this vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead and replace the chicken with another protein, like chickpeas or tofu.

Enjoy!

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Easy Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

If you’re living on the West Coast, you’re probably in for another soggy weekend and are looking for something to warm you up. If you’re living in Eastern Canada, you’re probably in for another hot weekend and are looking for something that doesn’t require you to turn on the oven. My food solution for both? This easy chicken satay!

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One of the first cookbooks Jonty and I bought together (along with a Toast-R-Oven that we still have today, over 15 years later!) was this Thai cookbook. The recipes were easy to make, with relatively few ingredients, and the food always tasted good. For two young students on a very tight budget, this was a good thing, as it meant we didn’t have to go out to our local Thai restaurant for our spicy-food kick – we could just make it at home!

Fast-forward 15 years later, and we’re still looking for ways to incorporate the spicy, flavourful Thai-inspired foods. Chicken satay is one of those dishes that people love to eat. Maybe it’s the food-on-a-stick thing, or maybe it’s the spicy peanut flavour. Whatever the reason, this recipe is a keeper and with BBQ season in full swing, it makes a great addition to any summer grilling plans.

As with most marinaded foods, the longer you leave the chicken hanging out in the marinade, the more flavourful the satay will be. I mixed this up in the morning and grilled the chicken in the afternoon, a few hours later. If you can leave it for at least 30 minutes, however, I suspect your taste buds will be more than happy!

If you have a handful of skewers, feel free to use them. If you’re a skewer-free house, don’t rush out to buy any, just grill the chicken pieces as is. In one way, it’s almost easier if you don’t use skewers!

The only accompaniment you need for the chicken satay is a simple peanut sauce, and we’re pretty firm that you cannot omit this, because peanut sauce is one of the greatest sauces known to humankind 🙂 We shared a recipe for our easy peanut sauce a few weeks ago, and now’s the time to bring it out! If you want to make an even easier peanut sauce, just blend up some peanut butter, lime juice and soy sauce and thin with water.

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We mixed up a simple salad to serve the chicken satay with, and it was a perfect bowl-food dinner!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy chicken satay

So get your summer grill on and make this easy chicken satay!

Easy Chicken Satay
 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from the book Simply Thai Cooking
Ingredients
  • 750 - 800 g boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 5-mm thick slices
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 - 3 red Thai chilis, finely chopped (or omit, if you don't like spicy food)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
Instructions
  1. Slice the chicken into 5-mm thick strips, that run the length of the chicken breast. To make this easier, place the chicken in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm it up.
  2. Mix up marinade and pour over the strips of chicken. Marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.
  3. Grill the chicken under broiler or on the BBQ.
  4. Serve the chicken satay with a simple salad and peanut sauce.

Enjoy!

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