My high school ten year reunion is this year. I know this not because I’ve been keeping track of every year since I’ve graduated (saying 10 years out loud is a bit overwhelming!) but because the peeps who are planning it started a Facebook page and since its inception the wall has been flooded with hilarious comments and awkward #throwback photos. I used to alternate between eating the chicken quesadilla at Chevy’s and the chicken club sandwich at the Cheesecake factory and I’m pretty sure I could have gone my entire life without questioning if I was missing anything, ever, and I am not just alluding to nutrients. It wasn’t until I moved to New York and started embracing the one billion and a half restaurants they have there and eventually to Southern California where I realized the extent of my health issues that I began to slowly reach out of my familiar starchy, cheesy little space and started grabbing things like paprika and cumin and pickled onions.
In high school I could barely cook frozen pasta. I now feel the most comfortable making huge successes and huge mistakes hunched over the stove in my kitchen. I am in love with food and its ability to make a glass of Bordeaux taste better or a birthday taste like childhood memories or a smoothie taste like renewed health. I am also in love with the art of improvising and thus we are at the point of this post: what to make when you don’t know what to make. And have very little resources.
These wraps are the brain child of my sister in law, wraps that seem so incredibly simple and healthy and straight forward but for whatever reason I doubted the eatability of more than four veggies but seeing her use lettuce wraps in this way gave me the tangible evidence I needed to dispel the myth that a lot of vegetables meant of lot of not so great tasting food. MMmm, wrong. These were amazing and fed her ravenous family of four and were quick and we’re in Hawaii and had to make do with the limited amount of produce they had at the corner market etcetra. Years from now, when I’m in a pickle and need to feed a large amount of hungry kids (or grown-ups) and I don’t have a lot to work with and certainly don’t want to spend a lot of time, I will make these wraps and ponder my impending 20 year high school reunion, feeling very accomplished since my days spent inside the corner booth at Chevy’s, looking forward to the awkward photos and all.
1 head of lettuce, leaves in tact and removed
a good handful of vegetables, cut, sliced, diced (depending on how you like to eat them)
a good bunch of herbs (my SIL used cilantro, chives)
a couple cups of brown rice, cooked
1 lb of chicken breast (cooked using the method here and shredded, or your preferred method)
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare your herbs and veggies. Put on a platter for serving, place along the plates full of lettuce leaves and chicken and put the rice in a bowl. If available, good sauces would be things like Teriyaki or Soy Sauce. Green Goddess dressing would be a great addition. Serve immediately.