Crockpot Carnitas Lettuce Wraps #paleo #lowcarb

I committed a serious crime yesterday.

I went to Dollar Tree and bought ALL THE EASTER DECORATIONS

Yeah, I know it’s not even Valentine’s Day. 

The worst part is that I made a trip there just for Easter decorations. Because at some point, late Monday night, I watched Dollar Tree hauls on Youtube for 2 hours. Guys, I go to Dollar Tree, like, twice a year so how did I stay up until 3 am watching people talk about what they bought there?

I really have no idea how these things happen to me.

And yeah, when those kinds of things pop up on your recommended videos list and you wonder “What kind of weirdo cares about what people buy at Dollar Tree/the grocery store/Michaels/etc.?” 

It’s me. I’m that weirdo.

I also spend an obscene amount of time watching nail polish swatch videos which is literally watching paint dry. So… yeah. 

Anyway, I now have a ginormous bag of brightly colored Easter decorations in my pantry that I can’t use for, I don’t know, 2 months? All because some girl on Youtube told me that Dollar Tree had Easter decorations.

In other exciting news, we had lettuce wraps for dinner! We have lettuce wraps once a week but I’ve just been doing these because they take 15 minutes to prepare or we do bacon and tomato for kind of a BLT feel, so it was nice to have “fancy” lettuce wraps.  

The carnitas (just an inexpensive pork shoulder covered in spices) are cooked in the slow cooker all day and then at the very end, you bake them to get them crispy. But really, you could skip the baking step if you were starving when you walked through the door. Then you just pile a bunch of meat on a lettuce leaf and top with avocado, salsa, chopped onions, cilantro, whatever you want.

This is something the kids like too, but I’ll put it in a tortilla or a hard taco shell or just serve it alongside rice for them. 

Crockpot Carnitas Lettuce Wraps #paleo #lowcarb

Click for the full recipe

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I don’t have a football snack for you this week because, believe it or not, I didn’t make anything this weekend! My husband went to the grocery store on Saturday before the games started and came home with a ton of ribs so there was no point in making what I had planned. And then the same thing happened yesterday except with hot dogs. So yeah, I guess I’m saving my planned snack for next week!

I’ll share these lettuce wraps instead which works out since I’m really, really, really excited about them. So excited that I’m planning on making them again tomorrow night but throwing in zucchini, water chestnuts, carrots, and mushrooms. Mmhmm.

If you haven’t tried lettuce wraps yet, you absolutely must! My kids love them, my paleo husband loves them, and I am kind of obsessed with them. There are millions of ways to make them – change up the meat, veggies, nuts, whatever! But this version is definitely my favorite right now. There’s just something so amazing about the cashews.

One year ago: Mississippi Roast
Two years ago: Spicy Bacon Ranch Pasta
Three years ago: Pumpkin Spice Granola

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

adapted from She Wears Many Hats

Ingredients

For the sauce:
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the wraps:
1 head lettuce, leaves gently removed
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup cashews

Instructions

    For the sauce:
  1. Mix all stir fry sauce ingredients making sure to dissolve brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. For the chicken:
  3. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add diced chicken and stir fry until cooked through. Do this in batches if your pan is not large enough. Remove chicken from oil. Add onions and cook until soft; add garlic and cook until 30 seconds. Add sauce, browned chicken, and cashews. Cover and let simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes until sauce has reduced and cashews have softened up.
  4. To serve, spoon chicken mixture into lettuce leaves.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/09/16/cashew-chicken-lettuce-wraps/

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Two things I’m obsessed with these days: lettuce wraps and flank steak.

(Now, to be fair… I used skirt steak in these lettuce wraps. But only because my store didn’t have flank steak. They’re both awesome in lettuce wraps.)

I love, love, love these lettuce wraps. I made a massive batch and had them for lunch and dinner for 5 days straight and I’m still not tired of them. They’re light despite being made with a massive piece of beef which makes them perfect for this time of year. The sesame oil and seeds add so much flavor without being overpowering and I love the slight zing the rice wine vinegar gives the sauce.

This was another recipe I saved for deployment because I wasn’t sure my husband would love it but I was totally wrong and it will be made when he comes home!

One year ago: Buttermilk Pecan Pie

Sesame Beef Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

For the beef:
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound flank steak or skirt steak, cut into thin slices
For the Korean Barbecue Dipping Sauce:
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
½ – 1 teaspoon sriracha chile sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons chopped green onion
½ tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon water
For assembly:
lettuce, washed and leaves separated
shredded carrot
chopped green onion

Instructions

    To prepare the beef:
  1. Whisk together all marinade ingredients but olive oil and steak. Place the sliced steak into the marinade and mix until the meat is evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Flank steak can be marinated for up to 3 hours. Skirt steak will only need about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Once the pan is HOT add half of the beef and cook for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside. Continue with the rest of the beef.
  3. To make the dipping sauce:
  4. Whisk together all ingredients.
  5. To assemble:
  6. Place beef pieces into a lettuce leaf. Top with shredded carrots and green onions. Drizzle a bit of the dipping sauce on top. Serve the remaining sauce alongside the lettuce wraps.
http://fakeginger.com/2012/04/24/sesame-beef-lettuce-wraps/

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