FEBRUARY 15, 2014


Transitioning from gluten free to a grain free (Paleo) diet is not that difficult. Not really sure I could have done this without the Whole Life Challenge or my friends. I am feeling pretty darn good and the results are incredible. I am five weeks in and I have already decided that this will now be my way of life. And for no better reason than I feel great! The abundance of energy coupled with my jeans (and workout pants) being “loose”, this challenge came at exactly the right time.

My kids may eat a bowl of pasta now and then, but it’s meals like this Chicken in Lettuce Cups that I now crave. The dish was inspired by my friend Steve, a passionate chef. His wife is one of my favroite people and a few weeks back I went over to her house at lunchtime to work on a project. This was waiting for me when I walked in the door. It was so good that I moaned out loud. A few nights later it magically appeared on my dinner table.

Along with it, I made a batch of peanut noodles using a version of this dressing. Swapping out rice noodles for udon noodles, it was equally delish. I didn’t eat them, but I was told they were just a good as the original. Levi doesn’t like the peanut sauce, instead he took some of the minced chicken and tossed it with some naked noodles. A little dash of wheat free tamari and he was a happy little guy. I was a happy girl knowing that the next day this would be my lunch!

This week my family will be eating lots of yummy stuff:

Sunday 2/16/14:
Minced Chicken in Lettuce cups
Stir Fried Brown Rice

Monday 2/17/14:
Shepherds Pie (swapped out sweet potatoes for the white potatoes)
Caesar Salad

Tuesday 2/18/14:
Tortilla Soup
Endive, hearts of palm, white bean, and shallot salad (this dressing)

Wednesday 2/19/14:
Halibut Provencal (this recipe, but switched the halibut for the chicken)
Roasted Stringbeans

Thursday 2/20/14:
Going out – Celebrating the boys February birthday’s!

Friday 2/21/14
Veggie Tostadas
Pickled Onions
Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Saturday 2/22/14:
Another Birthday Dinner!

Chef Steve’s Chicken in Lettuce Cups

3 Tablespoons sunflower oil (divided)
1 carrot, diced
1 red onion, diced small
1 jalapeño, seeds and rib removed, diced fine
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger ( about 1 1/2″ of fresh ginger)
1.5 pounds ground white meat chicken (we use kosher chicken)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup Organic Hoisin Sauce (wheat free)
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon ponzu
fresh romaine leaves
1/4 cup minced cilantro (optional)

• in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil over medium heat. saute onion and carrots until translucent, about 10 minutes.
• add diced red pepper, and jalapeño. saute for 6 minutes or until the pepper is soft.
• remove from skillet and add vegetables to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. let cool slightly.
• using the same pan, saute the chicken. cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes. add fresh garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute, stirring the whole time.
• pulse the vegetables 6-8 times. add chicken and garlic mixture and pulse until the chicken is minced and no longer has any big chunks.
• reheat the same skillet and heat the additonal 1 tablespoon of oil. add all of the ingredients from the food processor and saute until all of the ingredients are heated through. add sesame oil, hoisin sauce, sherry vinegar, and ponzu. stir to combine.
• spread a bit of hoisin sauce on each romaine leave and top with minced chicken. if desired, sprinkle a bit of cilantro over the top.

make a double batch – you will want left overs the next day!
yield: 6 servings