CSA Week 8 - Chicken Lettuce Wrap Salad

I'm going to be honest with you guys.  I don't like salads.  I'm not a huge fan of lettuce in general, and it's just not my thing to want to dive into a big pile of raw veggies.  Gimme roasted veggies any day!  But a 20 minute dinner with a ton of protein and a pile of lettuce?  I'm listening.
When dating, I always found it funny when I would order a meal and a guy would comment on the fact that I wasn't getting a salad, "oh good, a girl who eats!".  I always tried to explain that it just wasn't my thing and I wasn't trying to take a stand or something, but I'm sure they thought I was playing some game.

So when I got lettuce for the first week in my CSA, it just wilted in my fridge until I ended up tossing it.  I hated doing it, but I didn't know what to do with it, much less how to store it properly to keep it around!

(PS- Since getting a ton of greens in the form of lettuce, kale, and chard, I can categorically say that the best thing to do is to rinse each leaf and remove the stem if applicable.  Then lay them out on a long sheet of paper towels, then roll them up together in the paper towel and seal the whole thing in a gallon plastic bag.  I've kept greens alive and not brown for over a week and a half that way!)
So the next time I got lettuce, I knew I had to do something fun with it.  Well, I made a sort of hybrid pesto.  More on that later!  And by the time this batch rolled around, I was much more confident in just keeping it raw and whole, but I still wasn't ready for a salad...  Enter chicken lettuce wraps.  A meal I love that includes lettuce!  And I simplified things a little and just served these in bowls, like a salad, and minus the rolling everything up and getting sauce all over me. 
There are a ton of copycat recipes for PF Chang's chicken lettuce wraps, but I was still on the lookout for a simplified version that didn't end up too sweet and covered in sauce.  I definitely found it!
This is a cool and refreshing meal during the heat of summer, and it's super healthy too.  I love that everything comes together so quickly and you're eating before anyone became hangry.  Very important.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps (recipe slightly adapted from Damn Delicious)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground chicken, preferably the leanest version your store sells
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less as desired
1 8-oz can whole water chestnuts, drained and diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 head lettuce, or 1 bag lettuce

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Add the ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, breaking up the chicken as it cooks.  Drain any excess fat.

Add the garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and red pepper flakes.  Stir until the onion has softened and become translucent, about 1-2 minutes.  Stir in water chestnuts and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, line bowls with lettuce leaves and add a spoonful of the chicken mixture on top.  Sprinkle with green onions as desired.
Enjoy!

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