Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and Mango/Avocado Salsa

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I’m going to do something a little different this time. I’m going to post my Ingredients/Directions on the top of the post, then a story (cuz I like to chattty chat chat) with the step-by-step photos.

Lettuce wraps – with diced chicken, mango/avocado salsa (serves 2 to 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 red onion, diced into small chunks
  • 1 mango, diced into small chunks
  • 1 avocado, diced into small chunks
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 chicken breast, diced into small chunks
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • dash of 5-Spice powder
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch (or flour)
  • 1/2 head of lettuce for wraps

Directions:

1) Chop onion, mango, and avocado. Reserve a small handful of chopped onion for the diced chicken. Place remainder of onion with mango and avocado in a bowl. Squirt lemon juice, mix lightly, and put in refrigerator until ready to serve.

2) Marinate diced chicken chunks with onions, soy sauce, 5-Spice, cornstarch and pepper.

3) Drizzle olive oil onto a non-stick pan. Cook the diced chicken until browned. Scoop onto plate to serve.

4) Wash strips of lettuce and pat dry. Cut them to the sizes you want served. Serve as appetizers with separate plates of diced chicken, mango salsa, and lettuce.  Let your guests/family make their own wraps.

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Story-time with Soupbelly

I can’t cook.

It’s a bold statement. But according to 98% of the people closest to me, I can’t cook.

When my husband and I first started dating, he exclaimed that I was a great cook after eating the very first meal I made him (just a grilled panini, nothing special). I didn’t even make him my Roast Chicken with Butter and Rosemary, with a side of Mashed Potatoes topped with Chives and Bacon, and Homemade Gravy. I just figured he had low standards.

My parents still tell me I should learn how to cook. I am quite a neat freak, so when they visited my apartment, and saw the SPARKLING clean, sanitized, ‘looks like it’s never been used’ kitchen, my dad suggested I should try using it more often. If I left it dirty to let them know it was being used often, well, I just can’t. I like to have everything SPOTLESS.

I remember back when I had my own apartment, I invited my parents and brother over for dinner. My mother did something straight out of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. Let’s just say she’s Marie and I’m Debra. She came over with trays of food (stir-fry noodles, spring rolls, etc.) and when I asked her why she brought it knowing I was cooking, she shrugged and said, “Just in case…”

I’m NOT badmouthing my parents! According to my entire extended family, my mother is the best cook. I still can’t top the dishes she makes, nor do I intend to.  And you know what? I’ll live with that. I had INCREDIBLY high standards up against me. There was no way to compete.

 

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Once I met my Chris, I would cook for him, and he would actually eat my meals. That was something…foreign to me. I WAS FEEDING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. AND HE WASN’T KEELING OVER IN PAIN. On top of that, he actually liked it. It brings me joy to see that someone else could enjoy eating something I created.

  

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Deep down inside I still feel like a hack, a poser, a pretend chef. Like I’m just making play food with my play kitchen, playing house, and he’s eating it just for my benefit. I know, I have serious issues.

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Over the years, Chris would encourage me to cook more, try more recipes out. Instead of rating my cooking on how well I cook Cantonese dishes, I rated it by how well it compared to the best dishes I tried anywhere, in general. That got me out of my negative thinking and expanded my horizons.

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When I started this blog, I only told 2 people about it. My husband, and another good friend. I surrounded myself with people (sadly, only 2 people) who encouraged me with positive thinking and optimism. I didn’t want other people to tell me what I was doing was stupid, or that I was a horrible cook, or that I was a bad writer.  I had enough issues to deal with.

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Sure, I’m still a bad writer, but at least I try to be entertaining :P

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I rite relly, relly good. Gooder then a fith grater.

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I actually won a state-wide writing contest in 5th grade. The story was about a stuffed animal I loved, and how its head fell off.

After winning the contest, I think I stopped striving and plateaued.

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Where is that story…I have it around here somewhere….

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Is there even a moral with this story? What was the whole point of my endless ramblings?

These are the random thoughts going through my head when I cook. I have 1000 voices in my head telling me what I’m doing is wrong, and a couple voices telling me to keep going, you’re doing a great job. Please don’t put me in the loony bin.

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The end.

I’m going to go bake some cupcakes now.

8 Thoughts on “Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and Mango/Avocado Salsa

  1. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! I love your rambles, please dont ever ever stop rambling! And I love the way you rambled in between beautiful pictures! I know just how you feel about cooking but not having actually tasted yours I can honestly say though it looks DARN good and you are a brilliant blogger! Love the writing!

    Ps: Where is that story? lol

  2. Beth on July 2, 2009 at 3:56 pm said:

    I second Ruth, continue with the stories! I’ve added your blog to my Food folder in the bookmarks, so it must be good!

  3. Thank you guys! I’m always surprised people actually read this blog :P I guess I’ll keep posting my ramblings, which is good because 1) the directions are way at the top, and easier to copy/paste/print, and 2) I have an excuse to subject you poor, helpless readers to my inane ramblings as you gaze through the photos. MUHAHAHA!

  4. candy i wanna hear the story actually :p hehe love this yummmy salsa. Excellent rating for the photography :)
    cheers!!

  5. I might post a story I wrote when I was little, I found a bunch from years ago, all dusty and stuff.

  6. Those wraps look really good! I really like the mango and avocado combo!

  7. jenny pyle on October 19, 2009 at 9:28 pm said:

    OMG! Fabulous dish.
    Must tell you that I made the wraps following the recipe exactly with chicken AND added your tofu preparation from your recent red curry dish (ALSO MADE THAT AND LOVED IT) for the vegan in the family. My 10 and 13 year old sons, and my 16 year old vegan daughter were very happy with dinner (RARE). Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    p.s. My husband normally follows the rule of NO FRUIT with MEAT…..not tonight! He really enjoyed the mango and chicken, even tried and liked the tofu!

  8. Jenny – I’m so glad you liked it! And I’m happy everyone enjoyed dinner all together :) I’ve been meaning to make another tofu curry dish soon, good to know people are enjoying the vegetarian dishes too!

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