Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Deconstructed Mexican Lettuce Wraps with Lean Ground Pork

Most lettuce wraps out there have an Asian flavor profile but since I'm in China right now and my desires lie elsewhere, I'll be satisfying my Mexican cravings with this easy and healthy recipe!

The supermarket near my home recently underwent a LOT of renovations.. as in they pretty much tore the entire thing apart and reorganized it, and now it is so much easier to navigate, more things are refrigerated, and they have a larger bakery, prepared foods section, and butchery! Up until now I've pretty much gone vegetarian during the weekdays simply because I was always a bit nervous about buying non-refrigerated meat so I would only eat it if I go out on weekends. But since this market installed all these new refrigerated sections I've had fun branching out and trying to navigate the different cuts of meats and the really delicious prepared food section of their deli. Two things I'm really into: the huge variety of pickled vegetable salads and the ground lean pork.  Yum. Although lately I've been using the deli section primarily as inspiration for my own home pickling projects -- I'll post my tutorial for quick fridge dill pickles later this week :) . 

So I've been making those soaked whole wheat tortillas almost every week and I kind of had myself fooled for awhile that they're 100% whole wheat so it's not a problem that I'm having them so often, but I have finally faced up to the fact that it's a lot of carbs to be consuming on my own. This is why I miss living with people.. I hate small batch cooking!!  Anyway, these days I'm trying to cut back on those a bit by finding some healthier replacements. 

So for lunch today I decided to swap in romaine lettuce instead of tortillas for my Mexican pork wraps. No regrets here.. the romaine was sweet and crunchy and fresh and went perfectly with the savory and spicy corn-pork filling. I served them with fresh cherry tomatoes, quick-pickled radishes and pickled jalapenos. 
This was a super fast lunch and it's chock full of lean protein and veggies so it'll give you energy to keep you going through the second half of your work day!

Deconstructed Mexican Lettuce Wraps with Lean Ground Pork*
Serves 2 people or 1 person for lunch and leftovers
(These are all approximate measurements. You can adjust your flavorings to how garlicky, how spicy, how cumin-y you like it) 
*This can be vegetarian-ized by just subbing cooked black or pinto beans for the pork! Yummy :)

1 small radish sliced into thin coins
white vinegar
1 corn [off] the cob
1/2 of a medium red onion, small diced
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
small glug of olive oil
about 1 cup lean ground pork, or cooked black or pinto beans if going the vegetarian route. 
cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
2/3 cup chopped garlic chives, chopped 
1 head of romaine lettuce
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
pickled jalapenos
cilantro (I didn't have any on hand, but if I did I would have definitely served this w/ cilantro

1. Before you do anything, pickle those radishes. Stick them in a dish submerged in equal parts white vinegar and water. Set aside. 
2. Throw your corn and diced onions in a pan with olive oil and saute until onions are translucent. 
3. Add the pork and garlic, season to taste with cumin and chili powder and crushed red pepper
4. Cook until pork is done, chopping it up with the edge of your spatula as you go. 
5. Stir in tomato paste and garlic chives. 

Fan out your romaine leaves on the plate. Top with your pork mixture. Line other half of plate with halved cherry tomatoes and pickled radishes. Serve with cilantro and pickled jalapenos.

1 comment: