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Lucky Lettuce Cups

Kids imageNote: This recipe, created by Cecily Asplund of Utah, won a national contest and was served at a White House lunch for kids. Her lucky lettuce cups deliver a delicious stir-fry you can eat with your fingers. (If you try this recipe, get a grownup's help because it requires using a knife and the stove.)

Nutrition Label

Prep time: 45 minutes

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • ¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus 2 scallions sliced diagonally, for garnish
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon hot chile sauce (optional)
  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed and separated

Equipment and supplies:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Knife
  • Sauté pan
  • Grater for ginger
  • Stove

What to do:

  1. In a large sauté pan over moderate heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil.
  2. Add the chicken and sauté, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Do not wash the pan.
  4. In the same pan, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the 4 thinly sliced scallions, ginger, and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
  6. Add the zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, peanuts, and rice, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cooked chicken, along with the soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and hot chile sauce, if using.
  9. Mound the rice and vegetable mixture in the middle of a large serving plate and garnish with diagonally sliced scallions.
  10. Surround the rice with lettuce cups.
  11. To serve, let everyone spoon the rice and vegetable mixture into lettuce cups and eat with their fingers, taco-style.

How much does this recipe make?

  • 4 servings

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2013