Alternative Asian Favorites

One of these recipes (the alternative egg rolls) was in the Hungry Girl e-mail today. The other one is a recipe that I found a while back and adjusted to work with the ingredients I like to work with.

Asian-style Chicken Lettuce Wraps
If you like the lettuce-wraps appetizers at PF Chang’s, you’ll love this low-fat, healthier alternative.

2 Tbsp. light/low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. Splenda brown sugar blend, not packed (if you’d prefer to use real brown sugar, increase quantity to 1 Tbsp.)
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
8 — 10 ounces boneless skinless chicken, cooked and cubed
1 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 cup bean sprouts (I use the fresh ones from the produce section rather than the canned)
3/4 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup chopped scallions/green onions
8–12 leaves from lettuce such as iceburg, hearts of Romaine (not the dark-green, leafy exterior leaves), bibb, or escarole. You could also use green or red cabbage, if that’s more to your taste.

To prepare sauce, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, chili-garlic sauce, and sesame oil. Stir well and set aside.

In a large skillet preheated over medium heat, combine chicken, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and mushrooms (if using). Saute about 1 minute. Add the sauce and stir to combine well. Cook 2–3 minutes more, until sauce begins to thicken slightly. Add scallions, stir, and cook 1 additional minute.

Divide mixture evenly between the lettuce “cups” and wrap up to eat.

Makes a meal for 2, appetizers for 4 to 6 people.

Nutritional Info (for the entire recipe, based on 8 oz. of chicken):
Calories: 560
Fat: 11 g
Carbs: 38.5 g (8.3 g dietary fiber)
Protein: 76 g

On the Weight Watchers Simply Filling (nee Core) plan, if you eat half the recipe as a meal, count 1 Point (for the Splenda and the oil).

Low-Fat Egg Rolls

Ingredients:
6 large square egg roll wrappers (found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket with the other Asian items)
4 cups (about half of a 12-oz. bag) dry coleslaw mix
One 6-oz. can (4 oz. drained) tiny shrimp, drained
1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and sliced into strips
1/4 cup bean sprouts, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced widthwise
2 tbsp. light or low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
dash pepper
Optional: sweet & sour sauce, for dipping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place slaw mix in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tbsp. of water, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes. Drain any excess water, and transfer slaw mix to a large bowl. Add all other ingredients except for the wrappers, mix well, and set aside. (For more intense flavor, allow mixture to marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes.) Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying it lightly with nonstick spray.

Place two egg roll wrappers on a clean, dry surface. Evenly distribute about 1/2 cup of the mixture onto each wrapper, in a row a little below the center. Moisten all four edges of each wrapper by dabbing your fingers in water and going over the edges smoothly.

Fold the sides of each wrapper about 3/4-inch towards the middle, to keep the mixture from falling out of the sides. Then, roll the bottom of each wrapper up aroun d the mixture, and continue rolling until you reach the top. Seal the outside edge with another dab of water. Carefully transfer egg rolls to the baking sheet.

Repeat process twice with remaining wrappers and filling, making sure you have a clean, dry surface each time.

Spray the tops of the egg rolls with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly. If you like, dip egg rolls in some sweet & sour sauce!

MAKES 3 SERVINGS

Serving Size: 2 egg rolls
Calories: 189
Fat: 0.75g
Sodium: 949mg
Carbs: 33.5g
Fiber: 3.5g
Sugars: 5g
Protein: 12.5g

Weight Watchers POINTS® value 3

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About Kaye Dacus

Kaye Dacus Academic Editor (at NCU). Published Author (11 novels, dozens of articles, essays, poems). Prolific Procrastinator. www.kayedacus.com
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