Amazing Baked Chicken Lettuce Wraps

How many times have you gone to Cactus Club and ordered the Schezwan Chicken Lettuce Wraps?
I know for myself, its a staple order when I’m at Cactus. They are so tasty, you omit some heavy carbs, they pack a punch of great flavour – what’s not to love? I can say the same for this amazing baked chicken lettuce wraps recipe. They are so damn delicious! Originally I found this recipe from Ahead of Thyme (Thank you!). Over the past year of eating them, I’ve gone on to make my own tweaks and suggestions for this recipe.

Unlike the Cactus Lettuce Wraps, these have crispy baked chicken instead of deep fried chicken for a healthier alternative (and easier). I’m not sure about you – but frying at home in a pot of oil on the stove just isn’t a lot of fun. Its messy and time consuming! With these chicken bites you will be coating them in a layer of flour, then whipped egg and then into toasted panko crumbs. Then, placing them on a baking sheet to crisp up in the oven! Yum!

Lettuce Tell You More…

When preparing the lettuce for the wraps, I like to get kind of specific with it. I really enjoy a cold crunchy piece of iceberg that will hold all the amazing filling. In order to do this, I recommend these few steps to take. First, Slice the ice berg lettuce in half length wise. Then, on the cut side let the lettuce fill with cold water in the sink to wash the layers in between.

After that, shake out any excess water when you are done rinsing and repeat for the other half. When the washing step is completed, place the halved lettuce heads face down in a strainer with a bowl underneath it. Place in the fridge to get really cold as you continue making the rest of the meal. When you are ready to serve – take the lettuce out and use a paper towel to dab off any excess water before filling each wrap. Its worth it when the lettuce is cold and crisp πŸ™‚

Amazing Baked Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Yield: 3 Servings

Amazing Baked Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

These Amazing Baked Chicken Lettuce Wraps are made with crunchy cold lettuce, crispy baked chicken, sweet Thai sauce, peanuts, green onions and spicy yogurt. These are a staple recipe in my home, and a much healthier version of cactus club's spicy Szechuan chicken lettuce wraps... but just as tasty!

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cut into small 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (or avocado oil if you don't have sesame)
  • 1 ΒΌ Cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • Β½ Tsp sea salt
  • ΒΌ Tsp black pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp mayo – I use Hellman’s with olive oil
  • ΒΌ Cup all-purpose flour

Toppings & Wraps

  • 1 Cup Farkay steam fried noodles
  • ΒΌ Cup green onions, sliced finely
  • ΒΌ Cup roasted peanuts
  • Β½ Cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 Tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 Head of iceberg lettuce, cut in half through the stem

Spicy Mayo

  • Β½ Cup mayo
  • ΒΌ Cup 5% plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tsp sriracha hot sauce, or more to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cooking pan with parchment paper.

1. In a medium pan, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add panko breadcrumbs and cook for 4-5 minutes while stirring continuously until the breadcrumbs start to brown. Be careful not to burn them, you only want them to turn a golden brown colour. Remove from heat and mix in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, beat the egg and mayo together in a shallow dish. Place flour into another shallow dish and set aside.

3. Fully coat each chicken piece with flour, then with egg mixture, and lastly with the panko breadcrumb mixture.

4. Place the coated chicken strips onto the cooking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and no longer pink inside.

5. Make the spicy mayo by combining mayo, hot sauce, lime juice and sriracha together and mixing until combined. Taste and add sriracha and lime juice as needed!

6. Place chicken bites into a large bowl and add noodles, green onions, peanuts, and sweet chili sauce. Toss to coat with tongs. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Assembling the lettuce wraps:

Take the lettuce out of the fridge, you can pat dry each piece with paper towel to get the water off if you choose. Then, spread spicy mayo on the lettuce and scoop several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf. Then, Drizzle extra spicy mayo on top, and wrap like a taco. Crunch down and enjoy!

Notes

I recommend using Farkay Steam Fried Noodles for crunch! You don't need too many, just enough to give some texture.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

3

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500

Calories are based upon ingredients I used and may differ to the brands used for this recipe.

Homemade Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto Crisps

Homemade Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto Crisps

Its homemade pizza time!!!! If you haven’t made pizza from scratch at home – you are sorely missing out. It may seem difficult – but I can promise you it is completely manageable. This recipe that I’m sharing with you is my families re-creation of our favourite Margherita pizza with prosciutto crisps. Inspired by our many dinners out to Famoso Pizza – which we all pronounce fah-mo-sa for some reason!

When we would go to Famosa for a family dinner out, this was my papa and my moms favourite pizza to make! A classic Margherita – basil, tomato, mozzarella but add EXTRA prosciutto crisps – so salty and delish! I love mushrooms personally so I added those to my pizza this time around – I know mushrooms are either a love or hate for people so please omit them if you aren’t feeling the shrooms.

PIZZA DOUGH

Furthermore, for the pizza dough part of things, my mom always made ours homemade – I will link a pizza dough recipe here. You can totally make your own – it’s not as hard as people think. Otherwise, you can buy a frozen pre-made dough ball from your local grocer or bakery. Ask the staff! Almost all places have them hidden away somewhere. I get mine from Safeway or Thrifty Foods in the deli/bakery area! You just need to have time to thaw it out on the counter or in some hot water (keep the dough in the package). I like to roll the dough out until its about 1/2 an inch thick for a medium pizza crust. If you like thin crust – go to 1/4 inch. Alternatively, if you like it thick, go about 1 inch thick.

All in all, making homemade pizza is a fun experience! You can make individual ones up by splitting the dough into smaller portions so everyone can pick the toppings they want, or you can make one big yummy pizza like the recipe below!

I hope you enjoy this Margherita pizza with prosciutto crisps! You won’t regret buying the prosciutto and crisping it up for this pizza – the flavours are unreal. Happy Pizza Making!

Homemade Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto Crisps
Yield: 2 Large Pizza's

Homemade Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto Crisps

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This homemade Margherita Pizza with prosciutto crisps, sauteed mushrooms, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese will have you singing something italian real quick. This is a magic combo of salty, fresh toppings that make for a really fun and tasty night around the dinner table. Make sure you let the pizzas cool down before devouring - dont be like my family and burn your mouth everytime...we are impatient when it comes to piping hot homemade pizza!

Ingredients

  • 2 Pizza dough rounds
  • 3 Cups of tomato sauce
  • 2 Cups fresh basil
  • 1 Package of fresh mozzarella
  • 2 Cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 1 Package of Prosciutto, crisped
  • 2 Cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Cups mushrooms, sliced and cooked

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 425° F.

    1. First, make your pizza dough or if you have store bought frozen pizza dough, leave it out to thaw in a bowl of hot water for an hour or so.

    2. Next, wash and slice the mushrooms. Place them into a pan and cook them on medium-high heat for roughly 5 minutes, add a bit of salt and pepper halfway through cooking.

    3. Next, rip the prosciutto up into a pan on medium-high heat, and stir around until its crisp and golden. Remove from pan when crisp - about 10 minutes. When its cooled it should crumble easily!!!

    4. Shred the mozzarella cheese and slice the fresh mozzarella into ½ inch pieces (you should have 1 cup of shredded mozzarella and 9-10 pieces of fresh mozzarella for each pizza.

    5. Roll out the pizza dough with rolling pin on a floured surface. It doesn’t have to be perfect, personally like in between a thin crust and thick crust pizza. I roll my dough to be about ½ an Inch thick!

    6. After your dough is all ready to go and all of your ingredients are ready, start to build your pizza!

    7. Place the tomato sauce down, then the mushrooms and prosciutto crisps. Then add a layer of shredded cheese (about 1 cup) and add the halved cherry tomatoes on top with the slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. Rip the basil leaves in half all over the pizza – they should be in decent sized pieces because they cook up!

    8. Repeat for pizza #2 and then drizzle both with olive oil. Place the pizza's into the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy!

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 Slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250

Easy Spinach And Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Easy Spinach And Ricotta Stuffed Shells

These easy spinach and ricotta stuffed shells will leave everyone wanting more! It is a family recipe that we have been making for years. Even the meat eaters of the family don’t complain when we serve this vegetarian dish. Its super filling, flavorful, cheesy goodness! You can sneak some spinach and onion in and no one will be complaining. These are surprisingly packed full of protein, and make an awesome dinner or meal prep for the week.

I hope you make these spinach and ricotta stuffed shells for your loved ones and everyone rants and raves about how delicious the dinner is. You will look like a superstar cook, and they don’t have to know how easy they really are to make, shhhh!

Okay now, lets get straight to the good stuff!

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Yield: 5 Servings

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This stuffed pasta shell recipe is one of me and families favorites. We keep making time and time again and never get bored of it. It's easy to make, packed full of protein (for being a vegetarian dish especially) and so tasty!

Make this flavorful dish for dinner tonight served with a side salad or meal prep them for the week ahead!

Ingredients

  • 30 Large conchiglie (Pasta Shells)
  • 28oz tomato sauce
  • 4 Cups of ricotta cheese
  • 3 Cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 4 Green onion stems, finely chopped
  • Β½ cup of grated parmesan
  • 1 Tsp sea salt
  • Β½ Tsp black pepper

Instructions

PREP: Set your oven rack to mid-high position in the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F. Get out 1 large baking dish or 2 medium sized baking dishes

PASTA: Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. I will recommend that they are al dente (kind of chewy but not soft) when you strain them as they are easier to fill and will cook again in the oven – we don’t want soggy soft pasta. When straining run the pasta under cold water until they are fully cool and then toss them in a bowl lightly with olive oil, separating any pasta shells from each other. The oil is used in order to prevent the pasta from sticking to one another.

SAUCE: Using a large baking dish, spread tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish. You may need two baking dishes, depending on how big the baking dish is.

FILLING: In a medium sized bowl combine the ricotta, chopped spinach, finely chopped green onion, grated parmesan, sea salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the shells until full and place them on the tomato sauce in the baking dish. Repeat until all the shells are done.

BAKING: Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes on 400° F until warmed through. Then for the last 5 minutes switch the oven to broil – be careful to not burn them! I recommend just staying by the oven for the last 5 minutes. They should just have a golden crisp on top and the sauce should be bubbling!

Serve hot with a side salad if you choose to, or pack them up as meal prep for the work week. So good!



Notes

My Advice:

I have a hard time finding these big shells in store, you can get them at Safeway sometimes.

Ricotta is expensive, but I always think of this as the "meat" of the meal, and its around the same cost as a pack of chicken breast.

If you like things to be really saucy, buy an extra can of tomato sauce. I like to use hunts tomato sauce for this recipe.

Ricotta is a blander cheese, so remember it needs more salt than most recipes. Don't be afraid to add more so the flavor really comes out in the baking process.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1 (6 Shells)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 550

Calories are based upon ingredients I used and may differ to the brands used for this recipe.

Hawaiian Crunchy Baked Fish Tacos

Hawaiian Crunchy Baked Fish Tacos

Crunchy Baked Fish Tacos = beach vacation in Hawaii to me! Hawaii is a place that will always have you smiling and eating fish tacos in the sunshine. I thought maybe we could bring those good vibes to the kitchen by making these tacos for dinner.

These are super tasty and easily baked in the oven, in the comfort of your own home. In addition to the delicious toasted panko-crusted fish, this recipe also includes zesty citrus slaw, chipotle crema, chopped avocado and crumbled Mexican cheese. These simple healthy tacos are sure to transport anyone to a sunny tropical vacation, right in the kitchen!!!

Why not make it a Hawaiian themed evening with some crunchy baked fish tacos? If you make these, please don’t hesitate to share them on your Instagram story and tag @_mikskitchen – i’d love to see how you made them in your kitchen!

Crunchy Baked Fish Tacos
Yield: 12 Tacos

Crunchy Baked Fish Tacos

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Who needs a vacation to Hawaii right now?

I miss Hawaii so, I am sharing these crunchy fish tacos that will hopefully give us some tropical feels.

The crunchy fish for these tacos are easily baked in the oven - no frying necessary. Along with the crunchy fish, this recipe has zesty citrus slaw, chipotle crema, chopped avocado, crumbled Mexican cheese and soft tortilla shells.

These crunchy baked tacos are healthy, simple and sure to transport anyone to a sunny tropical vacation... right in the kitchen!

Ingredients

Crema

Fish

Citrus Slaw

Assembly

  • 12 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • 2 fresh avocados, peeled, pitted and Chopped
  • Β½ Cup crumbled queso fresco (a mexican cheese)

Instructions

    1. Make the Chipotle Crema: combine all ingredients in a blender and puree the sauce until smooth. Set aside.


    2. Make the Citrus Slaw by combining Greek yogurt, honey, lemon and lime juices, sea salt and black pepper; mix well. Then, add the chopped cilantro, jalapeno, sunflower seeds, coleslaw mix and green onions. Toss until combined and set aside.


    3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the panko on a baking sheet and toast it until its golden brown for 5-7 minutes in the oven, giving the pan a gentle shake halfway through. Remove panko crumbs and transfer to a bowl and add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix until combined.


    4. Set up the assembly line with (1) Fish (2) Whisked Egg (3) Panko crumb mixture (4) Parchment covered baking sheet. Dip each piece of fish in the egg mixture, and then into the panko mixture and gently press it on the fish until its fully coated. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat the process for the remaining fish.


    5. Bake the fish for 10 minutes or until its cooked through (internal temp should be 145°F) and it will be opaque, flaking easily with a fork. While the fish is cooking, prepare all the toppings (crumble the cheese, cut the avocado). Transfer baking sheet with fish to a wire rack, then use a fork to roughly flake the fish into smaller pieces.


    6. Assemble the tacos: Fill a tortilla with a few spoonful’s of slaw, followed by the fish and any desired toppings. Drizzle with chipotle crema and serve immediately!

Notes

These don't make the best leftovers - they're best eaten fresh and hot out of the oven. So only make what you can eat when it comes to the fish. The citrus slaw is good on sandwiches, or as a side to most meals so that is good for the week if you want to make extra or have leftovers.

To find the Chipotle Adobo in the grocery store, go to the mexican / ethnic food isle! I know when I first was looking for this item, I was lost! Or, save yourself the hassle and order it from your couch on amazon!

To warm the tortillas - pop them in the oven (turn the oven OFF, it'll still be hot for many minutes after) after the fish comes out for a couple minutes while you cut the fish and station all the ingredients for assembly. Put the timer on - you dont want crunchy taco shells, just warmed.

This recipe has more preparation time, so just give yourself enough time to do it all or grab a helper! (I promise it'll be worth it!)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12 Tacos

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250

Calories are based upon ingredients I used and may differ to the brands used for this recipe.

Simple Cauliflower Soup with Chorizo And Garlic Croutons

Simple Cauliflower Soup with Chorizo And Garlic Croutons

Do you love cozy delicious homemade soups in the wintertime? I know I do! This recipe is very simple to make. In less than 45 minutes you’ll have piping hot creamy cauliflower soup to entice everyones tastebuds with.

Homemade soups are definitely one of the best things about the cold winter months. After being outside, this soup will warm your insides up and leave you feeling fully satisfied. And all while remaining mainly dairy free (if you omit the 1/4 cup cream). It makes for an amazing and easy weekly meal prep or make a big pot to share with the family over the weekend.

You’ll be sure to impress whomever you are cooking for with this gourmet simple cauliflower soup… (we won’t tell them that it was simple to make, don’t worry).

Simple Cauliflower Soup with Chorizo & Garlic Croutons
Yield: 4

Simple Cauliflower Soup with Chorizo & Garlic Croutons

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Cauliflower this, cauliflower that! This tasty soup has a unique spicy kick from the toppings and creamy smooth soup base. I cant even put into words how delicious and creamy this soup really is. You're just gonna have to make it for dinner tonight and let me know if you agree (you will)!

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 Cauliflowers, cut into florets
  • 4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1000ml Vegetable stock
  • Β½ Cup of chorizo, chopped
  • 4 Large slices of crusty bread
  • ΒΌ Cup cream
  • Small bunch of parsley, chopped

Instructions

    1. Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion along with a pinch of salt. Cook until soft, about 6 minutes.
    2. Then put the cauliflower florets and 2 crushed garlic cloves into the pot. Give everything a good stir and then pour the stock in. Cook for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
    3. Meanwhile, peel the chorizo, then chop into small pieces. Toast the bread, then cut into crouton-sized pieces.
    4. Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a frying pan, add the chorizo and fry until crisp. Then put the bread and remaining 2 garlic cloves into the pan and cook for a minute or so until everything is nicely coated in the chorizo oils. Set aside.
    5. Using my Ninja Blender, blitz the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cream to the pot and stir. Reheat if necessary.
    6. Mix the chopped parsley with the chorizo and croutons. Top the soup when its ready to serve with the chorizo and garlic bread mixture on top.

Notes

NINJA BLENDER
I have linked the blender I use in this blog post because I seriously believe that it is the best lower cost blender around. I got it for Christmas last year and it really does the job well for under $100. I make giant protein smoothies with frozen fruit, blend up soups and sauces, crush nuts for crusts, grind down oats for flour, make juices (without a juicer!) and so much more that I probably don't even know about yet. Its compact making it apartment/small space friendly and it comes with different sized blending bottles. Enjoy my friends - this appliance is a keeper!!!!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 550