In our house we love to do “themed” nights… BBQ, Chinese, Italian (well thats most nights), Burgers… and of course one of my favorites Mexican!! When you think of a Mexican meal you don’t generally think of it as a light meal, but I lightened up taco night with this one- Mexican Lettuce Wraps & Spanish Rice!
Instead of ground beef I used lean ground turkey, instead of flour tortillas I used iceberg lettuce leaves. The hubs admitted afterwards that he was a little nervous when he didn’t see the tortillas but he liked it with the lettuce. The lettuce adds great crunch and a whole lot less calories! I set up toppings like olives, salsa, shredded cheddar and diced avocado in little bowls so everyone could make their own Mexican lettuce wrap.
I made a Spanish style rice using brown rice. The rice is flavored with tomato paste, peas, carrots and manzanilla olives (the green ones with the pimento inside). This is really easy to make and a great side dish our Mexican Lettuce Wraps! The rice takes longer to make so start with that. As the rice is cooking and the “sauce” for it is started, you can then go ahead and get the turkey going.
20 oz lean ground turkey
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
3 Tbsp water
3 1/2 Tbsp taco seasoning (see below)
1 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves carefully removed
*adapted from Alton Browns Taco Potion*
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp salt
To make the taco seasoning, stir all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
Into a large pan, over medium heat, add a few drizzles of olive oil, the garlic and onions. Cook until softened. Stir in the 3 1/2 Tbsp of taco seasoning just to combine.
Lower the heat to medium low. Add in the water and ground turkey and use a potato masher to break up the turkey. Stir occasionally to coat the turkey with the seasoning. Cook through completely.
Place your meat into a bowl along with your toppings. Have some fun and assemble!
2 cups dry brown rice
1 1/2 cups water
4 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups mixed frozen peas and carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped manzanilla olives
2 tsp oregano
Boil the the rice until cooked through. Drain and return to the pot.
In a large pan, over medium heat, add the water, tomato paste and a bit of pepper (i don’t season with salt because in my opinion the olives add enough but you can certainly taste test at the end). Stir until the tomato paste has blended completely.
Stir in the peas & carrots, olives and oregano. Simmer on low for 5-6 minutes.
Stir the rice into the pan and toss to coat the rice well. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
*this is my original recipe*
We’ve just started getting into lettuce wraps–my husband is eating low carb. It’s been either Asian themes or buffalo chicken, though. So thank you for the low carb Mexican night idea! Sometimes it’s hard for me to look past the standard tortillas and come up with something different.
I know what you mean… the brain sometimes gets stuck! Def give these a try, really yummy!
Kathy Shea Mormino
Looks so good…………Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!
Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick
Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop. You have a super cute blog, I can’t wait to read more. You can find me at meandmr.com
Love your blog! It makes me want to cook more!
Thats the sweetest thing ever!!!!! Thats what I hope for… to inspire people to get in the kitchen and give things a try. Thanks so much for reading along.
Oh these sound delicious! I found you via EverythingMommyhood.com 🙂
love this recipes..looks so good..just have to make it…thank you
great lower calorie recipe with lettuce leaves replacing the tortillas. thanks for posting the home-made taco seasoning too!
like this idea have you tried lettuce wraps with Chinese stuff yummy too
Thank you so much, this sounds delicious. I’m going to pin it so I can make it. BUT, I’m also pinning it to save your recipe for taco seasoning. We have 4 grown children with families & this year for Christmas I’m doing all sorts of homemade things for them. Homemade laundry soap to get them through a year, canned goodies, etc. I’ll add the taco seasoning now! I’m going to have a look around to see if you have more seasoning recipes. And I cannot wait to make this!
Thats such a sweet idea and I am honored that my seasoning is part of it!!!
Looks really good and it looks real easy to make. My kind of recipe.
Tried this and it exceeded my expectations!
Love this! My kids love Mexican food and we have been watching carbs for years. I like that there is the healthy brown rice whole grain and the need for what would have been carb overkill for the meal in using a taco shell or tortilla is eliminated thru the lettuce wraps (my preferred way to eat anything needing a bread product – burgers, sandwiches, tacos…)
Looks so yummy. Might try this out.