Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why do we Cook? Five Spice Turkey Wraps

Five-Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps Recipe     Why do we cook?  What is the goal behind our cooking? Do we even have one?  Are we eating merely for survival?  Do we eat for entertainment, do we pay attention to the nutrition and quality of our food?  Sadly I fear that for most people dinner is a chore instead of way to enjoy and reflect on the days activities.  I know we are all busy, I know that we all have lots of responsibilities and sometimes one more thing to do just seems like way too much to handle.  Sometimes it seems like to really relax we do need to add that one last chore so we can have those nice relaxing evenings that we all look for at the end of the day.  If we can just find a half hour we can have a meal that our families will love and that we can be proud of.  I will admit that I was very spoiled growing up, as I have mentioned before I always had family dinner at the end of the day, and I can not even begin to express how much that means to me.

     We all have different circumstances and family situations, but whatever it may be, why not gather your loved ones around the table to a nice meal, even if it ends up being you and your dog, which is what it is most nights at my place.  Lets make meals something to look forward to.  I know I am neurotic on some things, but I always eat at my dining table, nicely set and with the TV off.  It gives me a chance to reflect and unwind after the day, plus it also helps me to really be aware of what I am eating, and really enjoy what I have created.

     Cooking for others really is a labor of love, it shows that you want to create your best for them. There are so many healthy beautiful meals that we can make.  I am very passionate about family dinners, I believe it can make a huge difference for people.  With a little planning it is very attainable, also there are so many websites out there with recipes that anyone can make regardless of the skill level.  Also we are all trying to save money due to the recession, and I can guarantee that you will save money cooking at home with a little planning.  Here is one of my favorite recipes that I fix frequently, it makes a great weeknight meal.

5 Spice Turkey Wraps


1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large red or orange bell pepper, finely diced
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce,
1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder,
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, (I use cilantro, lemongrass, and basil)
1 clove minced garlic


Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt and other spices; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

3.To serve, spoon portions of the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves, top with herbs and and roll into wraps.

If desired serve with brown rice.

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