A major hurdle in my pledge to go low-carb and sugar-free has been "what do I eat instead of bread?" I read on a forum a suggestion of using lettuce to wrap filling rather than using a processed, grain-based item. Lettuce is not something that makes its way into my trolley very often. The only time I buy any is when I'm planning to make tacos. I know it's meant to be 'good for me' so I figured it was as good of an excuse as any to try and incorporate it into my diet.
I set about making a satay chicken filling that was sweetened with coconut products instead of sugar. Try to avoid prebought basting sauces because their sugar content is often through the roof. The types of vegetables you end up using in the satay is obviously up to you. Broccoli is popular in satay stir-fries, as are green beans. I used celery and red capsicum.
I've seen recipes were you make the sauce, fry the chicken up naked and add the sauce and vegetables afterwards. I'm sure that works just fine but what I did was marinate the chicken in the sauce the night beforehand. Either way could work for this recipe.
Satay Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4 (for light meals)
- 2 x chicken breasts, diced
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 1/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy would be nice but I used smooth)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 small can (165ml) coconut cream
- 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 red capsicum, chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut water (you can use regular water, stock or coconut milk)
- head of baby lettuce, leaves separated
- fresh lime (to serve; optional)
1. Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, coconut cream, chili flakes and shredded coconut. If marinating the chicken, add it now, cover and leave it for a couple of hours or overnight.
2. Heat some oil in a frypan (if you have coconut oil, use that; otherwise, olive oil is fine). Cook the onion until just golden and set aside.
5. Add the onion and sauce. Reduce the heat to medium and pop on a lid.
6. When the vegetables and chicken are cooked, check the sauce. It's likely to be a bit dry by now so add the coconut water (or regular water, stock or coconut milk) until you get the right consistency. Remember, for the purpose of wrapping, you don't want the satay to be too saucy but if you want to eat as is, a bit of sauce is delicious.
This was a really simple satay sauce that didn't require any sugar. The coconut products provided the necessary sweetness and what's great is coconut works perfectly in satays. The recipe is very flexible and easy to follow. I like to keep the ratio of vegetables quite high. I love celery here because it's hollow and seems to soak up the sauce.
I ate a portion of the satay in lettuce wraps. Whilst it may not be the most conventional style of eating satay, I thought the freshness of the lettuce worked well with the creamy satay. The rest of my satay chicken has been frozen for future meals.