spring chicken & bulgur lettuce wraps
I love a good lettuce wrap. Tender butter lettuce is one of my favorite parts of spring, and they make a beautiful vessel for this modern take on chicken salad. It’s bursting with hydrating fruits and vegetables like grapes and radishes which is exactly what our skin needs as we transition from winter to spring. Bright flavors of lemon and ginger add punch while almonds add satiety and texture. And how can you go wrong with creamy avocado? Chicken is a nice light protein for this salad, but feel free to sub a can of rinsed chickpeas if you’re going the plant-based route. And while we’re on the topic of substitutions, quinoa or brown rice can replace the bulgur. This tastes delicious freshly made or after a few days in the refrigerator and the flavors have melded. I recommend storing the lettuce leaves separately if not eating immediately.
chicken | protein: aids in muscle and collagen formation to keep skin looking plump | selenium: maintains skin elasticity and reduces free radical damage | vitamin B3 (niacin): supports cell function, DNA repair and collagen synthesis
radish | vitamin C: aids in collagen production to boost skin suppleness | sulfur: aids in collagen synthesis and supports hair health | silicon: supports strong connective tissue to build strong nails and hair and boost skin elasticity
grapes | resveratrol (phytochemical): slows the aging process and protects DNA | antioxidants: prevent premature aging by neutralizing free radicals
avocado | monounsaturated fat (oleic acid): reduces inflammation | fiber: regulates digestive health | vitamin E (antioxidant): prevents premature aging | folate: aids in cell repair | carotenoids: reduce inflammation and prevent premature aging
Spring Chicken and Bulgur Lettuce Wraps
1 cup bulgur
2 cups water
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic / free-range / local)
1-inch piece of unpeeled ginger, sliced into ¼- inch rounds
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
2 round lemon slices
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lemons, washed
½-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ bunch radishes (about 6), washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ cup purple or green grapes, washed and thinly sliced (I prefer organic here as grapes are part of the Dirty Dozen)
¼ cup almonds, toasted (unsalted) and chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ avocado, diced
1 head butter lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry
Prepare bulgur. Bring 2 cups of water to boil over high heat. Add bulgur. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
Poach chicken. Combine chicken, ginger, garlic, and lemon slices in pan and cover with water. Bring water to boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If breasts are thicker, you can speed up the cooking time but cutting breasts in half lengthwise Allow to cool a bit in poaching liquid and chop in small pieces.
Prepare dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, zest of 1 lemon and juice of 2 lemons, grated ginger, and pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
In a large bowl, combine bulgur with chicken, radishes, grapes, toasted almonds, parsley, and avocado. Drizzle with ⅔ of vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Divide filling among lettuce cups and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Get glowing!