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That's a Wrap!

Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer was kind enough to share two scrumptious recipes–one for Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and one for Frozen Hot Chocolate–from her recent cookbook, Slim and Scrumptious. Can you say Yum?!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

“My kids jump at the chance to order chicken lettuce wraps from restaurant menus, so I was thrilled when I perfected this scrumptious version that I can make at home for less. It has all the punch of the original but with a lot fewer calories, less fat and sodium, and still a hearty dose of protein. Loaded with vegetables and chicken and spiced with ginger, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, it’s sure to please kids and adults alike. When I discovered how a manual food chopper made quick work of chopping all the veggies, I was amazed — and a true convert to this handy kitchen device.  (Carefully pulsing the ingredients in a food processor works equally well.)  Be sure you use soft, pliable butterhead lettuce, such as Boston or Bibb, for the lettuce cups.  I promise, everyone will have fun scooping the chicken mixture into the lettuce and eating this out of hand — it makes for a perfect kid-friendly meal!” ~Joy Bauer

4 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely diced

3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

2 tablespoons grated or finely minced fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground chicken (at least 90% lean)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup bottled Chinese plum sauce

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon hot chili paste, such as sriracha (or to taste)

¼ cup unsalted roasted cashews, chopped

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish (optional)

1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce

1.     Liberally coat a large skillet with oil spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat.

2.     Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, water chestnuts, scallions, ginger, and garlic.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until veggies soften slightly, about 5 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water at a time as necessary to prevent scorching.

3.     Reapply oil spray if necessary, and add the ground chicken to the skillet.  Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, breaking the meat into a fine crumble with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  Season with the salt and pepper.

4.     Add the plum sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste and stir to coat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until heated through.

5.     Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the cashews and cilantro.  Allow mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

6.     Clean the lettuce and break off 12 individual leaves (trim away stem end of leaves if they are tough).  Fill each lettuce cup with roughly ½ cup of the chicken mixture.  Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Serves 4.  Serving Size: 3 lettuce wraps

Nutrition Information

Calories – 298

Protein – 27 g

Total Fat – 9 g

Saturated Fat – 2 g

Cholesterol – 80 mg

Sodium – 610 mg

Carbohydrate – 34 g

Fiber – 5 g

Frozen Hot Chocolate

“Serendipity is a stylish ice cream parlor on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that has been in business for decades and is known for its over-the-top Frozen Hot Chocolate. By my own calculation, each overflowing glass of Serendipity’s “fro-ho” packs in 925 calories, 48 grams of fat, and 100 grams of sugar.  (Clearly I was slurping this up before making a career in nutrition!)  I was determined that this cookbook should include a slimmed-down version of this NYC classic…and here it is!  This sweet, frothy treat will satisfy your chocolate cravings for only 150 calories and with virtually no fat.  Don’t forget to try the variations, as they’re equally indulgent (the peppermint version tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream!).” ~Joy Bauer

½ cup chocolate syrup

1 cup nonfat evaporated milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups ice cubes

Reduced-fat whipped topping or dark chocolate shavings (for garnish; optional)

1.     Combine the chocolate syrup, evaporated milk, vanilla, and ice in a blender and blend until completely smooth.

2.     Pour into glasses, and garnish with a dollop of whipped topping or a sprinkling of chocolate shavings if desired.


Mexican Hot Chocolate: Add ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Substitute ¼ teaspoon mint extract for the vanilla extract.

Serves 4.  Serving Size: 1 generous cup

Nutrition Information

Calories – 150

Protein – 5 g

Total Fat – 0 g

Saturated Fat – 0 g

Cholesterol – 3 mg

Sodium – 85 mg

Carbohydrate – 32 g

Fiber – 0 g

Source: Slim & Scrumptious: More Than 75 Delicious, Healthy Meals Your Family Will Love by Joy Bauer.

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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