Some days I have no idea what to do for dinner. I glanced at my menu plan for the week and sighed at the chicken, squash, and onions that was listed. I was not excited. Chicken breast is not one of my favorite things unless I marinate it, and of course, I had forgotten to marinate it the night before. (Really, who has time to do that most nights?) I was all set to just dump some spices on it and bake it in the oven, when I decided to cut it into nuggets and throw it in the wok. Why not?
My husband had just walked in the door and I had no idea what I was making for dinner. It was starting to feel like a quickfire challenge from the Food Network. I cut 4 small yellow summer squash and diced an onion and threw them in my cast iron skillet. Then I turned, back to the chicken and just started throwing stuff in the wok. Then, it hit me- sauces make everything better!
I love Thai food, and the peanut sauce is one of my absolute favorite things about Pad Thai. I've been experimenting with a similar sauce using almond butter and decided to build on that. Y'all. It was so good! I think I finally figured out the right combination of ingredients and I was ecstatic. (Later, I was flipping through Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed cookbook to menu plan for the following week, and realized my sauce was almost exactly the same as her Sunshine Sauce. Heh. Nothing really is original!)
I realized my plate was about to be really brown with the chicken and veggies, so the meal evolved into lettuce cups! Sold! And done in 20 minutes!
Lettuce Cups with Almond Butter Sauce
What Do I Need?
For the Chicken:
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 TBSP Oil (I used Grapeseed Oil)
- 4TBSP coconut milk (I use the Organic Thai Kitchen Canned Coconut Milk)
- 1 orange
- 3 large spoonfuls garlic, minced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Green Leaf or Romaine Lettuce
For the Sauce
- 1 cup Almond Butter (You could most likely substitute any nut butter here, but read the label and make sure there's no added sugar!)
- 2 spoonfuls garlic, minced
- 4 TBSP coconut aminos (If you're not doing a Whole30, and don't have problems with soy then you can substitute soy sauce)
- 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
- 3 TBSP Lime Juice
- 1 TBSP ginger, powdered
- Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
- Salt & Pepper
What do I do?
- Heat oil in the wok or skillet on medium. When it's hot, add in cubed chicken.
- Add coconut milk, garlic, and dust lightly with salt.
- Cut the orange into wedges, and squeeze half the orange into the pan on the chicken.
- While the chicken continues to cook, start the sauce. In a small saucepan on medium low heat, add the almond butter, garlic, coconut aminos, coconut milk, and lime juice.
- Continue to stir the sauce. (If it get's too hot or starts to bubble too much, turn the heat to low to keep it from burning on the bottom.)
- Check the chicken. When the first side is done, stir to flip to the other side. Squeeze the rest of the orange, and sprinkle more salt.
- Stir the sauce again, and add the salt, pepper, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Stir again and then taste the sauce. You may want to adjust the amount of salt or red pepper depending on your personal preference. You can also add more coconut aminos or lime juice if you'd like a stronger flavor.
- Once the chicken is done, get out your lettuce leafs. Add a couple of spoonfuls of chicken, a spoonful or two of the almond butter sauce, and try not to make a mess!