With July coming to an end, it’s the perfect time to spend a day at the beach. Have the kids put on their swimsuits, grab any toys they want, pack some snacks, and we’re off for a day of fun. The day is enjoyed by all. The kids get to boogie board and jump through the waves. Even the oldest kids in the group have fun building a sand castle. The grown-ups get to divide their time between cooling off (i.e. being lifeguards) and reading on a blanket in the sun.
The ride home is fairly quiet, as the four kids are tired from all the fun. Everyone needs to take a shower when we arrive home, and everyone is hungry. After eating chips, fried dough, and assorted beach food, what is needed is a quick and healthy dinner. Something that works for most of the group is lettuce wraps, named for my oldest who is particularly fond of them, just like he is with free online games.
I introduced my kids to lettuce wraps a year or two ago and got a raised eyebrow to the suggestion. “No bread or sub rolls?” they asked. Since that time, they have begun to enjoy creating their own combinations. While one parent overseees the shower-taking process, the other easily can handle the prep work for dinner. The best suggestion I have for this meal is to offer a variety of fillings, so that everyone can find something that they like.
- 2 hearts of romaine lettuce
- 2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 8 mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 4 oz. gorgonzola cheese
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 oz. can water chestnuts
- 1/2 lb. shredded carrots
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- barbecue sauce*
- Rinse lettuce leaves and place on paper towels to dry.
- Broil or grill chicken breasts. Cool and dice into bite-sized pieces. While chicken is cooking, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Place enough olive oil in pan to coat bottom.
- Add onions and mushrooms, cooking until tender.
- Place lettuce leaves on a plate. Put chicken, mushrooms and onions, gorgonzola, cheddar, water chestnuts, carrots, and tomato each in separate bowls.
- Give each diner a plate and a lettuce leaf. Have them place their desired fillings in the center of the leaf, leaving enough room at the edges so the leaf can be folded or rolled.
- Top with barbecue sauce, if desired.
- CAUTION! These wraps can be very messy. Have lots of napkins or forks available.
- Serves 6 very hungry beach-goers.
- *You can substitute whatever sauce pleases your diners, such as hoisin or salsa.