Do you see all that green? All that color? I made that!!
And umm, I am just now realizing that these wraps have ZERO cheese. Seriously, who am I? What have I become?
A person obsessed with color and mangos (and pineapple…and now passionfruit too. YIKES, maybe I have a fruit issue?) and basically all Thai food… but I have a feeling you guys have realized all this by now. Hey, it is spring though, and all these colors are totally spring approved. PLUS, I woke up to a good few inches of fresh snow this morning. Basically all that fresh snow just makes me CRAVE fresh foods even more.
You’d think the snow would make me crave soup or something, but I have now hit the point where I have had a glimpse of nice, warmer weather and I NEED it back! Like, winter I am so over you, and summer, ok spring, I am so ready for you!
Better yet, I am so ready for Florida. Florida is way better than a snowy Colorado spring.
You know? Sometimes I wonder if I live in the wrong place. I pretty much love the heat and never get it. Starting to think that my dad and his idea of packing up and heading to south beach for a couple of months out of the year sounds pretty good. He may be going slightly crazier with every year that passes, but I have got to say, that is a semi brilliant idea. Maybe someday…
OK, sorry enough Florida dreaming here. Clearly I am pretty excited for my mini vacay to Florida for Easter with the fam to start. The closer it gets the better it sounds!
These wraps though. Let’s talk about these meatball lettuce wraps with jungle mango salad. They’re basically like a salad, but so much more fun! I can’t remember the last time I made a REAL salad. I have made many, many salad-like things, but not a salad with actual lettuce. Lettuce just tends to make me board. I get the feeling you can understand that though. Butter lettuce is my exception though, it’s one of my favorites…probably because it’s called butter. Duh.
Anyway, these wraps are so flavorful and also so quick and easy to whip up!!
The mango salad and that sauce are to die for, but when paired with the simple Vietnamese meatballs? Mmmm! That’s so cheesy, but it’s true. Sometimes cheesy is just what’s needed when explaining food. It’s the only way to get the point across. Well, aside from an obsessive amount of words all spelled out in caps with plenty of exclamation marks (another favorite of mine)!
These wraps are the perfect healthy anytime food. Fun enough for the weekend (happening in t-minus one day – depending on when you are reading this from), but easy enough for a busy weeknight. They take about thirty minutes start to finish, but please don’t hold me to that, everyone cooks at their own pace. Some of you may need twenty minutes, some an hour, but they took me about thirty minutes to prepare…subtracting all that time for photos of course.
Oh, and they are gluten free for any gluten free readers out there! Nice!
And now we can all go eat one too many lettuce wraps, because hey, it’s only lettuce, and you can never have too much of that!
Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salad + Cilantro-Basil Cashew Sauce.
- 1 mango peeled and julienned (sliced into thin strips)
- 1 carrots cut into small matchsticks
- 1 cucumber cut into small matchsticks
- 1 red onion sliced thin (optional)
- 1 red fresno chile pepper chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/ 2 cup roasted peanuts or cashews chopped
Green Cashew Sauce
- 1 pound ground pork sausage or links and casing removed
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce check for gluten free labels if needed
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce check for gluten free labels if needed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1/2 cup sweet thai chili sauce for dipping
In a bowl, combine the mangos, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, red fresno pepper and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Toss well. Store in the fridge until ready to serv. Toss in the nuts just before serving.
Green Cashew Sauce
Add the cilantro, basil, cashews, coconut milk lime juice, thai red curry paste and sweet thai chile sauce to a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust as needed, adding more sweet thai chile sauce if desired. Can be store in the fridge for 1 week.
Season the pork with salt and pepper and then roll into 20-30 tablespoon size meatballs, place each meatball on a tray as you work. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and honey.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the meatballs until cooked through, about 5 minutes, turning them 2-3 times throughout cooking. During the last minute or so of cooking, add the sauce and give the meatballs a good toss through the sauce. Cook another minute longer you until the sauce glazes the meatballs. Remove from the heat.
To serve, double up your lettuce leafs and divide the meatballs among the leaves. Top with mango salad and the cashew sauce. Eat!
Well, you can (the boring kind), but you can’t have too many of these wraps. These wraps are flavor bombs of freshness!