Southwestern Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I ate a sandwich, apple and yogurt for lunch every day when I was in grad school. It was easy, cheap, and made grocery shopping quick. I never even got sick of it, surprisingly enough. There's something comforting about a food routine, I think. Or maybe I'm just crazy. Have you ever eaten the same thing for breakfast or lunch for months on end? Or years?

These days, I'm usually packing leftovers for lunch. There are some advantages to having a finicky eater spouse, and one is that he usually doesn't fight me for leftovers. (Of course, few people would dare fight with me for food anyway.) This is one of my favorites as a leftover/lunch meal. It keeps well for a few days, fills me up and isn't heavy, which is good because greasy food at lunch makes me want to nap during the afternoon at work. Even more than usual. The sour cream with lime and cilantro is my favorite part, but the chicken/bean/rice mixture is great on its own and has a nice mix of flavors and textures. To be completely honest, I only eat this in a lettuce wrap about half the time. The other half of the time I stir in torn romaine and some tortilla chips and eat it with a fork like a salad. Eating it this way means it's much less likely that I end up with a lapful of chicken and beans when my piece of lettuce inevitably breaks. Either way, it's great, light, refreshing and fast to prepare. Definitely a winner in my book. 

Southwestern Chicken Lettuce Wraps


1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3/4 cup fresh salsa
1/3 cup chopped green onion (about 3)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
12 iceberg lettuce leaves
Spicy Chipotle Dipping Sauce (See below)


1. Place rice in a large bowl. Stir in chicken and next three ingredients. Spoon chicken mixture evenly in center of lettuce leaves. Fold in edges of leaves, roll up and secure with wooden picks. Serve with Spicy Chipotle Dipping Sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

Spicy Chipotle Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 T chopped cilantro
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Yield: 3/4 cup

Recipe Source: adapted from Cooking Light's Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals

4 Click For Comments:

Ha, I ate rasin bran for breakfast for YEARS. I guess people are just creatures of habit sometimes. This looks like a good lunch.

yummmm! these look so awesome! I can't wiat to try!

This looks delicious! I'm making the sauce tonight with our rice & bean burritos. Awesome blog Nicole!

Thanks, guys!

Melissa, I hope you enjoyed the sauce!

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