Almonds have all sorts of health benefits that you’re welcome to research yourselves.  Go ahead.  I know you’re internet savvy and S.M.R.T.  You can’t fool me. Things like blanched almonds and home-made almond milk bring measurable benefits to your diet.

‘Evs.  I’m sure it’s all very exciting.

I’ve spent the last several days “feeling very Olympic” (see Cool Runnings, 1988-ish – Jim says the movie came out in 96-ish) and celebrating the arrival of the 2010 Olympics with my very excited husband.  That I’m blogging at all is a tribute to my “don’t cry over spilled milk” miss (ironic?).

Tonight we visited the Downtown Vancouver Live Site (not the Yaletown Live Site, Della – only one serves beer – which one do you think we were at?).  It was very cool to see Alexander Bilodeau collect his well-deserved gold medal.  Then we visted the Quebec pavilion (someone should have mentioned that a roof-less pavilion in rainy Vancouver maybe not such a good idea) and then Saskatchewan (can anyone say “quonset”?).  It was fun to wander around.  Feeling v. Canadian today.

Okay, back to almonds.  I’m going to give you a recipe for Lettuce Wrap.  A whole huge number of people are allergic to peanuts but not any other nut. I personally believe (based on no science whatsoever) that the endemic mould in peanuts (due to factory farming and all sorts of other reasons) is the true allergen; not peanuts per se.  Nonetheless, I’ve developed a lettuce-wrap recipe that uses almonds, not peanuts.  And it’s really damned good, if I do say so myself.

Chicken Almond Lettuce Wrap

Okay, I admit those are peanuts, but honestly, this recipe is even better with almonds.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, chopped into peanut-sized pieces
1 C raw almonds, chopped in food processor into small pieces but not into almond “butter” (see picture above for piece sizes)
1 medium sweet onion, small dice
3 or 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 tsp each sesame & canola oil
1 each red & yelllow pepper, chopped into peanut-sized pieces
1 bunch of cilantro (leaves) torn off and roughly chopped
1 head of lettuce (the nutritionally bankrupt kind)

juice of 1 large lime
1 T rice vinegar
several T spicy chili soybean (sorry, you have to get this in an Asian supermarket)
1 heaping T hot garlic chili sauce (clear jar; green lid)
1 blurp of soy sauce (approx 2 tsp)
1 heaping T black bean sauce
1 tsp sugar

Hoisin sauce

  1. Mix together sauce ingredients.
  2. Sauté chicken and garlic in oils in nonstick pan until browned.
  3. Add almonds & sauté again until toasted.
  4. Add onions and carrots and cook slightly (about 2 minutes)
  5. Add peppers and cook slightly.
  6. Add sauce & cook down.
  7. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  8. Serve by smearing lettuce with Hoisin sauce. Add 1 heaping teaspoonful of chicken then wrap like a taco.

xx Eva