Sometimes Cooper surprises me. The boy hated mac & cheese until he turned five and he won’t eat mashed potatoes to save his life. But when we put these Chicken, Brown Rice & Broccoli Lettuce Cups in front of him for dinner, he ate three of them. Could be that we told him to eat them like a taco (one of his favorite foods). IDK.
The fact that Cooper likes these is great news to me, since they are loaded with lean protein, veggies, and whole grain brown rice. He didn’t even complain about the broccoli!
Funny story about Cooper. If he’s served a dinner he doesn’t like, he will let you know under no uncertain terms. “Mom, maybe you can make a better dinner tomorrow night.” I hear that phrase more often than I care to count. We encourage Cooper to eat the same foods that we’re having, unless it’s too spicy. As a result, we sometimes end up with a battle at the dinner table. Looks like I don’t have to worry about that when these lettuce cups are in the rotation. Score!
I definitely got a little inspiration from the tasty PF Chang’s appetizer for this recipe. But I added more veggies into the filling for these lettuce cups, and used butter lettuce leaves instead of iceberg. Butter lettuce is a little more flexible, the color is more vibrant, and all of the leaves are sized excellently for filling.
Since this recipe makes a decent amount, serving it as a small plate at a party works wonderfully. I’ve served lettuce cups at parties before by turning it into a “fill your own” station on the food table. People love them.
Set the dial on the Ninja Cooking System to STOVETOP HIGH. Preheat for 3 minutes.
Add the sesame oil to the cooker, and then add the ground chicken. Stir fry the chicken, using a wooden spoon or non-scratch utensil to break up the meat. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the onion, and stir fry another 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add the brown rice and chicken stock and bring to a boil, about 10 minutes. Cover the cooker and turn to STOVETOP MEDIUM. Cook for 40 minutes.
In the meantime, mix together the water, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger, garlic powder and five spice powder. Open the cooker and add in the mixed seasoning ingredients and water chestnuts. Stir to combine. Top with the chopped broccoli. Replace the lid and cook another 10 minutes.
After you've rinsed the butter lettuce leaves, gently pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. Assemble the spicy mustard sauce, if using, by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Let the sauce sit for the flavors to meld for the remainder of the cooking time.
Open the cooker and gently stir the mixture to incorporate the cooked broccoli. Turn off the cooker and transfer the chicken filling to a serving bowl.
To assemble the lettuce cups, add a heaping spoonful of the chicken mixture to the center of each lettuce leaf. Top with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce and/or spicy mustard sauce if desired. Enjoy!
I tackle life with enthusiasm and positivity, and I'm on a mission to spread the feel good factor to others. Food is often my tool of choice for making that happen. I realized that it worked for me when my cooking helped me land my husband, Rob. I'm a spontaneous entertainer and always ready for a party.