A little background to today’s post: I used to work at a hardware store and lumber yard for 15 years. Yes, 15. My first job was berry picking a couple of summers when I was 13-14, then I had a summer job at Flintstones Amusement Park in Bridal Falls, BC (anyone remember THAT place?) when I was 15 and 16. I alternated between Dino the purple dinosaur and Wilma in the “stage show” and around the park, greeting (shaking off) excited children.
Then there was Lumberland in grade 11 and 12. I actually quit this job when I went to nanny in France after grade 12, determined to get a “real job” and maybe go to school when I came back. However a month before I came back to Canada I realized I really enjoyed it, contacted my previous boss and asked for my job back. So I came back, climbed the proverbial hardware store ladder and didn’t look back until after our 3rd child and an opportunity to work part time in our family business.
ANYWAY…..at some point in these 15 years my boss’ wife accidently referred to me as Bigrita instead of Brigitta. I get it – my name’s a bit of a tongue twister. This is a hardware store, remember, so my name from then on was Big Rita, or frequently Big @$$ Rita because, well, I worked with men and men think that’s funny. Big Rita has stuck to this day.
My kids’ nickname for me is Bird. Sometimes Mama Bird or Birdo. Occasionally Birdalicious. I kinda like it.
Tonight at dinner the kids decided I should write a recipe book on big batch cooking. Why? Let’s just say I don’t EVER cook for 1 meal, and they tease me constantly about big salads, big pots of soup or chili, big batches of spaghetti or Thai curry, and big batches of cookies or muffins. What’s the point? Cook once, eat 10 times, I say. So almost everything I make involves leftovers either for the next day or ideally for several freezer meals.
So, the kids started joking around about names for my book (that will never be).
Briggy’s Big Batch Cooking is obvious – my pick.
Big @$$ Rita’s Big Batch Cooking. Too long. Might offend some people.
Big @$$ Batches for Big @$$ Appetites was another. Abby suggested that one, just so you know who the potty mouth is…. ; )
Then came one that combined both my nicknames in a PG rating: Big Booty Bird’s Big Batch Cooking. Clever! Less offensive. Bit of a mouthful.
So in honour of the book that will never be I decided I will start a recipe blog series. Here’s the problem: I don’t use recipes, so everything I record will be a rough estimate that will require your own adjusting. Sorry, it’s how I roll and it works until the family says “Mom, this time it’s EXTRA good. Can you make it like this again?”
No, likely not.
Tonight’s entry into the cookbook that will never be and remains yet unnamed is Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Last time I made them with ground pork and beef, which will be posted another time.
This recipe is enough for 3-4 meals for a family of 4-5. This is about as accurate as I get in general and all this means is everyone is fed tonight, for lunches tomorrow, a meal in the freezer, and maybe another round of leftovers. See? That’s why big batch cooking.
Oh, AND I have about 4 litres of bone broth coming up in 24 hours. Y’all know the health benefits of bone broth, right?
Enough chatter. Not including roasting the chickens (which really takes no hands on time either) this was a 15-20 minute meal. That really is a winner winner chicken dinner.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
• Roast 2 chickens, set aside to cool (I cooked mine the day before)
• Carve roasted chicken, cut up all meat into bite sized pieces, place in “big” bowl – obviously.
• Shred 3 large carrots, add to chicken
• Add 1 bag bean sprouts to chicken (Tried sprouting my own. Failed. May or may not try again.)
• Slice 6 green onions, add to chicken
• Chop ½ bunch of cilantro, add to chicken
• 1/2 cup naturally brewed gluten free tamari (or use coconut aminos for soy allergies)
• 1/3 cup natural peanut butter (almond or sunflower butter if allergic to peanut butter, and my condolences because peanut butter is my fave)
• 3 tbsp honey
• 1-2 inches peeled, sliced ginger
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• 2-3 tbsp lime juice
• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
• ¼ cup water
Put all sauce ingredients in mason jar and mix with stick blender until smooth, or use a blender.
Pour sauce over chicken veggie/mixture, stir well, and serve cold or warm up in large skillet until heated through.
Serve in romaine lettuce “boats”.
*Disclaimer: please season to taste – remember, these are my closest estimates for the recipe I made tonight.