Chicken Update + Breakfast Lettuce Wraps

Do you know what this is?

Factory farm food! From this slightly controversial, rather brazen blog, “Say hello to mechanically separated chicken. It’s what all fast-food chicken is made [of] – things like chicken nuggets and patties. Also, the processed frozen chicken in the stores is made from it.

Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve — bones, eyes, guts, and all. [I]t comes out looking like this.

There’s more: because it’s crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.

But, hey, at least it tastes good, right?

I don’t think I would have put it any other way. Those chicken nuggets, or any fast food, may seem inexpensive now, but you are going to be paying much more – in terms of both money and health – later on in life if you keep eating fake, ridiculously over-processed food. This is why I always want to know where my food comes from or how it is made, and why I focus on eating whole, REAL, foods!

Luckily you can still enjoy chicken, and food in general, in its true form in a number of ways. Not only do I love chicken, but I love leftovers! I never get bored with them, and they make things so much easier in cooking because half the work is already done. One of my strategies is to cook several meals or ingredients during the weekend so I have things pre-prepped for a busier week: chopped veggies go in the freezer, chicken or turkey baked or cooked to add to salads for work, or maybe a big pot of soup to use up the rest of the previous week’s produce. On the rare occasion I do tire of something, I freeze it in individual portions so in a few weeks I can have a home-cooked meal in a fraction of the time. It saves me from resorting to take-out or the drive-thru. My last recipe gave me an ample amount of leftovers, which I turned into the most delicious lettuce wrap of all time. I want to eat it for breakfast every day!

I simply took a large cabbage leaf, put mashed sweet potatoes on the bottom, and then layered a few slices of the balsamic chicken, some dreamy oven-roasted caramelized onions, roasted cauliflower, and then broccoli sprouts for the final flourish. Game-changer. Day-maker. Scrumptious. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But I really like starting out my day with this:

I also really like another lettuce cup with cauliflower, avocado, tomato, and basil with lemon juice and olive oil.

typical weekend scene

Oh and the onions! I put these on EVERYTHING. Seriously.

obsession

You can put any number of things into a lettuce cup or nori and call it a meal: leftover meat, smoked salmon, roasted veggies, your favorite sandwich filling, raw carrots and cucumbers with sunflower seed spread…what else?! Let’s brainstorm people.

Other ideas:

Roasted Pepper & Arugula Wraps from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, plus great tips for wonderful gluten-free wraps that don’t crack!

Nori Rolls from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

Turkey & Sprout Nori Wrap + Tarragon Mustard from Affairs of Living. Dining “al desko” – I love it!

Thai Chicken Wraps from Elana’s Pantry

Really though, I want to hear your ideas. I’m thinking something with beans & legumes (oh hummus, how I miss you here in Japan) would be grand, and maybe something a little spicy too?

Until I come up with a new favorite, I’ll be going to bed dreaming of these:

Now if someone would make these for me and serve it as breakfast in bed, that would be total bliss.

Part of Allergy-Free VIntage Cookery’s Lunchbox Love #18!