Despite living in the most densely populated state in the US, restaurant options nearby are surprisingly limited. Within a 25 minute drive there are all the usual fast food chains, a few casual dining restaurants, and even fewer fine dining options. Therefore, one of my favorite go-to restaurants for eating out is the Cheesecake Factory. The menu is extremely extensive, the prices reasonable, and the quality always consistently good. One of my favorite menu items is the Asian Lettuce Wrap Tacos. These lettuce wraps can be found both on the appetizer and “Skinnylicious” menus, however they vary slightly. The appetizer portion is a huge platter filled with grilled chicken tenders, marinated cucumbers, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, rice vermicelli, three kinds of dipping sauce, and of course the lettuce. In contrast, the Skinnylicious version comes already assembled and perched in clever “holding” trays that make eating them a little bit easier. Last Sunday several of my intern friends and I made it over to the local Cheesecake Factory in Miami and I, of course, indulged in the lettuce wraps. Still so happy with my lunch that day, I decided to recreate this meal at home.
I then added one beaten egg to the chicken and veggies, scrambling them all together and creating slightly more texture and hold to the filling. Finally, I peeled apart several lettuce leaves, gave them a good rinse, and dolloped the mixture on top with a dose of sriracha for spicy heat. Even without chicken I believe this dish would be a reasonable meal addition to any regular dinner menu. It can help to use up leftover protein and veggies while utilizing a somewhat fun and interesting style of eating. The lettuce is much more refreshing than a tortilla and additionally provides great texture and crunch to the meal.