Slow Carb Friendly Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling

One of the main challenges with a Slow or Low Carb diet is having the right food prepared and handy,especially if you work in an office with not too many diet-friendly options for take away nearby.  For that reason, I’m always on the lookout for meals that “pack well” for lunches.

I discovered this recipe a few years ago when doing the South Beach Diet.  I normally modify all my recipes just a bit, but this recipe posted at Kalyn’s Kitchen who first adapted from is pretty darn good as is.   I highly recommend Kalyn’s website for Slow or Low Carb ideas.  I’ve cooked quite a few of her dishes, and they’ve always been killer.

As I’ve mentioned before, I like strong flavors and a lot of garlic so all I really do differently is up the garlic and/or shallot factor.  I like things spicy so sometimes I’ll add some extra chilli sauce or sambal.  Sometimes I’ll add extra peanuts for more crunch as well.  And, of course, I use macadamia nut oil instead of other oils.  This recipe works well if you want to portion out a few servings for lunches.

Note: this recipe also works with ground chicken or pork so just use whatever you have on hand.

Slow Carb Friendly Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling


  • Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling
  • (Makes 4-6 servings, recipe adapted from  Kalyn’s Kitchen who first adapted from California Sol Food.
  • 1 Tbs macadamia nut oil (or slightly more, depending on the pan you have)
  • 3 T minced red onion or shallots
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T grated ginger root
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 4 Tbs wheat-freeTamari
  • 1 Tbs Chile Garlic Sauce (or slightly more if you like spicy foods)
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (about 1/2 large bunch)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 large head or 2 small heads Boston Lettuce or butter lettuce (or iceberg lettuce in a pinch.  I’ve even used cabbage which has a nice crunch)


  1. Chop onion and set aside. Peel ginger root, then grate with the large side of a cheese grater, and chop garlic if using fresh garlic. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add onion and saute about 2 minutes, then add garlic and ginger root and saute about one minute more.
  2. Add ground turkey to frying pan (with a bit more oil if needed) and break apart and spread out with turner, then add soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and fish sauce. Cook until the turkey is brown and crumbling apart, and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  3. While turkey cooks, wash and chop fresh cilantro to make 1 cup. Remove the core end from lettuce, separate leaves, and wash in salad spinner and spin dry (or wash under running water and dry with paper towels.) Chop peanuts and put in small bowl to serve at the table.
  4. When turkey is done, add chopped cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more. Serve filling and lettuce leaves in separate bowls, with chopped peanuts in another small bowl.
  5. If I’m planning on using this for work lunches, I’ll just mix all the little bowls together and portion out into lunch containers.

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