Turkey or Beef – Which Is Better? Asian Lettuce Wraps

Did you know that I have a Facebook page? I post a lot of fitness, workout and nutrition tips on there. I’m also on Twitter, but I’m sorry I usually have too much to say and can’t fit it into 140 characters. Who does that?! I also use Instagram quite a bit but mainly for food pics and What I Eat Wednesday stuff.

I realized that a lot of you just come here to grab recipes and read various ramblings, but you may be missing out on the fun stuff going on over on Facebook. Yeah, I’m calling it “fun stuff.” So I decided to work in some of the info I post there in addition to the recipes and food antics here. Of course, I’d love to introduce you to the great group of people on my page so feel free to join in there as well. I love getting opinions and perspectives from others.

When I look over food logs from people who have been trying to improve their eating, I see a lot of ground turkey listed. It’s a great substitute for ground beef and burgers, but which is really the better choice? Make sure when you are comparing food options that you’re really comparing apples to apples to make your decision. You can’t just assume one is better than another without all the details.

We’ve all heard beef is pretty much ground bits of the devil, LOL. That’s not necessarily true. Compare 93/7 ground turkey to full fat ground beef, and the turkey would probably win. It’s high in protein, lower in fat, tastes similar. Compare ground light/dark meat turkey to lean ground sirloin, and the winner is different. Some ground turkey is much much higher in fat than lean ground beef. Look at the labels when comparing and then make your choice.

The turkey burgers you get in restaurants are not the lean variety unless they specifically state that detail on the menu or in the nutritional info. They want you to come back so they use the juicy, delicious version to keep your tummy happy while your brain thinks you’ve made a healthy choice. It’s OK to choose either as long as you know the choice you’re making and not falling for the illusion of it.

I love the lettuce wraps that you can get as an appetizer and they really aren’t hard to make at home. They’re also pretty versatile. You can have them as a lettuce wrap, as a salad topping, in a wrap, make an Asian burrito. You can also use beef, turkey, chicken, or pork as the protein. Play with it and have fun with your dinner.

Asian Lettuce Wraps Asian Lettuce Wraps

  • 16 oz lean ground beef (93/7)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic OR 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic from a jar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds, optional
  • Lettuce, cucumbers, onions, cilantro, optional toppings

Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the beef and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, breaking up the chunks, until there is no pink left. Stir in the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, and red pepper. Cook another minute or so and remove from heat.

Drizzle on the sesame oil and toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish if desired. Makes 4 servings at approximately 189 calories – 23g protein, 4g carbs, and 9g fat for the beef filling.

Since I sometimes usually have kitchen ADD, I get excited with my chopping. I started making the beef before I decided on the lettuce wrap idea. I got carried away and had already chopped my lettuce into small pieces. Yep, no wrapping possible at that point. No worries, and the salad idea was created. I filled a bowl with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions then topped it with the beef, cilantro and sesame seeds.

I use fish sauce a lot in my Asian recipes so I highly recommend it even though it sounds weird. It comes in small bottles so you won’t have a lifetime supply. You can use it in an Asian Steak Bowl, a Spicy Thai Tofu Salad, and more. Just do a quick search in the box for fish sauce and you’ll get a bunch. 🙂

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