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These refreshing Hawaiian Meatball Lettuce Wraps with a Spicy Coconut Milk Dressing are super easy to whip up and have the tastes of the tropics- the perfect meal for a warm summer night!
Ahh…. can you feel it? The warm sun, the hot and humid air, and the lazy much more relaxed state of being. Yup, summer may not “officially” be here for another month, but for me, I’m in summer mode already!
Like many of you, I love summer! Like if there was a stronger word than LOVE I would be using it, because, the summer time is simply so magical! We spend our summer months seeking adventures big and small with road trips, baseball games, outdoor movies and concerts, camping trips and backyard BBQ’s with friends.
But despite all the fun summer brings, it also brings with it the steamy weather. Yup, Texas weather is legendary and sometimes gets a bad rap. Since I have lived here most of my life, I have heard it all… “Oh you can feel that Texas humidity as soon as you step off the plane.” or “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait five minutes.” and the constant complaints about the hot and humid weather from visitors and native Texans alike.
But as much as I love the summer months, I LOVE living in Texas, as it has been my home for most of my life! And yes, it can sometimes be hot and humid, but that doesn’t stop us from getting outside to enjoy this wonderful state and our favorite time of year! In fact, the weather the past few weeks has been absolutely gorgeous and we have been spending as much time as we can outside. From enjoying our morning coffee on the porch, to evening walks, to “unplugging” from the world by enjoying dinner, the evening sunset and good conversation in the backyard; and hosting backyard BBQs for friends… yup, summer is our jam.
To help beat the heat, and to allow us the free time to enjoy all those summer activities, I look for light, refreshing and easy summer dinners. Salads, sandwiches, wraps and grilled meats with fresh fruit and vegetables, are the types of meals that sustain us during the hot summer months. Not only are they normally “lighter” meals, they are super quick to put together. In the summer if I can cook dinner in under 20 minutes… well, that truly is the golden ticket to more fun!
As I have been planning my dinner menus, these types of meals have filled the calendar over and over again. In fact, when making my weekly grocery run at my local H-E-B, I have even taken advantage of a few already prepared products, like Aidells® all natural meatballs and lunch meat (including Aidells® Chicken & Apple Lunch Meat and Aidells® Teriyaki & Pineapple Meatballs), to help get dinner done. Not only does Aidells® convenient products help get dinner on the table faster, so that we can enjoy more summer activities, they are gluten free, have no nitrites or MSG, and no artificial ingredients; which makes them a unique and flavorful addition to any meal!
Inspired by the juicy and flavorful Aidells® Teriyaki & Pineapple Meatballs that I picked up at H-E-B, I created these Hawaiian Meatball Lettuce Wraps! Lettuce wraps are a great summertime food, as they are light, refreshing and quick to prepare; and this Hawaiian version even tastes like summer! With fresh grilled pineapple, mandarin oranges and a spicy coconut dressing, these Hawaiian Meatball Lettuce Wraps will be the meal of the summer and have you escaping to the tropics!
What are your favorite meals to prepare in the summer months?
Hawaiian Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Coconut Milk Dressing
by Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4
Light and refreshing lettuce wraps with meatballs, fresh fruit and a spicy coconut dressing.
Meatball Lettuce Wraps:
1 small pineapple, cut into spears
2 (12-ounce) packages Aidells® Teriyaki & Pineapple Chicken Meatballs
1 (15-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 green onions, diced
¼ cup chow mein noodles or chopped macadamia nuts
1 head butter lettuce, washed and dried
Spicy Coconut Milk Dressing:
1-2 limes, juiced and zested
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
½ cup coconut milk
½ tablespoon sugar or honey
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
To make lettuce wraps: Preheat an indoor pan or outdoor grill to medium high heat and lightly oil grill grate. Grill pineapple spears for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until heated through and grill marks appear. Set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, dice pineapple spears into bite sized pieces and set aside for lettuce wraps.
Meanwhile, cook meatballs according to package directions; cooking until heated through.
To make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and zest, rice wine vinegar, coconut milk, sugar and crushed red pepper flakes.
Assemble the lettuce wraps by topping each leaf of lettuce with 2-3 cooked meatballs and then desired amount of grilled pineapple, mandarin oranges, green onions, chow mein noodles (or macadamia nuts, if using) and a drizzle of Spicy Coconut Milk Dressing.
Before heading to your local H-E-B to get everything to make this recipe, be sure to visit the H-E-B website and grab a coupon for Aidells® products. Simply visit the H-E-B website and search for Aidells® in the coupon box. For more information about Aidells® products visit their website here, and be sure to check out all these other delicious recipes! (Find Aidells® products in the packaged meat/deli department, where other specialty meats are found!)