Paleo Picadillo Lettuce Wraps

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I can’t think of any food that screams childhood more than Sloppy Joe’s–okay maybe, Macaroni and Cheese, or better yet, both of these together! But my favorite adult version of sloppy joes is the Latin style Picadillo, which is typically served as filling for tacos or on a sandwich in Latin cultures. But who needs tacos or bread when you can wrap it in lettuce?!  This is a great meal to make in a pinch and will only take you about 30 minutes, fifteen of which you can leave this delicious medley of flavors sitting on the stove to simmer. Picadillo is generally made with ground beef but I opted for ground turkey since my local store always stocks the organic version.

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Picadillo Lettuce Wraps (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Diffculty-Easy, Serves 4)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/4 lbs free-range organic ground turkey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz organic tomato paste
  • 1/3 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c chopped pimiento-stuffed olives, plus 2 Tbsp olive juice
  • 2 heads organic romaine hearts organic iceberg
  • Sliced avocado, for garnish (optional)

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, cumin, chili powder and allspice; toast 1 to 2 minutes to bring out the flavors and fragrance of the spices. Add the turkey, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Cook about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat.

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Add the tomato paste and stir until brick red, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 cups water, the dried cranberries, olives and olive juice. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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Serve turkey mixture over rinsed and dried leaves of romaine or iceberg lettuce. Garnish with sliced avocado, if desired.

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