These Low Carb and Whole30 Thai Lettuce Wraps are made with ground beef and served with Coconut Cauliflower Rice and topped with cashews and avocados for a full meal that completely fits the Whole30 template. They’re budget-friendly, kid-friendly, paleo & gluten free, plus super fast, so it’s basically just the best weeknight dinner ever!
I’m in the thick of the KATT phase of Whole30, ugh. KATT means Kill All The Things, so basically I’m just a big crank. It’s because my blood sugar is dysregulated, my cravings aren’t being met, and my digestive system is going a little berserk. So yea, I’m cranky. When you get to this point (it predictably happens right around Day 4-5), it’s a good idea to remind yourself of exactly why you started your Whole30. I’ll briefly share my personal why, and why I consistently do rounds of Whole30 about once or twice a year. First though, I’ll share this recipe for Whole30 Thai Lettuce Wraps and Coconut Cauliflower Rice – made with grass-fed beef (I got this beef from ButcherBox).. because I’m sure what you’re most interested in is the food. My story is just beneath it, so just scroll down a bit to get to it.
Flavor Party: Whole30 Thai Lettuce Wraps
These Whole30 Thai Lettuce Wraps are really good, you guys. I’ve been making them about once a month for years, and I get so excited every time I do. With just the right amount of heat and a burst of flavor from the Yai’s Thai Chili Garlic Sauce (it’s Whole30 Approved), it totally shakes things up and fends off food boredom – my biggest struggle during rounds of Whole30. If you’ve got little kids or don’t like things spicy, just portion out a bit of beef before you mix in the chili garlic sauce, or leave it off completely and drizzle as much or as little as desired right on top of the wraps. Then just top the lettuce wraps with your favorites – avocado, tomato slices, cilantro, whatever you like! I promise, this will be in your regular rotation, too.
I honestly can’t wait for you to try the Coconut Cauliflower Rice I make for these lettuce wraps! It’s really tasty – I make it for my Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers, too!
Why I Whole30:
Pretty much as far back as I can remember, I’ve lived with moderate to severe joint pain. My knees, my back, my hands, pretty much everywhere all over my body ached… all the time. I saw a few specialists about it as a kid, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. So I lived with it. Over time, pain just sort of became normal for me. I took ibuprofen every day and slept with a heating pad every night. I developed pretty severe rosacea too, and it got so bad that it crept into my eyes. My dermatologist recommended regular laser treatments plus prescription creams and steroid eye drops to help manage the discomfort. It wasn’t fun, but it was just another thing I learned to live with. I carried tiny bottles of eye drops — in my purse, car, coat pockets, everywhere, because it was torture to be caught without them for more than an hour.
Flash forward to 2014 and my first round of Whole30. I didn’t even consider the fact that it could improve my symptoms.. at that point, I was used to my routine, and I was mainly doing Whole30 just to try to lose some baby weight. Within days though, I noticed that it really helped my symptoms. I was 25 and for the first time I could remember, my hands didn’t hurt. My eyes didn’t itch and ache. I felt comfortable. And what a feeling comfort is when you’re not used to it.
It turns out, the pain and inflammation were caused mainly by my diet. Since then, I’ve figured out which foods trigger inflammation and pain most (mainly dairy and alcohol) and I try to avoid them as much as possible, but I can tolerate pretty much anything in limited quantities. I treat myself often to the things I love when it feels worth it, but occasionally my habits still get out of whack… especially after holidays and big life changes (hello, moves, new jobs, two more pregnancies + life with three kids!). When I notice I’m edging back to feeling crummier than I want to, I hunker down, eliminating everything that makes me feel bad for the full 30 days. It balances my habits out, reduces cravings, and reminds me what it feels like to feel good. Nowadays, I don’t sweat it if I SWYPO a little or accidentally take a bite of something non-compliant.. for me, it’s mainly about getting back in touch with my body and refocusing my mind on health. And what’s really cool? I always learn something new. Every time. So that’s #WhyIWhole30. Why do you?
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If you make these ground beef Whole30 Thai Lettuce Wraps, I would absolutely LOVE to know! Let me know what you think of them in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom!
Thai Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps with Coconut Cauliflower Rice
A simple & delicious dinner bursting with flavor! Paleo, Whole30, Low Carb!
Thai Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps
- 1 lb ground beef or sub ground turkey or chicken
- 1 head butter or bibb lettuce
- 2 cups cauliflower rice I use store-bought frozen
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 lime sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1.5 tsp chili garlic sauce (I used Yai’s Thai) or sub hot sauce with a dash of fish sauce
- 1/2 cup sliced green onion
- salt and pepper to taste
Coconut Cauliflower Rice
- 1 head cauliflower or 1 bag frozen riced cauliflower
- 3/4 cup dried coconut flakes unsweetened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp lime zest
Prepare the Sauce
Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Whisk them together with the sesame oil, coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, chili sauce, and seasonings.
Prepare the Beef
In a large pan over medium heat, brown the meat until it's no longer pink, breaking it apart as it cooks. Drain any excess grease (optional).
Pour the prepared sauce over the beef and cook it together, stirring, for about 2-3 minutes.
Slice the green onions. Just before it's done cooking, stir them into the beef. **I like them just gently softened, but if you prefer them cooked more, add when you add the sauce and cook them together.
Prepare the Cauliflower Rice
IF USING FRESH CAULIFLOWER: Wash the cauliflower and cut into bite-sized pieces. In batches, add them to your food processor or blender and pulse until they break down to the consistency of rice. Lay the cauliflower on a large tea towel and squeeze out any extra moisture over the sink or a bowl.
IF USING FROZEN RICED CAULIFLOWER: Sauté it for 7-8 minutes in a medium pan with 2 tsp olive oil, until cooked through and heated but not yet browning.
Add the coconut flakes alone to the blender and pulse until broken down a bit smaller than grain-sized.
Add the coconut and cauliflower to a pan and sautee over medium heat until the coconut begins to toast, 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the salt, zest, and lime juice.
Assemble the Wraps & Serve
Wash and dry the lettuce. Slice the lime and avocado. Roughly chop the cashews.
Spoon the beef and cauliflower rice inside lettuce wraps and serve with avocado, a slice of lime, and cilantro, then sprinkle with chopped cashews.