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Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps (and a middle finger to cancer)

January 27, 2012

So, it’s relatively new news that my Grandpa has developed pancreatic cancer. My father died from cancer, and between my husband and I, many of our other family members have cancer too. It sucks.

Normally I like to keep my posts more on the light-hearted side, but with this news, I want to get serious with you, because I care about you. I’ll even go so far as to say that I love ya. Besides, if you read and visit my blog regularly, that should just go without saying.

The reason for the “healthier” posts here on The Devil Wears Parsley these days is a direct result of my experiences with cancer so far.

[Chicken Nuggets!?!?]

Our food supply is sprayed with pesticides, genetically modified, pumped full of antibiotics, and processed to the point of un-recognizability. Constantly ingesting these chemicals by way of inorganic produce, fast food, pre-packaged “health” dinners, and inorganic factory-farmed meats (that are often the most economical) is dangerous. I don’t have any solid proof for you(yet!) that these things really do cause cancer, but it seems like plain ‘ol common sense to me.

*UPDATE: The Agrichemical Business Goes on Trial. “Methyl iodide is one of a family of chemicals that researchers view as well-known cancer hazards.” This pesticide is used in strawberry and tomato farming. Here’s the start of the “proof” I didn’t have at the time of posting.

Just as a smoker has a higher likelihood of developing lung cancer from smoking, I think it’s safe to say that ingesting any un-natural “stuff” will increase the likelihood of developing any type of cancer.

Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s 2011 Guide to Pesticides in Produce

We’ve got to get smarter. We need to start altering our habits if we want to decrease these chances. Start by buying organic and pesticide free. Start by cooking more meals at home, avoiding all the super processed crap out there. It’s okay if you can’t afford to do this with everything; just start with one thing and build from there. Spending a little more at the grocery store now (or better yet, your local farmer’s market!), will be made up with reduced medical & prescription bills in the future. The healthier we become, the less time we spend at the doctor, and can potentially decrease our prescription medications!

These Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps will get you started in the right direction. They are loaded with veggies, and don’t contain any refined starches, therefore are full of fantastic, useful nutrients to fuel your body. Try to find one or all organic veggies to incorporate into this dish, and be proud that you’re one step closer to better health. In my case, I’ll be one step closer to a thinner waistline too! It’s a win-win!

Also, from June 27 – July 4, 2012, join Dine & Dish and Cookin’ Canuck for the California Avocado 4th of July Blast, sponsored by the California Avocado Commission. They’d love for you to share any avocado recipes you’ve got, with the chance to win some pretty awesome prizes! Additionally, avocados are classified as part of the clean 15 foods that are the lowest in pesticide use according to the Environmental Working Group(EWG). Here are the rules for entering the contest!

Shadows Fall - Fallout From The War
While you’re making these fantastic wraps, bang your head to Shadows Fall, whose lead singer, Brian Fair is a vegetarian and passionately against factory farming. I’m particularly fond of their remake of Dangerous Toys’ Teasin’ Pleasin’ off the album Fallout From the War. Good stuff.

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps
By Natalie Wiser-Orozco
Published: January 27, 2012
Lettuce wraps that will cure those intense Thai food cravings while staying healthy!


(Get organic wherever possible!!)
2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Leeks, white & light green parts sliced
1 Cup Carrots, finely diced
1 Pound Ground Turkey
1 Tablespoon Thai Red Curry Paste
¼ Cup Water
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
2 Cups Cucumber, diced
2 Cups Alfalfa Sprouts
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
2 California Avocados, sliced
12 Romaine Lettuce Leaves


Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the leeks and carrots, and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium high, and add in the ground turkey, cooking until browned. Combine the curry paste and water in a separate bowl, and mix until well combined. Incorporate well into the turkey mixture, and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scoop meat mixture evenly into the lettuce leaves, and top with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, and sprouts. To boost your veggie intake even further, take out half of the turkey, and double the carrots and leeks!

Prep time: 7 min
Cook time: 17 min
Total time: 32 min
Yield: 4 servings

Serving size: ~3 filled lettuce cups
Calories per serving: 320
Fat per serving: 14.5g
Saturated Fat per serving: 1.9g
Cholesterol per serving: 69.8mg
Sodium per serving: 415.9mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 20.1g
Fiber per serving: 8.9g
Sugars per serving: 6.3g
Protein per serving: 32.5g

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps Printable Recipe


  1. Vanessa
    January 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Fuck cancer! My Dad died of cancer. When my neighbor Boris was dying of cancer we would spend time together. He wanted to make shirts that said “Fuck Pediatric Cancer” in kids sizes. We would laugh everytime we talked about it.

    The lettuce wraps look awesome! I’ll have to try them. I did black bean and barley ones a few weeks ago, quite tasty. Love the lettuce wraps.

    Hang in there! Fuck cancer!

  2. Cookin' Canuck
    July 1, 2012 at 7:37 am

    You’re absolutely right – there’s simply no way around the fact that cancer sucks! I’m sorry to hear about your grandpa!

    These turkey wraps look like something I could easily eat for lunch or dinner everyday. They’re so fresh and healthy!

    I’d love for you to share this recipe (and any of your other favorite avocado recipes) in the avocado link-up/giveaway that I’m hosting with Kristen of Dine & Dish right now.http://bit.ly/NKF4rk

    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      July 1, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Thanks for your kind words, Dara, and thanks for the heads up on the link-up and giveaway!! I look forward to browsing all of the recipes that get added! YUM!


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