As the heat of summer intensifies, so does our desire to eat light. It seems to be written in our DNA. When the thermometer takes a sharp turn upward, heavy foods that tend to weigh us down become less desirable.

Suddenly, a simple salad, with a little protein thrown in for good measure, can hit the mark, while that same salad in midwinter would not be enough to stave off hunger on a cold, snowy night.

In the summer we still want something crave-worthy, though, and these light but satisfying Honey Garlic Beef Lettuce Wraps fit the bill perfectly.

Lettuce wraps could be boring, but there is no reason for them to be, especially with this recipe. The cool, crunchy lettuce plays beautifully with all the ingredients tucked inside. In this case, the lettuce leaf is so much better than a bun or even a tortilla wrapper, which might dull the flavor of the fillings. With flavor this good, you don’t want anything to get in the way.

Flank steak, sliced thin and sautéed quickly in a hot skillet, is coated in a sticky, sweet, salty, spicy, completely addictive glaze made with honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Don’t let the ingredient list fool you. Honey and garlic may seem like a strange pairing, but they give the glaze enough complexity to make it interesting.

The intensely flavored beef, along with soft rice, brightly flavored herbs, green onions and thin slivers of hot chiles, make for a memorable lettuce wrap and the perfect summer meal. This is one you can get to the table quickly, enjoy thoroughly, and still have enough time and energy to enjoy an after-dinner stroll on a warm night.


Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at Follow her on Twitter ­at @meredithdeeds.