The Triton


Crew Mess: Trade buns for lettuce


Crew Mess: by Capt. John Wampler

One of the things I find most difficult while working on yachts is maintaining a strict diet plan. We work long hours with infrequent breaks, and at the end of the day, we’re exhausted. Exercise? Pull this, lift or climb that – yacht work is a workout program in itself. But where I tend to stray off course (pun intended) is with my dietary intake.

While trying to lose weight by cutting my calorie and carbohydrate intake, cravings can be subconscious triggers.  A burger or sandwich will satisfy that craving, yet blows my whole regime.

Lettuce wraps are a great solution for staying on course. By simply substituting a lettuce leaf for a bun or bread, I save calories and carbs and can have a healthier version of my favorite meal.

For instance, the average burger contains around 53 grams of carbohydrate, nearly all of which come from the bun. By replacing the bun with lettuce, which contains less than 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving, I automatically save myself around 200 calories. I also get the added benefits of the vitamins and minerals from the lettuce. So drop the bun and wrap your head around lettuce.

Thai Lettuce Wraps (Yum Nam Sod)

Cooking spray
1 pound ground chicken (or pork)
1/2 cup thin vertical slices red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic (or substitute Sriracha chili)
2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts (lightly salted)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 head romaine or bib lettuce, separated into leaves

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Coat pan with cooking spray. Add meat to pan; cook 5 minutes or until done and crumbled.
Remove meat from skillet and set aside to cool.
Add peanuts to hot skillet and roast until they start to brown.
Mix onion slices and all remaining ingredients (including roasted peanuts) in a medium bowl.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Stir meat into onion mixture; sprinkle with peanuts.
Serve meat mixture in lettuce leaves.


Capt. John Wampler ( has worked on yachts for more than 30 years. His recipes are casual enough for anyone to prepare. Comments are welcome below.

Related Articles

Captain builds tender for users’ comfort

Captain builds tender for users’ comfort

Story and photos by Tom Serio He’s a big guy, with a big voice, and with big miles under his keel. Now he has big goals. Capt. Pedro Camargo has been plying the world’s oceans for over 36 …

Marigot has new culinary director

Marigot Bay Resort and Marina on St. Lucia has hired Daniel Echasseriau as director of Food & Beverage and Culinary Operation. Echasseriau brings more than 26 years of experience as an executive …

Latest news in the brokerage fleet: Lady Sheridan, Invader for sale

Latest news in the brokerage fleet: Lady Sheridan, Invader for sale

New in the sales fleet M/Y Lady Sheridan, a 190-foot (58m) Abeking & Rasmussen launched in 2007, listed jointly with Burgess and Merle Wood & Associates for $43.9 million. M/Y Invader, a …

Hill Robinson hires agent

Ft. Lauderdale-based Hill Robinson Yacht Management Consultants has hired Jessica O'Conor as a crew specialist to handle fleet crew requirements for the Ft. Lauderdale office. She worked aboard …

Ocean Cleanup collects first haul of plastic

Ocean Cleanup collects first haul of plastic

The Ocean Cleanup announced on its website in December the successful first harvest of captured plastic. Verified as recovered ocean plastic by DNV GL, an international classification society, the …

Electric and hybrid industry makes way into yachting

Electric and hybrid industry makes way into yachting

More than two hundred attendees listened to introductory talks during the first day of the Electric and Hybrid Marine World Expo. The conference runs three days in Ft. Lauderdale. Click here for …


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.