Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vegan Chinese Lettuce Wrap

                           
Vegan Chinese lettuce wrap

The Chinese restaurant chain, PF Chang,  offers a lettuce wrap appetizer on its menu that is gluten free and vegetarian/vegan. I've tasted it, and I liked it, so when my friend Paula told me she had a good recipe for a lettuce wrap, I wanted to try making it.

I used small brown lentils for the protein, but it's the fresh ginger and garlic that really make this recipe rock! It not only tastes great, it's easy to make, nutritious, cuts down on carbohydrates by wrapping the lentil salad in lettuce, and adds some healthy greens to your menu.  Perfect for part of a vegetarian/vegan dinner or a starter for any type of dinner. Of course the recipe is gluten free.

Isn't is wonderful how ethnic recipes call for the use of fresh herbs and spices?   Fresh herbs and spices not only provide fabulous flavor, but they also reward you with vital heath benefits.

Did you know ? 
Herbs have some medicinal properties and are known to help boost  immunity and fight germs and toxins. Herbs are little powerhouses of nutrients and antioxidants that boost the value of your meals. 

Never used Fresh Ginger ?  Although a piece of fresh ginger root looks very odd, don't let it intimidate you. Just break off a piece the size you want in the produce isle and bring it home. It's easy to peel and use.

To peel: Take the back of a spoon and then just scrape the amount of ginger you want to use. The skin will scrape right off. Then cut the peeled part off the root and dice it or leave it on the root and grate it. Either way, it's easy.

Immune Builder: Fresh ginger is  fragrant, delicious and very nutritious, so if you like it, use it as much as you can. In addition once peeled, fresh ginger can be frozen for future use. A piece of fresh ginger usually will stay in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks .

 For this recipe you will need about a half of a finger's worth of that odd shaped root.

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons of organic gluten free Tamari Sauce or  ( GF soy sauce)
1 teaspoon of raw honey
2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 Teaspoons of organic tapioca starch or organic corn starch
2 cups of cooked brown lentils, drained ( do not over cook)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 Tablespoon of fresh garlic, chopped or pressed
1/4 teaspoon or more or less according to your tolerance of red pepper flakes
3-4  Tablespoons of finely chopped green onion
1/2 tsp of freshly cracked pepper
1 Tablespoon of 21 Salute ( salt free seasoning that I get at Trader Joe's) or use Mrs. Dash
3 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro , chopped for garnish
20 cup shaped lettuce leaves ( Bibb, Boston, etc) washed and dried

Preparation:
1. In a small bowl combine the organic soy sauce, honey,apple cider vinegar, and starch.Stir until everything is dissolved.
2. Add the mixture to the drained lentils, adding the remaining  spices and stir well . Allow lentils to marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes.Set aside.
3. In a skillet, add the olive oil and when  the olive oil is really hot, quickly add the grated fresh ginger and garlic for about 40 seconds stirring constantly. Add lentil mixture to the skillet and stir with a wooden spoon until well heated. Remove lentils and add a spoonful of filling to each lettuce cup .
Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.


Paula saw this recipe in a newspaper called the Inquirer ( Philadelphia) which credited a cookbook called Quick and Easy Chinese- I adapted the recipe to make it gluten free and vegan.

Do you have a recipe for vegan lettuce wraps?

Pin ItPlease leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.

lentils in a pot cooking
cook lentils according to package, drain and set aside ( do not overcook) 


lentils with a measuring cup
Measure 2 and half cups of cooked lentils 


garlic, ginger, scallions, apple cider vinegar and Tamari sauce
Organic gluten FreeTamari Sauce ( similar to soy sauce)


Marinate lentils 

Lentils removed from skillet after tossing quickly  with garlic, fresh ginger, and scallions


Lentil mixture eaten in a lettuce leaf ( I used organic Romaine) 


These were spicy and delicious! Yum 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and the information on this blog is for educational purposes only. If you need medical advice  check with your doctor . And check with your doctor before adding any herb or food to your diet.

may be shared on a few of the following blog carnivals

Will be shared on this week's Super Sunday  and Plant Based Potluck Party

SouperSundaysShare the Food & Fun at the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up #8

12 comments:

  1. Finally a vegetarian lettuce wrap that rivals the meat-filled version! These delicious Asian style vegetarian lettuce wraps are great party appetizers or even great paired with vegetable fried rice. Very tasty and healthy :)

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  2. I love lentils never thought of subsitituting them in this traditional lettuce wrap. Brillliant idea so glad you brought it by foodie friday,

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  3. Diane,
    The lentils seem to work great.It was actually a friend's idea and it worked! Hope your'll let me know if you try them.

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  4. I am a big fan of lettuce wraps of any sort and always get the vegan ones at Chang's. I love your use of the lentils in these--a smart idea and they make the wraps even more satisfying. Thanks for sharing them at Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

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  5. I'm no vegetarian, but these look great.

    Thanks for sharing your post with Seasonal Sundays.

    - Alma, The Tablescaper

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  6. I do like using apple cider vinegar. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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  7. These sound yummy, i love a good wrap! Thanks for sharing at the Happiness is Homemade Link Party, hope to see you back on Sunday!

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  8. Looks very tasty! Thanks for sharing at Happiness is Homemade :)

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  9. Hi Judee,
    I fell in love with this lentil recipe as soon as I spied ginger, cilantro and green onions! What a heavenly lettuce wrap you have created. It could easily become my favorite finger food to make and eat!

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  10. I wouldn't have guessed that PF Chang's has a vegan & gluten-free menu item! Good to know.
    I think I'd just prefer to make your version though :)
    Fresh ginger always makes everything taste so good! I look forward to trying this for lunch - sounds delicious.
    Thanks so much for sharing at Healthy Vegan Fridays!

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  11. I am not a vegetarian but I think this recipe looks interesting. I like to substitute beans for meat occasionally. Pretty interesting how intelligent your body is internally- this page really spoke to me- (https://www.drlam.com/blog/microbiome-gut-flora/23823/)

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Thank you for your comment - I love the feedback and interaction