Well, I had the greatest time soaking in Yellowstone’s scenery over the last five days, but I’m glad to be home with my Cookie girl. I felt a little pang of dog-owner guilt every time I saw a wagging tail in Yellowstone. I’m trying to make it up to her with extra walks and quality time this weekend.
These fresh lettuce wraps are coming to you from Megan Gilmore’s brand new cookbook, titled Everyday Detox: 100 Easy Recipes to Remove Toxins, Promote Gut Health, and Lose Weight Naturally. Megan, also known online as The Detoxinista, is a nutritionist who actually grew up in my neighborhood! Her cookbook is full of sound nutrition advice and over 100 super simple, whole-foods focused recipes, all geared toward cleaning up your diet and improving digestion. Almost all of them are gluten free and vegetarian, and I found quite a few to dog ear.
I couldn’t resist the sound of these fresh lettuce wraps, which reminded me of the lettuce wraps I’ve eaten at P.F. Chang’s in a former life. Her wraps are vegetarian and gluten free, requiring only a few basic ingredients. She used raw pecans instead of meat, which are totally perfect after a five-minute marinade with cooked carrots, celery, onion and a savory, condensed tamari-honey sauce.
My only changes were to add some torn cilantro and red pepper flakes at the end, which are optional. I like my savory-sweet appetizers to lean toward savory and found these to be a little too sweet for my preferences, so I listed a range from half to the full of amount of honey below. I’m going to have to throw a party so I can serve these to my friends! I know they’ll be a hit.
Cuisinart 7-Cup Food Processor
Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 1.5 Qt. Covered Saucepan
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Thai-Style Lettuce Wraps
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: About 6 wraps
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Asian
These vegetarian (and easily vegan) lettuce wraps are similar to the version served at Thai restaurants, but free of harmful additives like MSG. Crunchy pecans lend a hearty, almost meat-like texture to these wraps. Butter lettuce provides the perfect base for these appetizers, but if you can’t find any, try substituting cabbage leaves carefully pulled off the smallest green cabbage you can buy. Recipe yields about 6 modest wraps, so multiply as needed for a bigger crowd or party.
- 1⁄4 cup tamari
- 1 ½ to 3 tablespoons honey, to taste
- 2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1⁄2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup raw pecan halves, briefly pulsed in a food processor
Wraps and garnishes
- 1 head butter lettuce, individual leaves carefully removed
- Garnishes: Torn cilantro leaves and red pepper flakes, optional
- Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, honey, vinegar, ginger and garlic until well blended.
- Prepare the filling: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the carrot, celery, and onion and cover with the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then cover and allow the vegetables to cook until fork-tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and increase the heat, bringing the sauce to a boil. Allow the sauce to boil until the liquid has condensed and almost evaporated (this took about 15 to 20 minutes for me), then remove from heat. Add the pulsed pecan pieces and stir well to coat. Let the mixture marinate for 5 minutes, then scoop into butter lettuce leaves and top with cilantro and red pepper flakes, if you’d like. Serve immediately.
Recipe minimally adapted from Everyday Detox: 100 Easy Recipes to Remove Toxins, Promote Gut Health, and Lose Weight Naturally by Megan Gilmore, with permission.
Make it vegan: Replace the honey with maple syrup.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use gluten-free tamari rather than another variety of soy sauce.
Make it soy free: Replace the tamari with coconut aminos.