Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.
Michael Pollan, Food Inc.
The Raw Fusion Lifestyle aims for about 50% of your food being raw, which is a worthy way to combat inflammation and make sure that you get the maximum nutrients and enzymes from your daily food intake. Other Raw Fusion tenets include a) having at least two significant servings (1-2 cups) of greens per day; b) better food combining to avoid allergic reactions and inflammatory response; and c) meal prep should be manageable and practical so that this way of eating has staying power, which is the secret to a lifestyle vs. being on a diet.
Lettuce wraps make the ideal Raw Fusion Meal. Whenever I am able to order them in a restaurant, they are my go-to meal, and also make them often at home for the whole family. The more greens you get in and the less starch you consume (bread, rice) the better you will feel and managing your weight should be effortless.
NOTE; Any leftovers you have from dinner or eating out can be used as your base in a lettuce wrap.
The secret to making lettuce wraps wonderfully appealing is to have a fantastic dipping sauce! See some recommendations below.
WATCH ME MAKE A LETTUCE WRAP DINNER PLATE FOR EHOW.COM
Whether you bring your lettuce wraps ready made to the office with you or keep a bag of romaine leaves in the fridge at work, here is an easy, breezy way to make these healthy and delectable dishes as a lunch or dinner time staple.
PREP: Spend about an hour or so getting the components ready Sunday night and you should have plenty on hand for lunch all week long.
EQUIPMENT: Plastic bags for storing the leafy greens. Several glass or BPA-free plastic covered containers for storing the various components.
FIRST COMPONENT: Wrapper – Buy a bag of romaine leaves, a head of white or red cabbage, or green leaf lettuce, or my favorite, a container of hydroponic butter leaf lettuce. Collard leaves also make great wraps. Just cut along the spine on both sides and you have two wraps!You can separate the greens as needed or as part of your prep work, separate, wash, pat dry and store in baggies.
SECOND COMPONENT: Base Fill – Something sticky to place at the bottom. This can be anything from mashed avocado (add a little lemon juice to keep fresh and enhance flavor) Nut Pate (mix soaked and drained seeds or nuts with water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and olive oil) to traditional cold salads like tuna, chicken, egg, shrimp. Cooked beans are also good – you can buy the refried variety, but I prefer to let mine simmer with fresh garlic, herbs, bay leaf and jalapenos, until very soft and mash them with a fork.
You can also use freshly steamed or leftover grains, like quinoa, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, rice noodles but you are add a lot of extra starch, so use sparingly and not when using animal protein.
THIRD COMPONENT: Veggie filler. I like to shred a bunch of my favorite veggies, like red cabbage, jicama, carrot and beets in the food processor and keep them in a covered glass container in the fridge so I always have some appetizing veggies for wraps and salads. Chop up 3-4 different veggies, like peppers (hot and sweet) radishes, sprouts, These will give you a nice blast of nutrients and help fill you up so that you don’t overfill with the “sticky” component.
Raw Fusion Style: Have a few lightly steamed or tempered fillers like snow pea pods or broccoli florets on hand. Even roasted veggies for a variety of tastes and temperatures to make the lettuce wraps more appealing.
FOURTH COMPONENT: Dipping Sauce. Be versatile and creative with these and you will become an avid fan of the Lettuce Lunchables. There are so many varieties of dressings/dipping sauces that you can make, from Vinaigrettes to Asian-Inspired to Creamy & Rich — the secret to a sensational lettuce wrap is in the dipping sauce. Try some of my recommendations and play around in the kitchen to invent some of your own.
Mango Vinaigrette: Blend chopped fresh mango (or defrosted frozen mango chunks) with a TB. of olive oil, teaspoon of mustard powder, dash of apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Mmmmm!