IMG_1954Good news for those of you who like to change and tweak recipes. This is one of those dishes where you should absolutely toss in whatever you like. Be creative and throw caution to the wind. Substitute away. The only caveat to that concerns the peanut sauce. I wouldn’t change a thing. Please don’t change a thing. I feel kind of protective about this sauce because it’s amazing and it’s what makes these wraps taste so amazing. Half the sauce goes into your filling mixture and the other half is used as a topping. (If you have any sauce leftover, try it on other things. You’ll be astounded what it does to a plain bowl of quinoa.)

This dish can be adapted for many different diets besides vegan. If you’re cooking for someone who follows the Paleo diet or is counting their carbs, add chopped chicken and omit the rice and/or noodles. Gluten-free? Just make sure your hoisin sauce is gluten-free and use gluten-free Tamari instead of soy sauce. Your ingredient list is limitless, but everything should be chopped well or julienned so the wraps will roll up easily. I found a bag of rainbow slaw at my local grocery store that had broccoli and cauliflower in matchstick form, which to me is a huge time-saver and a great way to add more nutrition. If that’s not available, a good substitution would be a bag of cabbage slaw. You can use any type of lettuce for the wraps, but Bibb lettuce is a bit softer with a rounder leaf and it’s easier to roll up than some of the other lettuce varieties. IMG_1944

I listed the filling ingredients the way I make it, but everything is optional. Other good substitutions would be sweet onions, garlic, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, and zucchini. This is an incredibly fresh, healthy dish, perfect for a summer party appetizer or a light dinner.

Lettuce Wraps

Peanut Sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 8 oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 6 thinly sliced green onions (about ⅔ cup)
  • Half a 12-oz bag of rainbow slaw (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cabbage)
  • 8-oz can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
  • 2-oz thin rice noodles, cooked and chopped, or 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 8 Bibb lettuce leaves (one large head)
  • peanuts (for topping)

  1. To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallot, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add ⅔ cup water and next 3 ingredients (through red pepper), and stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice.
  2. To prepare filling, spread crumbled tofu in a single layer on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 20 minutes, pressing down occasionally.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon sesame oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan and add another tablespoon of sesame oil. Add green onions; sauté 1 minute. Add tofu; sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rainbow slaw and sauté for 3 minutes, until just slightly wilted. Put the mushrooms back in. Add the water chestnuts, soy sauce, ginger and Sriracha; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in rice or noodles and half the peanut sauce. Mix well.
  4. Spoon mixture into each lettuce leaf. Top with peanuts. Serve with the other half of the sauce. These are good with the filling warmed, room temperature or chilled.