Look at these bad boys; they’re healthy, protein-packed, simple, and only 20 minutes to make from start-to-finish.
It all starts with fresh romaine leaves, chopped in half – if they’re as big as these ones – with the crunchy ends removed, as seen below.
I was skeptical of “lettuce wraps” for the longest time, but then a funny thing happened… I tried one. Oh my God, why was I so harsh on this humble green? Lettuce is far cheaper, easier to come by, lighter, less fussy to deal with, and healthier than any tortilla out there.
Then, our healthy, fatty friend the avocado, along with some lime juice, chopped onion & garlic, and a touch of salt are mashed together to form the glue of these filling munchies.
The “meat” of these handheld wraps of joy is tempeh, which is steamed and then pan fried in olive oil, ginger powder, and a pinch of salt until golden brown.
If you’ve never had tempeh, you can expect a texture that is firm, slightly chewy, and lightly moist – as long as it’s steamed before it’s fried. Its taste is settle & nutty, with the capability to absorb any flavor it’s cooked with.
Made by fermenting cooked soybeans at 85-90° F for up to 48 hours, tempeh contains Rhizopus mold that grows throughout the mixture, eating all of the harmful lectins normally found in soybeans (making it safe to eat), while simultaneously converting loose legumes into a dense cake.
Black spots on your tempeh are a sign that it’s been properly fermented, as that’s visual proof of the edible mold.
Once the tempeh’s been wrapped up in lettuce, it’s time to stick a toothpick in ’em, share some with your friends, and dig in.
“Tempeh in a blanket, anyone?!”
If there’s a dish you’ve always wanted to see veganized, submit it here, and we’ll head to the lab, break out the test tubes, and whip out our culinary gadgets, so that in a couple of weeks there’ll be a recipe dedicated all to you.
All the best,
Ryan & Kim
Romaine lettuce leaves house ginger seared tempeh and fresh guacamole in a crunchy blanket. Perfect for parties or an easy lunch.
- 16 oz tempeh, cut into 12 equal sized chunks
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
- heavy pinch of salt
- 1 ripe hass avocado
- 1/3 c finely diced onion
- 2 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced (about 1 tbsp)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 large romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half with crunchy ends removed
- To a large sauté pan over high heat, add tempeh chunks and enough water to come 1/2 way up the sides of the tempeh. Bring to a boil and cook until all water has evaporated, flipping tempeh pieces 3 minutes in.
- While the tempeh boils, in a medium bowl, smash together avocado, salt, and lime juice until creamy, leaving a few small chunks of avocado remaining. Stir in onion and garlic. Set aside.
- Once the water has evaporated, turn heat down to medium and add 2 tbsp of olive oil, a heavy pinch of salt, and ginger to the pan with the tempeh. Stir until well combined, then let sit – undisturbed – until brown on bottom side, about 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and flip tempeh pieces. Cook on opposite side until browned, another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- To assemble, place a small scoop of guacamole – a little less than a tablespoon – in the middle of a lettuce leaf, followed by a piece of tempeh, and finally another very small amount of guacamole on top of that (reference photos in post).
- Roll by pulling the long side of the lettuce in towards the tempeh, then, rolling from the top of the lettuce downward, beginning with the soft side of the leaf and ending with the crunchy side of the leaf on the bottom. Pierce with a toothpick to hold it together.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 until every slider is wrapped up. Enjoy while fresh.