Lovin’ my quinoa-lettuce wraps!

Quinoa swaddled in lettuce – who knew?

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First I want to say that I’m pleasantly disappointed with quinoa’s flavor, meaning that, like tofu, it has none. With all the health hype (that should’ve given me a clue: healthy usually registers a low number on the flavor scale), I’d been excited about tasting quinoa and it truly had nothing outstanding to recommend it but its coarse texture. But that matters not to me! I’ve got a pantry and refrigerator full of seasonings and veggies to doctor up any bland tastes that come my way.

So, the first thing I did with my cooked red quinoa was to season it with garlic powder, pepper, and a bit of Salt Sense. That seemed to wake up some flavor a bit. I definitely liked it – I ate three small bowls full. 🙂 But I still needed to try something else new.

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Red quinoa mixed with spinach and seasonings before I doctored it up with jalapeno and salsa for the wrap.

Enter lettuce wraps.

I mean, I don’t know where I’ve been. There’s only about a zillion recipes out there for lettuce wraps and this is my first time trying them. They’re definitely a better option for me to get used to. As a 25-plus year vegetarian, I’m sure I’ve had most veggies, fruits, beans, grains and dairy-free products out there on the market. But I’m always looking for new combinations because I get bored easily. So, I decided to doctor my quinoa mixture even more – with jalapeno peppers and salsa – and wrap it with lettuce.

At first I tried to wrap the quinoa mixture with iceberg lettuce. I’d just watched a youtube video showing how to core the lettuce and then run tap water over the head of lettuce to loosen the leaves. Well, it didn’t work out so well for me. He got rid of the core by smashing the head of lettuce against the counter. When I tried that, my whole head of lettuce fell apart – core still intact. 🙂 And when I tried to roll some of the iceberg leaves, they were so crisp, they cracked – spilling the quinoa filling. I’m definitely going to try this again but for now …

Plan B: Romaine lettuce

Now romaine lettuce is more pliable. I cut out the spine (is that what it’s called?) and 20170809_100814had two halves, which rolled up nicely. If, like me, you have yet to try lettuce wraps, give them a try. The filling options are endless; you can literally wrap anything you’d make a sandwich out of, and many things you might not think of. And health-wise, they’re definitely a nutrition-friendly low-carb choice.

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I did get one iceberg leaf to roll right, and it tasted delicious! But it looks so pale in comparison to the rich green of romaine.

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