Note: The filling makes excellent leftovers for 1-2 days if stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Eventually, to serve, break off the romaine leaves (the middle-layer ones work best), rinse/dry, and stuff them with the filling. Garnish with shredded carrots, green onions, and a few seeds.
Back in the food processor, add in the walnuts, onion (chop it into a few smaller pieces first), garlic, and ginger and pulse repeatedly until you have uniform pieces about the size of the cauliflower rice. Transfer this mixture to the skillet also.
As the cauliflower cooks it become less bitter and less and will reduce in size. The flavors will start to meld, but you also need to trust your tastebuds. Dump in as much spices since you will need to find the flavors. Sesame, walnut, more soy, chili, and paprika will be needed before it’s finished.
I got the inspiration for this recipe by switching through Sam Turnbull’s new cookbook. I thought it would be fun to remix her Oh Mommy Umami Lettuce Wraps. It you don’t know Sam from her blog, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken, you may remember her from when we partnered on the Vegan Mystery Box Challenge a few Christmases ago. Her book, Fuss-Free Vegan has 101 ridiculous vegan comfort food recipes like BBQ cauliflower steaks, puff pastry wrapped lentil loaf, 24 Karat Carrot Cake and about 98 other things. You should pick this up on Amazon or your local bookstore if it still exists.
Add the seasonings! Drizzle in a whole lot of soy sauce, a few rice vinegar, a small drizzle of maple syrup, some sesame oil, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Stir to mix thoroughly and then allow to cook for at least 15 minutes over medium heat.
- 2 cups riced cauliflower
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 3+ tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp chili powder blend
- 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 hearts of romaine
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
The terrific thing about this recipe is that you can use a food processor to essentially do the prep. If you’re starting out with a head of cauliflower (you could also purchase it pre-riced in Trader Joes), first pulse that by itself in the food processor until it’s broken into little bits about the size of grains of rice. Transfer 2 cups of the into a large skillet over moderate heat to give it a head start on reducing. Also add 2 cups of cooked and drained lentils.
Lettuce wraps are amazing — they are like tacos but fitter and fitter and you don’t feel so bad about eating 14 of these at once…
Her lettuce wraps are an asian-inspired combination of walnuts and lentils with oil and lots of terrific things. But because I’m physically incapable of actually following a recipe as written (how do you think I got this job?) , I added a few extra things like cauliflower and chili powder to give it a kind of Asian-fusion vibe with the balance sesame/soy on one side and taco seasonings on the other. Spoon them into some romaine leaves and they are a super meal which takes about 15-20 minutes to make.
Source: Natural Foods