Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘lettuce’

On the weekends, when I have some extra time, I will often tackle a new, time-consuming or difficult dish. Last weekend I tackled P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom found a copycat recipe and recently made them for her family. So I decided to try my hand at making them vegetarian. They turned out great!

Be sure to check out the original recipe over at Heidi’s blog. I only made a few modifications.

I used fresh shiitake instead of the dried as they are so easy to find at our local Trader Joe’s. And I used a one pound container of extra-firm tofu in place of the chicken. I sliced the tofu into 8 slabs and pressed them between clean dish towels to remove the excess water. Then I cut the slabs into cubes about 1/4 – 1/2″ in size.

I did omit the oyster sauce as I have not been able to find a vegetarian oyster sauce that is also gluten free. Yes, they make vegetarian ‘oyster’ sauce – it is typically made from mushrooms – but we were unable to find one that was safe for both of us after looking at the international market, an Asian grocery and Whole Foods. If anyone knows of one that is gluten free AND vegetarian, please let me know. I am not sure there is one to be found.

So, instead of the oyster sauce, I increased both the Hoisin and soy sauce to 2 tablespoons.

Initially when I read the recipe I was concerned about the amount of oil used (5+ Tbsp) and so I started out using a lot less but found I needed to add more as I went along. I am not sure in the end whether I used less than called for or not. So, use your judgment and start with less if you want, but I think you will need to add more, just like I did.

The rice noodles were a lot of fun, like Heidi says. The key is keeping your oil the correct temperature, and Heidi’s suggested temperature is right on. Initially my oil started getting too hot and the noodles were burning before I could get them out of the pan. When I brought the temperature back down, they were perfect and even if I couldn’t get all of the little guys out of the pan on the first scoop, they didn’t burn as quickly and I had a little leeway to chase loose noodles around the oil without them burning. Also, you don’t have to make very many noodles. I broke up a bunch of noodles in preparation for frying them and I ended up with a huge plate full, of which some were burnt, but I still had way too many. So our chickens got to enjoy the extras and the overly crispy, burnt ones.

Just a note, if you are cooking for someone who requires a gluten free diet, be sure your ingredients are gluten free; in particular, the hoisin sauce, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

So, if you are gluten free and vegetarian, you can now try some Lettuce Wraps! Check out P.F.Chang’s gluten free menu – they only offer the chicken wraps gluten free, so they aren’t an option for everyone. Perhaps they don’t make them vegetarian because, like me, they can’t find a vegetarian and gluten free ‘oyster’ sauce? Hmm…

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Now there are lots of ways to make a taco salad. But it is fun to switch it up a bit based upon what you have on hand. This time we had almost everything to make a perfect taco salad; beans, peppers, roasted corn, avocado, cilantro, tomatoes.

The taco salad I grew up eating had a dressing that went with it, instead of just having salsa and sour cream on top. It was made from Thousand Island salad dressing, salsa and sugar. My mom used ground beef and crumbled up Fritos on top of the salad. You could use 1/2 pound of ground beef and one can of beans if you wanted. We use all beans. This is our version of taco salad.

Taco Salad

1 Tbsp oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 pkg taco seasoning *

2/3 cup water

2 – 15 oz cans of beans, drained and rinsed *

1/2 cup Thousand Island salad dressing

2 Tbsp salsa

2 Tbsp sugar

Lettuce

Cheese, shredded

Tomatoes, chopped

Roasted corn *

Cilantro

Avocado, diced

Salsa *

Sour cream

Corn chips, crumbled

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add onions and peppers. Saute until they are beginning to get soft. Stir in the seasoning packet and cook for 1 minute. Add in beans and water. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.

Mix together the salad dressing, salsa and sugar.

Top lettuce with warm bean mixture and shredded cheese. Add some dressing and whatever else you desire.

Notes:

* Be sure the ingredients are gluten free. I like to use a low-sodium version.

* Use any type of beans; kidney, black, pinto, etc. This time I used one can of pinto and one can of white kidney beans.

* Trader Joe’s has frozen roasted corn. I cooked up a small portion in the microwave.

* Salsa – I made Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa today and loved it. So easy. But I made it with what I had on hand. I used one 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, one 10 oz can of Rotel tomatoes with Green Chiles, a very small onion, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 sugar, 1/4 tsp cumin and a couple handfuls of cilantro. No jalapenos on hand so I didn’t add them. The green chiles in the Rotel tomatoes give it a little bit of a spicy kick.

Read Full Post »

This recipe is one that we have made many times. It is a light and refreshing dinner. Be sure to check out the original recipe, as I make this one as written.

Lentils are a powerful protein source. One cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein. Wow! They are also high in fiber and thus fill you up for fewer calories. Only 230 calories per cup of cooked lentils. Not to mention, they make a great inexpensive meal!

Whenever I have lentils cooking on the stove, my husband comments on how good dinner smells. There is something almost meaty smelling about them. For a while I thought it was the smell of the bay leaves but even when I cook them without bay leaves, he still comments when passing through the kitchen. I think we just both like the smell of lentils!

The herbes de Provence pairs well with the lentils and the cayenne pepper gives it a slight kick. We serve it over chopped romaine. And sometimes if we can’t wait, we will eat it slightly warm too. It tastes great both ways.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 134 other followers