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Tofu 'Satay' Thai Lettuce Cups with Spicy Peanut Sauce

An easy, fresh lunch or dinner that satisfies that craving for something a little out of the ordinary. When I am feeling in a rut with my food choices I like to change up the way I eat salads - and these lettuce cups totally do the trick. By simply shifting lettuce from a "thing in a bowl" to a crispy vehicle for peanut-y tofu-y cashew-y goodness can make all the difference.

The recipe is inspired by my friend (and house mate) Mimi who totally does not give herself enough credit in the kitchen - shes a genius and she inspires so many of my dishes. She said the basis for this recipe was conceived on a whim while rolling through the isles of Trader Joe's - and if you ask me, it is a total masterpiece. When she first made it for us one night I couldn't help but eat more than my share - lol - sorry, Mimi. 

And....I hate to brag but by no exaggeration this peanut sauce is the best around. The recipe actually makes a much larger batch than you might wish to use here but I have a feeling you will be wanting more - it's great over any fresh salad, tofu dish, or even spread onto bread as the beginnings of the best Thai-influenced sandwich. Not to mention, it's made with PB2 powder which has 80% less fat than peanut butter so you can eat A LOT without feeling weighed down.

Okay, enough talk, scroll on down and make this recipe for yourself. Let me know how you like it in the comments! 


Serves: 2 • Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 6 minutes


 

For the Lettuce Cups/Filling

  • 1-2 heads of bib or butter lettuce (romaine will also work great)
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, sliced in .5" cubes
  • 1/2 red fresh onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, chopped
  • handful mint or cilantro (optional)

Satay Thai Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup PB2 powder
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce of choice (I use Sriracha)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or other sweetener
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup water, depending on desired thickness
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Mix together your satay sauce in a small bowl or mason jar (the amount is way too much for this recipe but, I am betting you'll want more)

2. Prep your veggies by washing the lettuce cups and delicately separating the leaves, dicing the onion and red pepper and mincing the fresh herbs. 

3. Sautee your cubed tofu in a dry shallow pan, allowing it to slightly brown each side (this takes about 1-2 minutes per side). Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

4. Once the tofu is slightly cool, add it to a bowl and pour in about 1/2 cup of the peanut sauce. Give it a stir till well combined and then add in your fresh herbs, cashews, red onion and pepper. 

5. Spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups and enjoy with extra peanut sauce on the side!

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

 

 

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Thai Style Green Wrap Recipe & Tutorial

"YES, YES, YES!" I am literally straight out of the Herbal Essences commercial right now!

Collard wraps are my new favorite thing, well, I mean, not new, I first experienced them a few years ago at Kye's in Santa Monica. Kye's catered an event I attended and I could not get enough of their awesome concept - a guilt-less, gluten-less, just-as-tasty burrito?! I remember thinking to myself that I would probably never make one myself because it seemed like a pain in the ass to get a leaf act like a tortilla but let me tell you now - IT'S SO EASY and I am so excited to share the method with you! It takes *maybe* 3 more minutes than using a conventional tortilla and I can genuinely say I like collards better - they are more pliable, the filling is less likely to fall out and I can eat my weight in them and not feel like crap afterwards. 

The ingredients for traditional flour tortillas often look like this "Enriched Flour Bleached(Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, interesterified soybean oil, glycerin, hydrogenated soybean oil. contains less than 2% of: corn syrup solids, baking powder (sodium aluminum phosphate, baking soda), salt, monoglycerides, potassium sorbate and calcium propionate (preservatives), fumaric acid, enzymes." They usually come in at about 120 calories per wrap and contain up to 350mg of sodium and get 30% of their calories from processed fats. 

Collard greens on the other hand are pillars of health - they supply the body with protein, fiber, calcium and iron and rack in at a whopping 11 calories a leaf meaning, more burritos for you!!!!

I've now tried a whole slew of different fillings in these wraps (because I'm obsessed)  and it's always best to have some kind of grain or filling protein (like beans, quinoa or rice, bulking ingredients (like raw and cooked veggies) and some kind of healthy fat (tahini, avocado, cashews, etc.)- heres a few ideas:

  • roasted sweet potato
  • black beans
  • quinoa
  • corn salsa
  • cilantro
  • avocado

 

  • white rice
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • sprouts
  • ginger
  • nori

 

  • brown rice
  • butternut squash
  • white beans
  • nutritional yeast
  • tahini drizzle

 

But my favorite has to be the Thai style wrap I share with you below...mostly because of the sauce (recipe included). 

I have perfected my thai-peanut sauce in the past few months and have been eating it on everything. I have been waiting for the perfect time to share it on the blog and this is it! It's spicy, peanut-y, creamy - it uses no oil and is pretty damn good for you! 

Scroll on down to check out the ingredients used in this recipe and then keep reading  for detailed instructions on how to roll the perfect collard wrap - no matter what fillings you choose! Great creative and report back!


Serves: 2 (2 wraps per-person) • Prep Time: 10 minutes • Assembly Time: 5 minutes


  • 4 large collard green leaves, steamed in the process described below
  • 2 servings of extra firm tofu, dry seared in a pan with salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded green or purple cabbage 
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 -1/2 of a large hot house cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp of finely chopped raw cashews *trust me*
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Thai basil, minced

Low-Fat Thai Peanut Sauce

(makes more than enough, but trust me, you want this much)

  • 1/3 cup PB2 powder
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1/2 the juice of a lime
  • 1-2 tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • enough water to give you your preferred consistency (I use about 2-3 tbsp.)

All you have to do to make this sauce is chuck all the ingredients in a mason jar - throw on the lid and shake away!


MAKE A COLLARD WRAP/BURRITO: STEP-BY-STEP

Firstly, you'll need to get the largest, freshest collard greens you can find. I always have luck at farmers markets and in my experience bundles of 6-8 collard greens can be found in the organic section of most large grocery stores. Inspect the collards for tears and holes - those should be avoided if possible. Rinse them well.

If you won't be making your wraps right away, I like to stick the stems of my collards in a bit of water just as you would a bouquet of flowers and store them on the counter - this helps to to keep them super fresh. Plus, it makes your kitchen look pretty. 

When you are ready to assemble your wraps start by heating a bit of water (2-3 tbsp) in a large, shallow pan that has a lid. 

Grab a leaf and a sharp knife. Flip the leaf so that the underside or stem side is facing up. With your knife, gently shave down the woody part of the stem so that the whole leaf becomes more pliable. Trim the bottom of the stem off.

Place your leaves into the pan and cover with the lid for no more than 45 seconds - blanching the leaf gently - you are doing this to increase the flexibility of the stem, not to wilt the greens. A good way to tell if it's done is to look under the lid - the collard should get brighter, if it begins to darken, you've gone too far. You can add one leaf at a time or do them all at once, it doesn't effect the cook time much!

When ready, carefully remove the collards from the pan, separate them and allow them to cool throughly on the counter. 

To wrap, begin by placing your collard leaf, under-side/stem-side facing up on a plate so that it lays flat. Add your filling into the center of the leaf *length wise* (from stem to tip of the leaf) leaving at least 2" on either side. Don't be afraid to pack these pretty full with sauces and tons of stuff- I actually find collard leaves to be more durable than regular flour tortillas when it comes to stuffing and wrapping!

Now comes the actual wrapping - if you've ever watched the masters at Chipotle, you're golden. The only trick with a collard is making sure you have the correct orientation of the leaf, so listen up! Fold the lengths of the collard leaf into the center- essentially touching the bottom of stem to the tip of the leaf over your filling as seen in the second image above.

Then pull the sides closest to you over your filling and roll upwards making sure to tuck all of your ingredients - end with the seam side facing down on the plate.

Your collard wrap should now look like the first image above - the outside of the leaf facing up so you have a nice clean surface. HOW GOOD DOES THAT LOOK?!

Sorry, getting excited. 

Anyway, if you wish, you can cut your wrap in half - and do it on a bit of a diagonal please...you didn't just go through all of that hard work to not make it look great. Okay?

Enjoy! 

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

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Crisp Thai Slaw Salad with Masala Roasted Chick Peas and Creamy Tahini Peanut Dressing

HOL-LEY HELL. This salad is so damn good. If you, or someone you know, hates salads, I dare you to make and then hate this one. If you never think to include cabbage in your diet or rarely think of slaw outside of the context of 'gross' and 'summer picnic' get ready to have your mind blown and your palate rocked.

The quality of the fresh ingredients chopped finely combined with herbs (ugh, the herbs, DO NOT leave them out), roasted crispy chick peas and this complex, creamy dressing make for a textural, flavorful and colorful combination.

Thai flavors are some of my favorite - and I believe I have absolutely perfect a 'pad thai' style dressing here. It is creamy from the tahini (my favorite dressing based), peanut-y from the PB2 powder, acidic from the citrus and just a little bit spicy from the addition of hot sauce.

There are a few elements in this recipe so know that you can make each of them separately as each is great on it's own. For example the slaw tastes great with literally any dressing, the sauce is amazing hot over ramen noodles and veggies and the chic peas make an awesome snack all on their own.

Below I outline how to make each one separately, and I believe it's rather intuitive as to how to throw it all together.I like to drizzle the dressing over the whole salad so the veggies stay at maximum freshness but I could also see the whole thing getting even better with age if you tossed the salad well and then let it sit in the fridge for a while. If you do that though, I would store the chic peas separately as you don't want them to get soggy!

Enjoy!

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Crisp Thai Slaw

This amount serves 1 as a main dish, but I would suggest at least doubling the recipe to have enough for others or for seconds!

  • 1 cup shredded napa or savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (I used pre-shredded store bought here)
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced extremely thin
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced extremely thin
  • Handful of mint, chopped
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped

1. Clean and finely chop all of your ingredients so that they are similar in size and add them to a large bowl, stir to combine.

2. You can store it in the fridge sans dressing or mix the dressing in and let it marinate for a few hours as described above!

Smokey Masala Roasted Chick Peas

These come together so easily - one of those set it and forget it kind of things. If you use one can of chick peas, you should have enough for around 4 servings if you plan to sprinkle them over the salads. 

  • 1 can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala spice
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt

1. Preheat your oven to 450*F

2. Rinse and drain the chick peas

3. Add to a foil lined sheet pan or shallow oven safe dish and pour in spices, toss till well coated

4. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until desired crisp-ness is reached.

5. Allow to cool before adding to the salad

Creamy Tahini Peanut Dressing

All measurments are rough here, I have made this a few times with a few different ingredients (which is why I offer all the substitutions) but I feel the recipe to be the best proportions - of course, as always, adjust to your taste level. 

This makes enough for two salad servings but again, you may want more or less. I suggest doubling this recipe so you have extra to play with (and use again).  

  • 3 rounded tsp. salt-free tahini (or sub peanut butter and omit PB2 powder)
  • 3 rounded tsp. PB2 powder
  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp. liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. of your favorite hot sauce (I used The Pepper Plant)
  • the juice of half a lime plus 1 capful rice wine/apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Thai curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Enough water to thin the dressing out to your desired consistency (I used apx. 2 tbsp. and I like a thinner dressing)

1. Combine all ingredients except water to a mason jar or bowl, use a small whisk or spoon to bring everything together then add water slowly, keep combining till you reach your desired thickness.

 

LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN

 

 

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