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I think I’m on a roll. Not only is this yet another meal recipe, but it’s another plant-based recipe! If you read last Friday’s post “7 Things You Might Not Know About Me” you’ll notice none of those things state that I’m vegan. Because I’m not. I eat meat and other animal-based products. That’s just what works for me! However, I do try to eat a lot of plant-based meals! Not only is it a great way to get some extra veggies and nutrients in, but it’s also cheaper. Meat can get expensive. But you know what’s not expensive? Beans! So I tend to use beans as a protein (and fiber) source in many of my meals. And my favorite of all beans? Garbanzo beans! Which is what inspired these Vegan Mediterranean Lettuce Wraps.
Vegan Mediterranean Lettuce Wraps
A couple weeks ago, I received a CSA box from Talley Farms here on the Central Coast. If you had the chance to check out my Veggie Quinoa Burrito Bowls recipe last week, you know this. But what you don’t know is that there was a package of local romaine lettuce in that box! Now when I make salads at home, I tend to stick with spinach. So I started thinking about what the heck I could do with that lettuce that wasn’t salad. That’s when I decided on lettuce wraps! They’re so simple, easy, and nutritious. And you know I’m all about that.
So what’s in these Vegan Mediterranean Lettuce Wraps? Well to give this dish some extra fiber, as well as delicious vitamins and minerals, roasted sweet potatoes make up the base of this dish. I’m a huge fan of roasted sweet potato, especially with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. That’s generally how I roast up sweet potato even when I’m not putting it in lettuce wraps! They had some filling substance, delicious sweetness, and a little spice to any dish, but especially these Vegan Mediterranean Lettuce Wrap.
As I mentioned above, garbanzo beans are my favorite. Not just my favorite bean, but just one of my favorite ingredients. Have you seen my Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Dough Bites recipe? Yep, garbanzo beans are the base there too! But they make an amazing plant-based protein source, and have such a deliciously mellow flavor. Plus they add even more fiber. And I feel like you can never have too much fiber.
I’ve mentioned before that zucchini is probably my favorite veggie. It’s just so versatile, nutritious, and delicious! And its cousin, the yellow crookneck squash (aka summer squash) is equally as great. Honestly, you can use them pretty interchangeably. They’re both loaded with fiber, water, and vitamin C. And I grow it in my garden, so I try to use it as much as I can. But it truly makes a great addition to this dish, especially when seasoned with dill, salt, and pepper, and cooked with onion and the garbanzo beans.
Another thing you learned if you read last Friday’s post is that I don’t do condiments. Pretty much never have. I just really don’t like them. But I’ve learned that I love tahini! Especially this tahini sauce that I throw together for myself.
Obviously, the base is tahini. Never heard of it? Neither had I until a couple years ago. But it’s a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Tahini is sesame seeds that are ground up into a thin paste. Think of it as a drizzly sesame peanut butter, sans nuts. I try to buy the tahini that has the simplest ingredients possible. So basically just sesame seeds. Or sesame seeds and salt. I’m sure you could make your own as well!
To make my tahini sauce, I add just three ingredients to the tahini. I like to keep it simple, but it’s still loaded with flavor. I use nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor, while still keeping it vegan. Another thing I love about nutritional yeast (besides the fact that it’s delicious) is that it’s a great source of vitamin B12! Which is ideal for all my plant-based friends. I also add garlic powder, because everything is better with garlic. That’s something my dad taught me and I pretty much live my culinary life by it. Finally, I add red pepper flakes for a little bite. I’m not great with super spicy, but the amount of red pepper in this sauce it just enough to really enhance the other flavors.
Whether you live a plant-based lifestyle or not, I know you’ll love these Vegan Mediterranean Lettuce Wraps as much as I do!