Lose Weight and Keep It Off With These Three Incredible Lettuce Wraps for Lunch

Lose Weight and Keep It Off With These Three Incredible Lettuce Wraps for Lunch
 


Now is the perfect time to try one of these specific recipes. Why? Because summer is around the corner and you’re in cutting mode. Often times, when you drop the carbs, you feel sluggish—it’s just the way it is. But, these three recipes will help you cut back on carbs without feeling the crash. Plus, they taste incredible.

1. QUINOA LETTUCE WRAPS are the perfect raw-cooked fusion meal to enjoy throughout the spring season. Just about any combination of raw veggies along with a few legumes and/or whole grain will do. However, with a bit of fresh herb and some spice, you can create outrageously tasty lettuce wraps like this recipe with raw cucumber, tomato, green onion, and basil. An exquisite array of textures and flavors to please any palate. This light and refreshing plant-powered meal is gluten free, easy to prepare and will make an excellent springtime lunch.

2. As the warm weather arrives, a variety of lettuces will also appear in the food stores and farmers markets. It’s the perfect time to experiment with fresh lettuce wraps and give bread a rest for a while. These MEDITERRANEAN WRAPS are incredibly satisfying with a balanced combo of raw and cooked whole food ingredients. The filling includes lentils as a healthy plant-based protein with fresh raw veggies, za’atar spiced cauliflower and red skin potatoes. These wraps also include a hefty dose of whole food fats (olives and avocado), so no need for oils or other refined fats.

3. With winter behind us and spring in the air, it’s the perfect time to begin incorporating lighter meals with fresh garden veggies. The MUSHROOM LENTIL WRAPS are savory, but light and delicious. You will find them equally satisfying as an appetizer or even an entree. The fresh dill and za’atar spiced cauliflower send these fresh lettuce wraps over the top by adding a burst of Middle Eastern flavor. If you’re not much of a mushroom lover, you may enjoy our Mediterranean Lettuce Wraps (mentioned above) with za’atar spiced cauliflower.

Kristie Keating is an expert contributor to the HUMANFITPROJECT network for MEN’S FITNESS. Follow Kristie on Instagram (@Kristi.Keating).
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THE QUINOA LETTUCE WRAP

FILLING INGREDIENTS

Makes 2 servings

6 large romaine leaves; 2 cups quinoa; 1 cup cucumber, diced; 1 cup tomato, diced; 1 cup zucchini, diced; ¼ cup green onions, diced; ¼ fresh basil, diced; 1 tbs fresh lemon juice; ½ tsp sea salt; 1 ½ cup Spicy Chickpeas

DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and place about 1 cup serving into each large romaine leaf. Note: If using romaine hearts, (which have smaller leaves) just make 6 smaller wraps instead of 3 larger ones. Serve with a fresh pressed juice or fresh fruit salad. Enjoy.

OIL-FREE SPICY CHICKPEAS 

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 15 oz can prepared); 2 tsp lemon juice; 2-3 tsp tamari (gluten free); 2 tsp chili powder; 1 tsp garlic granules; ½ tsp paprika

Place all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, mix well to coat. Let sit for 8-10 minutes. Spread evenly onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and heat for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees (stir them once after 10 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing at room temperature in a sealed glass container for up to 5 days.

Note: because they are oil free, they will be slightly soft on the inside, instead of crispy. *By eliminating oils and adding lemon juice, this minimizes the creation of heat-generated toxins like Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGE’s).

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
3 large romaine leaves with 3 cups filling

Calories: 445
Carbs: 78 g
Protein: 20 g
Fat: 7 g
Omega 3: 0.34 g
Fiber: 17 g

THE MEDITERRANEAN WRAP

INGREDIENTS

Makes about 2 servings

6 large romaine leaves

FILLING

1 ½ cup cooked lentils (or 15 oz can premade); 2 cups za’atar spiced potatoes (recipe below); 2 cups za’atar spiced cauliflower (recipe below); 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half; 12 kalamata olives; ½ avocado, chopped; ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped; 1 tbs lime juice; 1 tsp garlic granules; 1 tsp garam masala; ½ tsp sea salt

Place filling ingredients into a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Place about 1 cup serving of filling onto each of the 6 large romaine leaves. Note: if using romaine hearts, place ½ cup filling onto 12 of the smaller romaine leaves).

ZA’ATAR SPICED CAULIFLOWER AND POTATOES

1 small head cauliflower, cut into 2” pieces; 2 medium red skin potatoes, rinsed and chopped into 1” pieces; 1 tbs za’atar spice (found in most food stores)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes into a large pot filled with a vegetable steamer and fill with 1” water. Bring to boil and allow to steam for 8-10 minute. Add the cauliflower florets to the potatoes (the cauliflower take less time to cook). Let cook for 10-12 more minutes or until slightly soft. Place steamed potato and cauliflower into a large bowl and add the za’atar spice, mix well to coat. Spread cauliflower and potatoes evenly onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, mix cauliflower/potatoes and place back into oven for another 10-15 minutes. The goal is to allow the cauliflower/potatoes to dry out a bit and become lightly browned, but not to overcook to the point of becoming crispy. This avoids the creation of heat-generated toxins (carcinogens). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
3 large romaine leaves and 3 cups filling

Calories: 500
Carbs: 84 g
Protein: 23 g
Fat: 11 g
Omega 3: 0.44 g
Fiber: 24 g

THE MUSHROOM LENTIL WRAP

INGREDIENTS

Makes 2 servings

6 large romaine leaves (or 12 small)

FILLING

1 ½ cup cooked green lentils (or 1 can pre-cooked); 2 cups cooked wild rice; 2 cups Za’atar Spiced Cauliflower (recipe below); 1 cup Garlic Mushrooms (recipe below); 12 kalamata olives, diced; ½ avocado, chopped; 1 tbs fresh lime juice; ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped; 1 tsp garlic granules; ½ tsp sea salt

Rinse romaine leaves, set aside on paper towels until ready to add filling. Take remaining ingredients and gently mix together in a large bowl. Place about 1 cup serving of the filling onto each large lettuce leaf. Note: if using small leaves, place about ½ cup onto each. Serve.

OIL-FREE GARLIC MUSHROOMS

2 cups loosely packed mushrooms; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 2 tbs tamari; 1 tbs water; Pinch of black pepper

Heat a large fry pan to medium heat. Mix the water and tamari together in a small bowl. Add the garlic and mushrooms to the heated pan, stir until they just begin to stick. Be careful not to burn them. Pour the water/tamari mixture over the mushrooms to deglaze the pan. Stir the mushrooms around gently to loosen them from the pan. Sauté until the mushrooms and pan are almost dry, about 3-4 minutes. Add the black pepper and stir gently. Set aside until ready to use.

ZA’ATAR SPICED CAULIFLOWER

1 small head cauliflower, cut into 2” pieces; 1 tbs za’atar spice (found in most food stores)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cauliflower florets into a large pot filled with a vegetable steamer and fill with 1” water. Bring to boil and allow to steam until slightly soft. Place steamed cauliflower into a large bowl and add the za’atar spice, mix well to coat. Spread cauliflower evenly into a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, mix cauliflower and place back into oven for another 10-15 minutes. The goal is to allow the cauliflower to dry out a bit and become lightly browned, but not to overcook to the point of becoming crispy. This avoids the creation of heat-generated toxins (carcinogens). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
3 large romaine leaves and 3 cups filling

Calories: 515
Carbs: 84 g
Protein: 28 g
Fat: 11 g
Omega 3: 0.59 g
Fiber: 24 g