L: Lentil Lettuce Cups

20150220_170024Want a nice light dinner? Something that is easy to put together on a weeknight? Something as fun as tacos so everyone can make their own?

Ever thought of having lettuce cups? You should!

And when you think lettuce cups, start thinking lentils. The combo is awesome and surprisingly filling. For these lettuce cups, I made a sweet and spicy sauce and filled them up with some warm whole wheat couscous and tons of raw julienned veggies. Then of course, topped them off with freshly cooked black beluga lentils. YUM.20150220_165908

These would be fun to make with the kids too. They could fill them up with whatever they want and wrap up the crunchy iceburg lettuce and make a total mess. Think of these as the antidote to unhealthy taco night. This is a very versatile recipe!

Ingredients (for approx. 4-6 people/children):

  • 1-2 heads of iceburg lettuce. Not all head are created equal. You may need a couple to find the perfect amount of lettuce cups. You could also use butter lettuce
  • 2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked
  • 1 cup black beluga lentils, cooked
  • Your choice of a rainbow of veggies, julienned. I used carrots, celery, peppers, zucchini, cucumber, green onion and bean sprouts
  • Top with your choice of chopped nuts or seeds. I used sesame seeds20150220_165916

The oh-so-delicious sauce: (Adapted from Jo Lusted’s General Tao sauce)

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 knob of ginger, grated (about the size of your thumb)
  • 1 tbsp sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. tamari
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder, mixed with 2 tbsp. stock

First, the sauce. Cook the garlic and ginger in the olive oil over medium heat. After about a minute, add all the ingredients except the arrowroot mixture. Bring to a simmer and let cook for a couple of minutes. Add the arrowroot powder mix and stir. It will thicken up a bit more. Set this aside.

To assemble the lettuce cups, carefully pull apart the head of the iceburg and try to keep as many “cups” intact as possible.

Start to build. Layer some couscous, veggies and top with lentils. Pour a little sauce over top and sprinkle with seeds. Be amazed at the beautiful creation you’ve made…take a deep breath and dive in.20150220_170016

This is not first date food! Once you have wrapped the lettuce cup, you can’t put it back down (not that you would want to). It needs to be eaten in one sitting. No one can disturb you. And you won’t want anyone to-they are THAT. GOOD.

I suppose if all the lettuce falls apart, this would make a really great “taco salad” as well. However you end up eating these-enjoy! You won’t feel gross after and you’re doing your body good. Have a great dinner everyone!20150220_165926