Mushroom Taco Lettuce Wraps (Raw Vegan)

mushroom taco lettuce cups

I’m still working on the recap of the second half of my advanced raw cuisine class, but until I have all of the blog posts up, I still have to feed myself and my husband, so that leaves a lot of room for experimentation. These mushroom taco lettuce wraps are what I put together for dinner tonight, and there was enough leftover to have for lunch tomorrow too. For tomorrow’s lunch, I’ll be chopping up some romaine and taking the leftovers as a taco salad. =D

mushroom taco lettuce cups

I took a vacation immediately following the completion of my culinary classes, and returned with a strong desire to go back to my low fat lifestyle after 4 months of culinary classes and a vacation that was vegan, but contained far too much fat. I went on a cruise and although the wait staff was very good at honoring my requests that everything be vegan and gluten free, much of it was cooked and laden with oils. I was too polite to send the food back since they had worked so hard to accommodate my food allergies. I tried to eat fresh fruits for breakfast and salads for lunch, but it wasn’t enough. On a plant-based diet, just putting oil and vinegar on a salad can result in at least 30% of the day’s calories coming from fat! That doesn’t even include fats from whole food sources. 

I am a firm believer in Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s research and approach on diet, whole foods, and macronutrients. In his latest book, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, he discusses that the ideal macronutrient ratio is 80/10/10 (carbs/protein/fats). He is not the first expert to express this opinion either. Douglas Graham’s book, The 80/10/10 Diet, goes into a lot of detail about this topic as well (I recently finished this book and hope to get a review written in the coming weeks). 

I have experimented with this very low fat way of eating before, and not only did I have more energy, I also slept much better. I had been tracking my sleep for over a year on my FitBit, looking for ways to improve my sleep, and I noticed a drastic reduction in the number of sleep disturbances after eating this way for only a couple of days. The number of disturbances remained low until I started adding more fats back into my diet again. My skin complexion also seems to be much better with less fat in my diet. Ultimately, I just feel better and have more energy.

Anyway, for this reason, I’ve been striving to keep my diet very fresh and clean since I’ve been home. My fats have been very low, and since I aim for a weekly average of 10% fat, I added a small amount of avocado oil to the mushrooms in this dish to give them a bit more texture. Despite that, my omega fatty acids for the day were still balanced and I am still within range for my macronutrient ratios for the week! There is a total of 1 TB, but it is meant to be served as an appetizer for 4 people, and if you feel very strongly about omitting oils completely from your diet, you could leave it out (or you could add more for a richer mouthfeel). 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s easy to make, very healthy and fresh, and the final outcome is visually appealing as well if you might have guests coming to visit. 🙂

mushroom taco lettuce cups

Raw Vegan Mushroom Taco Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4
These raw vegan mushroom taco lettuce wraps are a satisfying and lean appetizer, full of flavor, and easy to make!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 head of Boston, Butter, or Bibb lettuce
  2. 8 oz white button mushrooms, diced
  3. 1 TB avocado oil (see notes on different oils)
  4. 2 TB of your favorite taco/fajita seasoning mix (refer to notes for one I like to use)
  5. 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  6. 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  7. 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (or more if you love it as much as I do)
  8. 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  9. 1/4 sprouted mung beans, lentils, or a mix (optional, but makes it a bit more hearty and increases the protein)
  10. 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  11. pinch of salt (or two!)
  12. 1/2 tsp cumin
  13. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Toss chopped mushrooms, avocado oil, and taco seasoning together until mushrooms are well coated. Put in a covered glass bowl (either with a lid or with plastic wrap - no towels - you don't want the moisture to escape) and put in a dehydrator at 145 for 1 hour. (See note about temperature.)
  2. Separate the lettuce leaves from the head, clean, dry, and set aside.
  3. The remaining ingredients are for the salsa. Mix them together in a bowl and set aside to marinade while the mushrooms are sweating.
  4. When the mushrooms are ready, place some lettuce leaves onto a plate, and spoon on the salsa and seasoned mushrooms. Top with a cilantro leaf to make it extra fancy.
Notes
  1. The taco seasoning I use is from a local shop called "Penzeys Spices". They make it for chicken, but I love it on mushrooms! https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/chicken-taco-seasoning/c-24/p-516/pd-s
  2. You can use a different oil than avocado if you like, but I like this one for it's truly neutral flavor. From a health perspective, I normally prefer flax oil as it's the only plant based oil with more omega 3 than 6.
  3. If you are opposed to eating oil and very strict about eating 100% whole plant foods, you could omit it. If you want a richer mouthfeel for the mushrooms to be more "meaty", you could alternatively add more.
  4. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can marinade the mushrooms overnight instead. A little extra salt will help them to release their juices.
  5. Using your dehydrator at 145 for the short period of time called for in the recipe will not result in the internal temperature of the food being heated that high. It will still be well within range to still be considered raw. When I removed the mushrooms, they were "lukewarm" to the touch. The goal is to just help them "sweat" a bit.
  6. This recipe is meant to be eaten as an appetizer for 4 (or 2 for 2 meals each). That works out to only 3/4 tsp oil per serving.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

3 thoughts on “Mushroom Taco Lettuce Wraps (Raw Vegan)

  1. Pingback: Day 97: Sunday, February 15 | Juice, Baby, Juice

  2. cel

    I just went through and read alllllll of your MK culinary posts…LOVED THEM! your pictures and plating are gorgeous and I loved how you wrote a bit about each day and what you learned.
    As I was reading I had a few questions/curiosity:
    1) Did you have to buy all the equipment to complete the daily tasks? (ex. smoke gun, dehydrator, sous vide machine, vitamix etc…)
    2) Did MK give you a grocery list for each week and did you have to do big grocery runs at multiple stores to get everything you needed? Was it expensive?
    3) Did you eat everything you made? I follow the 801010 raw vegan diet and know that I wouldn’t be able to handle all the nuts/oil/salt…are you allowed to leave ingredients out?
    4) I would love to hear your thoughts on the 801010 diet 🙂
    5) On average how many hours a day did it take you to complete the tasks and read/watch the lessons?
    6) Is it less expensive to complete the course at home/on your own rather than at the school? Do they provide all of the food when you take the course at their institute in person?

    I don’t know if I’ll get a notification that you replied…
    but I’m looking forward to hearing your answers!
    Celina
    IG @celinaeliz (if you want to be friends:)

    Reply
    1. adrienne Post author

      Hi Celina,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to look over my blog! I am happy to answer your questions. 🙂

      (1) I owned a lot of the equipment already (Vitamix, dehydrator, food processor), but I did have to buy a few things. I purchased a smoking gun and I borrowed a sous vide stick from a fellow kitchen nerd who had two of them.

      (2) Yes, we received a grocery list each week. It was very week organized and easy to use for shopping. They also provide a bulk shopping list of dried goods at the beginning of each class. I was able to find most of it at my local grocery store, but I did have to special order a few things. If you are unable to find any ingredients, the instructors are very knowledgeable about what you can use for a substitution. The grocery bill will really depend on where you source your materials, if you are able to find things in bulk, etc. They try to provide seasonal ingredients, but you are still making a lot of recipes, so it will be higher than usual.

      (3) I am not strictly raw (I try to eat as much as I can, but with a high caloric requirement for weigh lifting, I end up eating some cooked starches and whole grains or I get very uncomfortable with the volume of raw food I’d have to eat), but I do adhere to a low fat vegan diet that is only 10% fat and I do not eat oils. The recipes in the classes are “gourmet raw” and cater to people who wouldn’t normally eat raw so they can see that raw can be delicious. Most of these recipes are high fat and in my opinion, they are not food that should be eaten on a daily basis. That being said, the concepts they teach are all about flavor blending and how to build recipes. They will tell you to follow the instructions that they give so you can learn and then apply what you have learned and experiment later. It is good to sample a little to see how they taste, but don’t feel obligated to eat the whole portion. Many people who take culinary classes gain weight because they fear food waste. If that doesn’t bother you, then throw away what you don’t eat or feed it to someone else. I took a lot of what I made in to work to share with my coworkers and I also shared with my husband.

      (4) I read the 80/10/10 book and tried it out. I think that for periods of cleansing and healing, it can be beneficial. I was finally able to clear up my candida problems permanently by following the 80/10/10 for about a month (only eating when hungry and not counting calories before I started weightlifting – probably only 1500 calories a day). I transitioned some cooked foods back in, but I still eat roughly the same ratios (closer to 75c/15p/10f for me). I feel much better and control my body fat percentage for bodybuilding better with a low fat diet. I eat about 3,000 calories a day to put on muscle, and although Douglas Graham says that is normal for someone who is very active (I lift 6 times a week), I tried getting most of my calories from fruit, and I ended up with a lot of heartburn and discomfort because that amount of food just hurt to eat. I was never able to adjust to it. I have also done a lot of research on gut flora, and I believe that it is healthy to eat some starches and whole grains because the fibers and resistant starches (from cooking, then cooling, then eating) are very good prebiotics (food for gut flora). I do eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables every day, but I also eat cooked starches and whole grains, along with beans. They have more caloric density and it is easier for me to eat a lot of calories that way. I really like Dr. Barnard’s approach to eating a variety of nutrient dense foods, but I think that Douglas Graham’s observations about macro ratios are also valid. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, came to the same conclusion in his book, “Whole”.

      (5) I have a full time job, so I opted to complete the class in 8 weeks, rather than 4. I am a slow perfection type of person, and I had no experience doing any professional culinary work or taking any classes before this. I probably spend 4-5 hours an evening on it after work, plus one full weekend day. It is a lot of work. I felt that I needed a rest once I had finished the classes.

      (6) I’m not sure about the cost at home vs. in person. I am not near a physical location, so at home was my only option. If you email them to ask about cost difference and provided materials, they are very good about answering questions for potential students. I had nothing but good experience with their admissions department.

      Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!
      Adrienne

      Reply

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