Tag Archives: salsa

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/

Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine: Day 8

raw vegan tostada

Day 8 of fundamentals of raw cuisine has been completed! I started off the day by dehydrating some pecans that I soaked the night before (to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and then bring back the crunchy texture), and checking on my tostada shells. They were done! I also dehydrated some oat groats that I soaked (for the same reason) in preparation to make oat flour for a raw banana bread.  oat groats I got a free pass on the knife skills test today because it was mid-term quiz day! I am happy to say that I passed with flying colors! 🙂 After completing the quiz, it was time to eat! The big food project for today was a delicious tostada. Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines to eat as raw food. It has so much flavor and there are so many fresh ingredients to play with. I was really happy to see this one on the menu.  For the tostadas today, in addition to the shells, I also made a seasoned cabbage slaw, a spicy mole sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole, and cashew sour cream. It was a lot of blending, but it was so worth it when all of the flavors came together!

Here is where you can find some of the recipes:

raw vegan tostada raw vegan tostada raw vegan tostada   After this was completely devoured, I reviewed a lecture on flours and put together a raw vegan pizza crust to put into the dehydrator overnight. Pizza tomorrow! I had fun experimenting with different herbs and seasonings on the dough before it went into the dehydrator. 

The pizza crust recipe is in Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney on page 92.

raw vegan pizza crust raw vegan pizza crust raw vegan pizza crust raw vegan pizza crust raw vegan pizza crust

Yellow Tomato Salsa (Raw Vegan)

yellow tomato salsa

I love salsa. I feel really spoiled that the main ingredients are available from locally grown sources for most of the year here. We have a little farmer’s market here in town every Sunday, and there is a very nice man named Gary who sets up a booth every week and sells a great selection of produce that he grows on his own farm without any pesticides.

Yellow tomato and sweet pepper salsa

During strawberry season, I purchase a half flat from him every week, and occasionally a full flat (which happened this week!). He’s also got several varieties of tomatoes and peppers that are available on a regular basis, as well as pickling cucumbers, which I love to snack on (and pickle!). Every time I walk past all of those beautiful tomatoes and peppers, all I can think about is salsa. I get my fix with a fresh batch about once a month, altering the recipe ever so slightly based on what’s in season. I change up the colors of my tomatoes and peppers, and sometimes I get a little wild and throw some fruit in there. 😉

Yellow Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa

On my last weekend trip to the market, I picked up some very large yellow tomatoes and sweet peppers from Gary’s stand. Following the trend from my previous recipe, I’m all about the orange and yellow produce this week. I have some yellow beets in my refrigerator right now too. All of the produce in that color range just looked so appealing to me in the last few days, and as a result, I have a beautiful bright yellow and orange batch of salsa in my refrigerator right now.

Yellow Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salsa
A quick and easy salsa recipe so you never have to buy the processed stuff again! 🙂
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 large yellow tomatoes
  2. 3 Cubanelle sweet peppers (or other sweet pepper of similar size - appx 4" long)
  3. 1/4 large sweet white onion
  4. 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  5. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  6. 1 TB dried and powdered cumin
  7. 1 TB dried and powdered garlic
  8. 1/4 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Chop up the tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cilantro.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir together.
  3. Serve with your choice of sliced vegetables (me) or chips (husband modification).
Notes
  1. Recipe yields roughly 4 cups. Great for a party!
  2. This salsa recipe is also very good on a taco salad!
  3. You can eat it right away (I frequently do), but if you can stand to wait, letting the flavors mingle overnight will produce a much richer flavor and softer texture.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/