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
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. 🙂
- 1 head of Boston, Butter, or Bibb lettuce
- 8 oz white button mushrooms, diced
- 1 TB avocado oil (see notes on different oils)
- 2 TB of your favorite taco/fajita seasoning mix (refer to notes for one I like to use)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (or more if you love it as much as I do)
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 sprouted mung beans, lentils, or a mix (optional, but makes it a bit more hearty and increases the protein)
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- pinch of salt (or two!)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 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.)
- Separate the lettuce leaves from the head, clean, dry, and set aside.
- The remaining ingredients are for the salsa. Mix them together in a bowl and set aside to marinade while the mushrooms are sweating.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.