When Bill and I were invited to a plant-based dinner hosted by my friend Sue over at Stirthepotgr.com, I definitely felt challenged to find a recipe that qualified as vegan but was also something Bill could eat. Because, when you’re allergic to wheat, corn, and cow dairy like he is, meat is an ingredient that helps you get through the day.
For some reason I had it in my head to make lettuce wraps–probably because I had never made them before and wanted to try them. There are a lot of great Asian lettuce wrap recipes out there but many of them have meat in them. I also found some with rice and beans, but finally I settled on Lebanese Mjadra – Lentil & Rice Lettuce Cups. When I read through the recipe I realized it was basically the same as Moujadarah with Curry, one of our favorite legume recipes. The one on Food.com simply uses lettuce as a vessel for serving it.
So I followed the recipe on my blog instead, which also includes a garnish of tomatoes, green onions, and parsley.
The legume mixture can easily be made a day ahead. I mixed the caramelized onions right in with the rice and lentils for this appetizer so it’s easier to eat.
Then I stuck it in the fridge overnight.
After heading to the Holland Farmers Market (on opening day!), I found Bibb lettuce from Visser Farms, which I washed and laid out stacked between paper towels in the fridge until I was ready to assemble the wraps.
I took everything out of the fridge a couple hours prior to assembly.
Then I made the tomato garnish and sliced up some lemons to serve with the wraps.
I had to warm the moujadarah slightly in the microwave so it would be soft enough to spoon into the lettuce. Then I packed them closely into a serving dish for the trip to Grand Rapids, where the dinner was held.
They survived the trip and I think they were the right temperature–room temperature, but slightly on the cold side to keep the lettuce crisp.
Bill and I enjoyed the variety of creative plant-based dishes that the guests–about 30 people–brought to the event. We made some new friends and spent a lovely evening at a beautiful location in Grand Rapids!