September 2, 2011
I never order lettuce wraps because lots of cheapskate restaurants think iceberg counts as lettuce — and I don’t really relish the idea of something like that falling apart. Here are some “lettuce” wraps I make using Swiss Chard, which is somewhere between baby spinach and bok choy. Like other dark, leafy greens, chard gives the most nutrients if you wilt it before eating, but raw it has a great texture and just enough strength to hold a small amount of vegetables easily.
Quick “Lettuce” Wraps
PER wrap (2 wraps are a light lunch for 1 average-sized female):
- 1 leaf of fresh raw Swiss Chard, washed, shaken out, and halved lengthwise along the spine
- 1 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
- 1-2 Tbsp spicy hummus (see below)
- About 2 Tbsp (or 1/6 of 1 large) carrot, shaved in thin strips using a vegetable peeler or chopped super thin
- 1/2 tomato, chopped fairly small (the chard is thick, so it’s ok if this looks a little wet)
- optional items: sliced olives; 1 very-thin slice red onion or sweet yellow onion; small pinch of black pepper
Spread cheese and hummus halfway along chard leaf. Arrange veggies on top. Roll inward, from leaf edge toward leaf spine. Optional: affix wrap to itself with a toothpick and an olive.
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can uncooked or pre-cooked black beans (I use the Cuban style ones from Trader Joe’s)
1/4+ c sunflower butter
1/4 c olive oil
1/8 c fresh lemon juice
1/8 – 1/4 c light vinegar such as rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or both together
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp dried cilantro
1/2 – 1 tsp chili powder
1/2 – 1 tsp cumin
1/2 – 1 tsp Mexican hot sauce
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse, scraping frequently, until fully combined.
As necessary, while mixing:
Add in up to 1/8 cup water – adjust until hummus reaches preferred texture.
Add salt and extra garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and spices to taste. Note: the garlic and hot sauce can increase slightly in spiciness as the hummus is stored in the fridge, so do not start out overwhelmingly spicy.
August 31, 2010
Here’s my take on someone else’s take on a granola bar recipe by King Arthur Flour (I hear their whole wheat muffins are knockout, too). Eventually I’ll get around to trying those granola recipes from a few weeks ago; I’m sure some of them would be great as bars …
Easy, Chewy Granola Bars
Makes: 1 small pan
- 1 2/3 cups quick
rolled oats (if gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free oats. I think you can get away with normal oats if you triple the water?)
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use more for store-granola-bar-sweet. I wanted way, way, less, so I substituted this with 2 packets of Splenda and added a tablespoon of maple syrup later)
- 1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle) I used the mortar and pestle, and added the 1/8 cup rice flour I had made ages ago.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I omitted it; the PB has enough salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Smidgin of freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces – I did 2/3 cup slivered almonds, 2/3 cups walnuts minced fine, and just under 2/3 cups finely chopped coconut. It came out cohesive but a little dry; you need some fruit in there to make it really “chewy”)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter, optional (I used chunky peanut butter)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup or corn syrup (I did honey, half safflower and half sage since I like that darker, nuttier taste. Sage is on the light side; safflower is pretty strong, so if you use all-safflower, might want to cut down on this and up the water a bit.)
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I used 3 of light maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon water (I forgot this part. oops)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan with parchment paper; lightly grease it with the paper from the butter.
2. In one bowl, combine all dry ingredients; in another, smaller one, all wet (peanut butter is wet). Mix each thoroughly; for the wet, mash the peanut butter so it incorporates as much as it can. Thoroughly mix the wet into the dry.
3. Put mix into parchment-lined baking pan and press down using the back of a largish spoon, saran wrap, or your hand covered with a sandwich bag (or your hand, if you don’t mind losing some of your creation on your hand and having to lick it off). Bake for 30-40 min until golden brown on edges. They can be dark / toasted-looking, depending on what you put into it — when they’re done, they should give a little in the middle, and still be softish from the heat, but they should have hardened up enough that it’s reasonable to think they’ll harden completely when they’ve cooled.
4. Cool completely on a cookie rack; if it’s necessary, chill in fridge 30 min to ensure they’re totally cool. Cut with a serrated knife. To store, wrap individually an keep in an airtight container in fridge. They freeze well.