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  • Edamame Lettuce Wraps with Mango, Avocado and Almond Salsa

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

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    There are times when I marvel at the transformation my diet has undergone over the last 15 years! I was once an overweight, out of shape girl (I’ve lost 95 pounds and kept it off for about 18 years). As I create some of the recipes I share on this blog, I often pause and reflect on how much fat, animal products and sugar (and too few fruits and veggies) dominated my diet. While I am not a vegetarian, I am always finding ways to eliminate meat in many recipes that often call for it.

    This recipe is a good example of that. If you have never had lettuce wraps in a good Asian restaurant, go get some! They are often one of the healthiest things on the menu. They are flavorful and most incorporate lots of fresh veggies and different textures and tastes. Most lettuce wraps rely on animal protein as a main ingredient (traditionally chicken or pork), so when I set out to create a vegan version I had to think creatively about ingredients that would add a meaty, hearty texture.  Edamame provides a good protein kick while brown basmati rice and shiitake mushrooms provide the hearty texture to hold everything together. I’m not sure where the mango and avocado salsa component emerged from….I thought it would bring all of the flavors together in an interesting way and would help calm the heat from the jalapeno (it does!).

    The result? A delicious and healthy meal that was also BEAUTIFUL to look at!




    © 2011 Nancy Granada Kindred Kitchen

    Edamame Lettuce Wraps with Mango, Avocado and Almond Salsa

    servings: 4 | time: about 60 minutes

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    For the Salsa:
    1 mango, diced
    1 avocado, diced
    juice of 1/2 a lime
    1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
    2 TBSP. mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
    1 tsp. sesame oil
    1/4 tsp. kosher salt
    2 TBSP. chopped fresh Thai basil or cilantro


    For the Edamame Lettuce Wraps:
    1 1/2 heads of Boston or romaine lettuce (preferably organic),
    1/2 cup brown basmati rice
    1 cup water
    1 TBSP canola oil
    3 TBSP. fresh ginger, minced
    2 Cloves fresh garlic, minced
    1 jalapeno pepper, minced (be sure to remove the seeds and ribs according to your personal threshold for spiciness)
    2-3 carrots, diced (about 2/3 cup)
    1 red pepper (preferably organic), diced
    1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, diced
    1 1/5 cups frozen edamame
    1 small head napa cabbage, cored and chopped
    2-3 TBSP. Tamari (to taste….this ingredient is pretty salty)
    2 TBSP water
    3 scallions, chopped
    Handful of fresh Thai basil or cilantro, chopped


    Make the Salsa:
    1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl

    2. Toss to combine.  Set aside while you prepare the lettuce wraps


    Make the Filling:
    1. Separate the lettuce leaves, wash well, dry and set aside

    2. Add the 1 1/4 cups of water and basmati rice to a saucepan and stir.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 35-40 minutes, until water is absorbed (do not stir again)

    3. Heat the canola oil in a large non-stick pan

    4. Add ginger, garlic and jalapeno. Saute for 3 or 4 minutes, just until it becomes fragrant

    5. Add carrots, saute for 5 minutes

    6. Add diced red pepper, saute for 3 minutes

    7. Add mushrooms, saute for 3 minutes

    8. Add frozen edamame, saute 5 minutes

    9. Add napa cabbage, tamari and water, saute 5 minutes

    10. Remove from heat just as the cabbage begins to wilt. Add the cooked rice, scallions and Thai basil or cilantro and toss to combine


    To Serve:
    Place the edamame filling in the center of a large serving platter. Arrange lettuce leaves around outside of platter and serve salsa in a separate bowl. To assemble: Fill a lettuce leaf with a generous scoop of the edamame filling. Top with a spoonful of the salsa. Gently fold into a wrap and eat!


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