Sunday, July 22, 2012

Brown Rice 'n Everything Lettuce Wraps (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Today is Sunday.  A day of utter and enjoyable simplicity for me.  Simple hair, piled loosely on top my tired brain.  Simple makeup (or NO makeup in my case...).  Simple pleasures, such as staring at my mountain of laundry, begging to be folded.  And simple food...simply HEALTHY food.  And so that I don't break the bonds of your simple trust in my simple Sunday philosophy, I have for you a simple recipe.

Lettuce wraps stuffed from one end to the other with hot brown rice, slow cooked black beans, freshly made pico de gallo and guacamole, and a random stir-fry of mushrooms, red onions, and corn...simply from the freezer.  

The pico was quickly pieced together with mostly fresh ingredients from my City Market trip yesterday morning.  Fresh tomatoes (which I got a great deal on), cilantro that had been basking in the sun, juicy red onions, and an even juicier jalapeno pepper, which decided to share its fire-y temper with my right eyeball.  ('Blood shot' is a good look for a simple Sunday afternoon.)  And freshly squeezed juice from one of my 8-for-a-dollar limes.  
You will probably notice, now that I've pointed it out to you, that I don't have any black beans pictured anywhere.  That's because they were STILL in the slow cooker when my stomach decided it was NOT going to wait for me to finish cooking those things.  It's a travesty leave out the black beans, but the wraps were still satisfying, and my stomach was happy.  I would have preferred to stuff this trough of ingredients into some kind of tortilla, but I'm working on being a 'good girl' this week and minimizing gluey, gluten-y foods and heaps of unnecessary starch.  Perhaps just a few crumbles of some crunchy corn tortillas next time.

Sorry, no real measurements in this recipe.  This is what I love about Tex-mex and most Mexican-inspired foods.  Just season and add things until your taste buds are happy.

For the Pico de Gallo:
  • 8-10 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a small red onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • small jalapeno, seeded and diced (I leave in some seeds for heat)
  • small handful of cilantro, finely chopped and minced
  • a squeeze of olive oil
  • juice of a fresh lime
  • plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a few 'shakes' of ground cumin
Still waiting on cilantro...hubs went to make a grocery run.

Stir everything together and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

For the 'Simple' Guacamole:
  • one fresh avocado, mashed
  • juice of half a small lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • healthy 'shake' of ground cumin
Mix everything together and let this hang out for about half an hour, just so all the flavors can start to meld together.  (Hint:  You can keep your guac fresh by throwing the 'seed' back into the middle of the bowl.  Keeps it from turning brown so quickly.)  And yes, I've made much more elaborate and well-flavored guac-dips, but you don't need much else for this one.  It's already going to be swimming in a smorgasbord of flavor. 

Everything Else:
  • large lettuce leaves, washed and dried (romaine or bib works well)
  • cooked brown rice
  • prepared black beans
  • frozen corn kernels
  • sliced red onions
  • sliced mushrooms
  • green onions, diced

If you choose to make the 'stir-fry', just heat up some olive oil in a sautee pan, and toss in the sliced red onions and mushrooms.  Season well with salt.  Sautee for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat, or until the onions are softened and mushrooms start to cook.  Then throw in the corn kernels and toss around for another minute or two, until heated through.  

To assemble the wrap, just slather on a layer of guacamole, then some rice, next some of the cooked veggies.  Then you can add your black beans, some pico de gallo, and top with some green onions and additional cilantro if you like.

Roll up like a wrap and enjoy.

And hey, if you're just too lazy on a Sunday afternoon to make a wrap, simply tear up your lettuce leaves and make a salad.  Let thy guacamole be thy dressing.  

Need other simple ideas for your plethora of 'on-sale' avocados?  Head on over to Almost Vegan and check out Amber's Simple Smashed Avocado Salad.  Simple.  Yum.

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