Oooh boy, friends, do I have a treat for you tonight!
Growing up, one of my all time favorite foods, were the lettuce wraps from PF Changs — you know what I’m talking about — the amazingly delectable, salty, crunchy, nutty, Asian-style appetizer with all the build-you-own goodies that allow you to a) make an absolute mess, and b) become the chef extraordinaire of your dreams. You cannot go to PF Changs and not order them.
Well, I decided that I wanted to recreate those for lunch, but this time — spice it up, Mexican style!
AND, I wanted to utilize my favorite protein packed, super food: quinoa! Not only does it only take about 12 minutes to cook, but it ALSO has all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein!?
Plus, these are gluten free, vegan and paleo!
Here’s What You Need: (Serves 3-4)
3/4 cups quinoa, cooked in 1 1/2 cups veg stock
1 red pepper, finely diced
6 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
1 bunch of asparagus, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
5 green onions, sliced thin
5 garlic cloves, minced
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
Romaine lettuce leaves – washed, dried, and chilled
1 ripe avocado, mashed with salt, and 1 garlic clove, grated
Sauce pan with tight fitting lid
Good chef’s knife
Cook your quinoa according to the package directions using veg stock instead of water.
Wash, dry, and separate your romaine lettuce leaves and put them in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the rest of dinner.
Also, mash an avocado with salt and a grated garlic clove, cover and set in the refrigerator to chill.
Sauté your onion in 1 Tbsp EVOO with salt, pepper, and spices. Allow them to soften for about 5 minutes, and then add in your mushrooms. Let them cook down for about 3 minutes.
Then add your asparagus. Let it cook for a few minutes.
Then add 3/4 of your red peppers. Allow that to cook for about 3 minutes, and then stir in your garlic. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, and then stir in about 1/4-1/2 cup of vegetable stock, to moisten and deglaze the pan.
Finally, stir in your cooked quinoa, lime zest and juice, cilantro, and the rest of your red peppers. Stir to combine and add salt to taste.
Serve in lettuce wraps, garnished with green onions, the avocado mash, and cilantro. YUM!
Holy cow, folks. This one was OUT OF THIS WORLD. I’m telling you — you haven’t lived until you’ve tried this combination.
I mean, watch out, PF Changs! There’s a new superstar in town, and it’s got a Mexican flare!
Aside from being incredibly fun to assemble and eat, the FLAVORS were outrageous! The warmth from the spice mixture, paired with the nutty quinoa and buttery avocado was outrageous. Especially with that kiss of freshness from the cilantro and lime..yowza!
And then the textures were amazing, with the quinoa that *pops* in your mouth, and the crunchy peppers, and luxuriously rich and creamy avocado, all wrapped up in a cool and crisp romaine leaf…I mean…come on, people!
And lastly, it was just gorgeous! Pretty as a picture!
I promise, these will not disappoint! Pair it with a fresh squeezed margarita and have yourself a little fiesta!
What’s YOUR favorite appetizer when you go out to eat?
Until next time! 🙂
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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