Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Middle Eastern Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are delicious and middle eastern food is delicious, so the combination is natural. I love things like falafel, lamb kabob, and chicken shawarma, but since those usually come with refined wheat pita bread and meat of unknown origins, I don't really enjoy them very often (although I could eat falafel more often, it's just that with my mini food processor it's too much work, and deep frying them tastes best but that requires lots of expensive fat and I'm too lazy.)
Chicken Shawarma
Chicken shawarma from the best Lebanese place in the city, Baraka Pita Bakery.
So good, but the chicken was almost certainly fed GMOs and the pita is made from wheat. :'(
Anyway, if you're lazy like me and don't want to spend lots of money on pastured meat and paleo almond meal wraps, you can still make use of the fresh goodeness of middle eastern food. Just make lettuce wraps! Admittedly, they won't be as good as the beef donair or lamb kabob from Baraka, but they still taste good, and they're healthier, cheaper, and easier to finish. So get some fresh veggies and enjoy some delicious lettuce wraps!

Middle Eastern Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are a very imprecise, so just stuff as much stuff in the lettuce as you want, the amounts don't really matter.


10 large leaves romaine lettuce
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 or 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges or slices, or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 english cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise and cut in half crosswise
20 kalamata olives, cut in chunks
about 20 lactofermented rutabaga strips

tahini sauce

1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, to taste
cayenne, to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
water, to thin
2 tsp za'atar

optional: hummus, chickpeas, lamb, or chicken can be added to make the wraps more filling, and green onions, parsley and lebanese pickles would also be good additions, and if you don't want to use lactofermented rutabaga, you could just use pickled turnips, which are more traditional (see, this recipe is flexible!)


1. To make the tahini sauce, just whisk everything together or combine in a food processor or blender. Add enough water to achieve your desired consistency. If you're whisking, the tahini may clump a bit, just add more water or stir it for a little longer.
2. Distribute the vegetables (and olives and optional additions) evenly in each of the lettuce leaves. Place them in the bottom half, where the stem is stiffer.
3. Drizzle with the sauce.
4. Fold the top half over and fold the sides under.
5. Serve, with more tahini sauce if desired.

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