Weekday Lunches: Lettuce Wraps

I’m tired of soup for lunches.  So for a change of pace this week, I decided to make some quick lettuce wraps. I made two varieties that I can alternate each day. I’ll take lettuce and filling in separate containers, filling leaves at lunchtime. Add a piece of fruit and lunches are done, making my mornings a bit less hectic.

Black Bean and Brown Rice Lettuce Wrap

  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 2 tsp limejuice
  • ¼ cup fresh salsa
  • 2 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Mix together all ingredients, except lettuce. Set aside. Cut lettuce leaves crosswise. Fill lettuce leaves with a tablespoon or more of mixture, fold leaves and eat.  This mixture can also be heated before filling the leaves.

Creamy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 2 small chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • ¼ cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • ½ cup sweetened cranberries* or ¼ cup cran-raisins
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Mix together all ingredients, except lettuce. Set aside. Cut lettuce leaves crosswise. Fill lettuce leaves with a tablespoon or more of mixture, fold leaves and eat.

* I still have cranberries in my freezer, so I mixed 1/2 cup with about 1 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of orange juice, boiled until cranberries popped and liquid reduced to half.  Strained the cranberries and added to salad.

Sonoma Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

One of my favorite chicken salads is at Costco. This recipe is pretty close, though I’ve added grapes and tweaked the mayonnaise a bit.  The best way to serve this, in my opinion, is to wash and dry romaine lettuce leaves, top with salad, roll up and eat.  Bread seems too heavy for this dish.

Sonoma Chicken Salad

  • 1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cups dried cranberries (craisins)
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds,garlic powder,onion powder, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. When ready to serve, stir in chicken, pecans, grapes, Craisins, celery and serve cold.