Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Lentil “Taco Meat” + Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Cherry Jalapeno Salsa
This lettuce wraps recipe actually brings up a lot of emotions if I am being honest because I am reminded of a time where I used to want to wrap everything in lettuce purely because of my fear of carbs and that they would make me fat. It took me years of studying and learning to love food so that I could finally some to a place where I knew that things like bread, wraps, potatoes and even QUINOA couldn’t hurt me. This vegan summer recipe is a fun balance of healthy, hearty and flavourful. The Cherry Jalapeno Salsa made with Patience Fruit & Co Cherry Juice is seriously a kicker, I love it!
Easy lettuce wraps
This plant based summer recipe is incredibly convenient for you to whip up, and you can personalize it and do a little DIY to make it your own. These vegan wraps can also be made ahead of time and easily stored in the fridge before a gathering, dinner, or on-the-go healthy lunch.
I love this plant based recipe because it can easily be adapted to all seasons. In the winter, it makes for a light dinner, and you can swap out the topping with seasonal vegetables, sometimes the hardy, heavy meals you usually eat in the winter like shepherds pie and moussaka can feel like too much!
Of course, feel free to swap out the lettuce wraps for tortilla shells or whatever you prefer. Lettuce wraps just make for a lighter, more refreshing vegan summer recipe.
The goodness of cherries
Cherries are often an underrated fruit that are actually filled with benefits. For these lettuce wraps I used cherry juice in the salsa which adds a tartness to the sharpness of the jalapeños, the sweetness of the sugar, and sourness of the lime, you get the perfect mix of flavours. Often you’ll see lettuce wraps paired with vegan peanut sauces but this is a great alternative.
Cherries are known as America’s super fruit because they offer vital nutrients to support your health. One cup of cherries actually contains only 90 calories and are filled with a supply of fiber, protein, and vitamin A and C.
- Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that can help improve iron absorption from plant sources, which is great in a plant based diet, and it’s known to boost the immune system and aid in making collagen.
- Vitamin A supports a healthy immune system, protects your eyes, keeps your skin healthy, supports strong bones, and the list goes on.
The Patience Fruit & Co. Cherry juice I used in this recipe is one of my favs. Their juice is organic, meaning none of the ingredients are genetically modified, and no chemicals or artificial fertilizers or pesticides are used in the process. Polyphenols are naturally present in the cherries used in this juice which are micronutrients that you get through plant based diets. Polyphenols are packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits which is the perfect addition to these lettuce wraps.
Plant based taco meat
Finding the perfect alternative in-store for ground beef can be a challenge. Often you’ll find alternatives that aren’t even very healthy for you, with ingredients you can’t even pronounce. That’s why it’s so much better to make your own, simple, taco meat alternative at home. My go-to vegan meat substitute for tacos and wraps includes:
- Chili Paste
- Sesame Oil
- Brown Sugar
The walnuts are rich in antioxidants, super packed with Omega 3s, help promote a healthy gut, and the benefit list goes on, and on. While the lentils are great for keeping your heart healthy, are loaded with fibre, folic acid, and potassium, and include essential vitamins and minerals. They are a great protein source in any vegan or plant based diet. The mix of spices really adds a strong flavour to this “meat” that completes these lettuce wraps. I also love how the walnuts add a good crunch that you wouldn’t get with traditional ground beef.
Overall, this is one of my fav go-to plant based recipes for the summer. It’s great for when I’m on-the-go or need to meal prep for Andrew’s lunches. I can’t wait for you to try it and let me know what you think of this fresh summer recipe!
See the recipe card below for how to make my plant based Cauliflower Walnut Lentil “Taco Meat” + Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa. Enjoy!
Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Lentil “Taco Meat” + Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa
Vegan Cauliflower Walnut Lentil "Taco Meat" + Noodle Lettuce Wraps with Cherry Jalapeno Salsa
For the filling:
- 1 cup walnuts - raw chopped
- 1 cup - cooked lentils you want a heartier variety, like Baluga
- 1/2 cup cauliflower rice
- 1/2 cup green onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 3 tbsp. Tamari
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. Chilli Paste - gochujang
- 1-2 tbsp. brown sugar
- juice of one lime
- season to taste
For the noodles:
- 2 cup cooked rice noodles of choice
For the Carrots:
- 2 large carrots julienned
- season to taste
- 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp. lime juice
For the cherry jalapeno salsa:
- 1/2 cup cherry juice
- 1/4 cup jalapeno finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1/4 cup green onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil can use spicy too
- 1 head butter lettuce or chard leaves
- avocado and pickled red onion
- For the filling, simply add all your ingredients into a medium sized bowl and let sit for 1 hour before enjoying. Make sure to stir and well combine.
- For the carrot slaw, add all your ingredients into a medium sized bowl and let sit for 1 hour before adding to your lettuce wraps.
- For the cherry jalapeno salsa, combine all your ingredients into a jar or bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Shake or stir well before serving.
- For assembly, start with your butter lettuce "wraps", then your cooked noodles, some filling and top with your carrots and cherry jalapeno salsa.