Well we did it, you guys. We made it through the big eating holidays. Although it’s still pretty freaking Christmassy around here what with the tree, the stockings, the dozens of ginger-almond sugar cookies Chris decided to whip up last night. I think I’ll keep that guy around.
I know it’s rather unusual to get into detox mode before one of the biggest boozing events of the year, but let’s pretend that 2014 will be a year of stupendous planning and preparation — and I’m getting an early start.
(Contrarily, I’m also playing a bit of catch up this week. Like streaming delicious amounts of The Carrie Diaries and Revenge. I like my TV programs with a fatty dose of enviable style. As in, when I grow up I totally want to be the girl fashionably stuck somewhere between a teenage Carrie Bradshaw and a middle-class Emily Thorne. Oh, wait…)
So, continuing with the theme of detox and New Year’s Eve celebrations, let’s talk lettuce wraps. If you’ve ever been to a P.F. Chang’s or something similar, chances are you’ve had the popular chicken variation of these refreshing little gems. If you’ve dined Hong Kong-style, you might have even sampled the pork-and-dried-oyster variety — super tasty, though perhaps a bit more work than I’m prepared to dish out on, say, a weeknight. Or an evening when I’d much rather be getting my champs on with friends.
These little guys ain’t nothing more than a simple veggie stir-fry with savory baked tofu and an addicting duo of sweet hoisin and spicy sriracha. Scatter a handful of crisp scallions and crunchy macadamias over the top and you’re looking pretty fancy there, friend. And if you’ve maybe nogged one too many eggs this season, these taste real good going down. Snacky but still light with plenty of veg to lighten your load.
Put these alongside a platter of Veggie Joe Sliders and a display of Prosciutto Cheese Straws and you’ve got the beginning of a bash-worthy buffet, though they’re a great takeout fakeout all on their own. Wolfing them down while standing over the kitchen sink cleaning up dinner? Also ok.
Regardless, here’s to wrapping up 2013 in style (*snicker*).
Asian Tofu Lettuce Wraps (vegan & gluten-free)
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 20 mins | Serves 4 (or a larger handful of party guests)
Note: If making this recipe truly gluten-free, choose a wheat-free hoisin sauce.
- 2 T sesame oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1/2 lb carrots, shredded
- 1/2 lb baked season tofu, diced or crumbled (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained and diced
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, plus extra for serving (see note)
- 1 T sriracha (or to taste)
- couple of tablespoons water
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 4-5 scallions, sliced thinly at an angle
- 1/2 cup dry roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
- 1 head iceberg lettuce (or 2 heads butter lettuce)
Thoroughly wash and leaf lettuce. Heat a large wok or fry pan over medium heat and add oil. Add onions and carrots and season with salt; saute until crisp-tender, about 5 mins. Add diced or crumbled tofu, water chestnuts, hoisin sauce and sriracha and heat through, adding a tablespoon or so of water to moisten mixture, if necessary. Season with pepper. Remove from heat and scatter with sliced scallions.
Serve mixture in lettuce cups topped with macadamia nuts and extra hoisin sauce. Enjoy!
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