Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thai Lettuce Wraps

The title of this recipe reveals an obvious departure in the use of entirely local ingredients. Fortunately (depending on one's standards), healthy and sustainable food needn't be entirely from within state lines. In fact, the type of food and how, where and when it is produced often have more bearing on health and environment than the distance it travelled to your plate.

You may be wondering, if 'food miles' aren't a major issue, why sign up for a CSA? This is a broader topic that I'll address in subsequent blog entries, but safe to say there are substantial benefits of CSAs that go beyond mileage.

Returning to the topic at hand - lettuce wraps - here's a crispy, high-protein treat that's perfect on a hot summer evening. Since I more or less threw this together on a whim, let's dispense with formal measurements:
  • Lettuce leaves (washed)
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut sauce (prepared or homemade)
  • Extra firm tofu
  • Brown rice (cooked)
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Chili pepper, chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Olive oil
  • Lime/lemon juice

Tofu prep: Tofu, straight of the box, tends to be a bit watery. For a chewier texture, cut a package of tofu into cubes, apply light pressure (not so much that you mash it into soymilk) to drain off water, then place them in the freezer. When ready to use, thaw, apply pressure and drain additional water.

Sautee the garlic and chili in olive oil. Add peanuts, tofu and peanut sauce. Cook until tofu is browned.

Remove spines from lettuce (the crunchy parts don't wrap very well). Wrap tofu mixture, cilantro, brown rice and a dash of lemon. Dip in peanut sauce.

When wraps inevitably fall apart, resort to fork.