I thought that by making this dish the Wednesday before Expo West that I’d be able to post it in a timely manner and not leave you hanging for a week. Clearly, this is not the case. I’ve already been caught up in the Expo, along with finishing some Easter Brunch recipe for a VegNews web feature (!!!). I CANNOT wait to share both of those with you, as there are a lot of really awesome new, vegan products debuting at the Expo this year; and the brunch recipes that I’m making are SO good. (If I don’t say so myself ;))
Basically, this all came together when the lovely Jill from Vegan Cuts came into town and stayed with me for a night, before heading off to Anaheim. She was starving, but wanted something healthy to eat, especially after indulging at the New York Veg Fest (I’m not jealous, oh wait, yes I am). I’ve been wanting to make some lettuce wraps, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to make them more Asian or Mexican-inspired. This problem was quickly solved after I spotted a can of black beans and my mind began racing.
These wraps are great because they’re totally plant-based, oil-free, and flavorful! Not to mention, a good amount of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. What more could you ask for? Maybe dessert. Here we have your black beans, your quinoa, some plantains, bell peppers, spinach and more. Plus, when you ditch the tortilla for lettuce, you drop the empty calories and extra carbs.
One Year Ago: Raw Coconut Lime Pie
Two Years Ago: Smoky Yam Soup
- ½ C. Quinoa (not cooked)
- 1 C. + 2 Tbsp. Water
- ¼ C. Veggie Broth or Water
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- ½ C. Red Onion, Diced
- ½ C. Orange Bell Pepper, Diced
- 1 Plantain, Peeled and Chopped
- 1- 15 oz. Can of Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
- 2 C. Baby Spinach
- ¼ C. Salsa or Chopped Tomato
- ½ Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
- ½ tsp. Smoked Paprika
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ C. Fresh Cilantro, Loosely Packed
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice, Plus additional Lime Wedges for Serving
- Salt to Taste
- ½ an Avocado, Cubed for Garnish
- 4-6 Large Lettuce Leaves, I used Romaine and chopped off the thick rib part
- In a small pan or rice cooker, combine the dried quinoa and 1 C. of water. If you're using a pan, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes.
- While that is cooking, warm the ¼ C. of veggie broth/water over medium heat in a large pan.
- Once hot, saute the red onion and garlic together until the onions start to become clear. Add the bell pepper and plantain into the mixture and saute until the bell pepper has become softer.
- Next, stir in the black beans, baby spinach, quinoa and salsa/tomato; cook until the spinach is wilted.
- Add the spices, cilantro and lime to the pan, making sure that the spices are evenly incorporated. Season with salt to taste.
- Garnish with avocado.
I feel as though I’ll be needing more of these next week to try to get my meals back on track! Expo West has a fantastic/horrible way of having you live off of samples for longer than its three-day run. Oy. Hey, there’s worse problems out there, and I’m so glad that I’m able to attend and hopefully show you lots of goodies, next week, in a recap.