Meaty–Yet Meatless–Spicy Lettuce Wraps

Meatless Lettuce Wraps

Between Cinco de Mayo two weeks ago and an especially booze-soaked girls’ getaway last weekend, my body is pissed. I’ve been stuffing myself with melted cheese, guacamole, and tequila for two straight weeks now and I’m not feeling my finest, on the inside or outside.

SO! What does this mean? Back to basics. Making a conscious effort to cook at home, using healthy ingredients. I’m trying to cut back on the meat and carbs for the next couple weeks, so it’s up to me to make eating tons of fresh vegetables interesting. The other night I cooked Asian lettuce wraps for boyfriend Rob (an ultra-carnivore) and our roommate Dayna (a vegetarian) and… the impossible was achieved! Everyone loved this dinner. Probably because it’s flavorful and meaty, yet meat-free and light.

The secret is my new fave vegetable protein, made by Gardein. Normally I don’t like packaged frozen foods, but I’ll make an exception for quick, healthy options like Amy’s, Kashi and certain Trader Joe’s entrees… and now I can add Gardein to the list. Luckily, their meatless meats are made from all-natural vegetable proteins (soy, wheat, and pea proteins plus vegetables and complex grains) so I don’t feel guilty about splurging on a little frozen shortcut. Apparently nobody else in my house minds either!

Meatless Spicy Lettuce Wraps

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Gizzards, Kidneys and Balls…For Vegans

I’m not entirely vegetarian. I still eat seafood regularly and poultry occasionally. And I’m not one of those judgmental asshats that sits at a table with carnivores and silently judges them or does the whole, “Do you even know what you’re eating?!” thing. If you’re vegan, good for you. If you’re a carnivore, go for it. I get it. Bacon is delicious. What I find puzzling¬†is the whole fake-meat-disguised-as-meat phenomenon. It’s like fat free butter or fake fur – it just feels weird. Why would anyone who has omitted animals from their diet have any desire to consume tofu shaped into an animal?

OK, I’ll be entirely honest — the realistic turkey — I have a compulsion to buy one the next time I’m home (it’s from a restaurant/tofu manufacturer in LA called Vinh Loi), just out of morbid curiosity. So I started poking around and came across a whole world of fake meat that I never even knew existed. Vegetarian offal:

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