Testing Heart-Healthy Lettuce Wrap Recipe - Clean Eating Magazine

Alicia: That's A Wrap!

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Last night, I set out to re-create the winning recipe from our second annual coverage of the American Heart Association’s Flavors of the Heart Festival. I tried it in the Clean Eating test kitchen and again to judge the top five recipes — and let me tell you, a day has not gone by that these crunchy, satisfying, eat-out-of-hand little miracles haven’t crossed my mind. I think I even said something dorky to my editors like, “I smile every time I think of those wraps.” And it’s true. I’m completely obsessed.

So, in an effort to re-create these mouthfuls of heaven and to complete my very first Clean Eating blog entry – double excitement! – I did what no woman should ever do: I sent my sweetheart to the market. Now, in his defense, it was 10 pm and he went to a supermarket in an extremely busy neighborhood full of young professionals that probably raided the place before he even got there. But, when I got home the following day and geared up to “assemble” the wraps (bonus: they’re vegetarian AND no-cook), I couldn’t locate the alfalfa sprouts or the lettuce. Sure, we may have been able to squeak by without the alfalfa sprouts, but the lettuce? The lettuce is sort of an integral part of lettuce wraps, so, of course I was a little bummed. I asked what happened. “They were out,” I was told.

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Fast-forward to day two: I get home with the sprouts and lettuce only to discover that the tomatoes called for were MIA. “Whoops, they didn’t have the right variety, sorry!” came the explanation. Le sigh…

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Day three: After making a fourth trip to the godforsaken market, at last, I am ready to rock. While finally making some progress, my sister calls. Of course, I figure I can take the call on speaker and continue prepping this top chef–created recipe that I’ve never once attempted before. About halfway down the list of ingredients, I turn the page of the recipe’s Word document draft to see if I could simply dump all of my chopped ingredients into one bowl to save dishes. That’s when I – wait for it – return to the ingredients list and I begin peeling and chopping ginger, measuring out allspice and cinnamon and finally see that I also need a cup of brewed coffee. “Coffee, huh?” I think. These wraps are wild!

Wait a second…. Shamefully, it took me that long to realize I wasn’t in the Herb and Nut Salad Wraps ingredients anymore. I was now prepping ingredients for the Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Curd on the next page. My sister had a good chuckle and so did I.

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Now, this recipe is supposed to take 30 minutes start to finish, and it does if you don’t make someone else get your groceries and if you pay attention instead of gabbing on speakerphone with your little sis. Can you believe it? Four market trips and I nearly made a second recipe without even realizing it? Only me. But you know what? It was well worth it. I cannot tell you how good these bundles are – you absolutely must try them. I bet even your little ones will gobble them up. I can’t wait to eat these delicious suckers again for lunch today. Oh, and try the ginger cake too; in fact, try all the October issue’s Flavors of the Heart recipes. These Las Vegas chefs really blew our minds and were so proud to feature their creations in Clean Eating. And please tell me what you think!

Happy “cooking.” Until next time!