Water Chestnut and Pineapple Lettuce Wraps

Water chestnuts are one of the very few vegetables that I don’t really like. I’m not sure why — I love crunchy, water-rich veggies, but something about the texture always gets to me with water chestnuts. But since I’m running out of veggies for my recipe challenge I figured I might as well give them another shot. And in this recipe I actually liked them. Maybe it’s because the crunchiness of the lettuce and the daikon sort of masks the texture of the water chestnuts. Whatever it is, this recipe really worked for me.

These lettuce wraps are going to be perfect on a hot summer day. They’re so cool and refreshing, and can be made entirely raw. I had no idea that you can buy raw water chestnuts, but apparently they are available in a lot of Asian markets year-round, so next time I make these I will have to be on the lookout. Fresh water chestnuts are sweeter and more firm. Maybe I’ve never cared for them canned because they taste like the can they’re preserved in! Mind blown! So if you want this recipe to be full-on raw, go for it. Even if all you can find is canned water chestnuts it can still be a high-raw meal perfect for those meltingly hot summer days.

Water chestnuts are today’s featured veggie, and they’re interesting. They’re not related to chestnuts you roast on an open fire (those grow in a tree). Water chestnuts are an aquatic plant native to China, and they contain fair amounts of Vitamin B6 and potassium. They also contain quite a few minerals and antioxidants, and have anti-microbial properties. Water chestnuts even contain an antibiotic compound called ‘puchin’ which acts in immune function like penicillin.

Water Chestnut, Daikon and Pineapple Lettuce Wraps

 

Water Chestnut and Pineapple

Lettuce Wraps

  • 1/2 can diced pineapple
  • 2″ slice daikon, diced
  • 1 can water chestnuts, diced (or 10 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and diced)
  • 1/4 cup red or green onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (seeds removed)
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 head butter or romaine lettuce, separated into leaves

In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, daikon, water chestnuts, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice.

Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and serve alongside filling. Fill lettuce leaves with a few tablespoons of the water chestnut mixture to serve.

Recipe adapted from here.

Water Chestnut Lettuce Wraps

Water Chestnut Lettuce Wrap Filling

Super easy! This light and refreshing meal would be perfect alone on a hot day or served alongside a stir-fry or peanut noodles for something more substantial. I hope you enjoy!

Water Chestnut and Pineapple Lettuce Wraps

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe featuring another veggie, and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to follow the whole 50-day “a different veggie a day” recipe challenge. I’m starting to run out of veggies, so if you have any suggestions please let me know!

In case you missed the last 47 days of recipes, here they are:

Printable Version:

Water Chestnut and Pineapple Lettuce Wraps
 
Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • ½ can diced pineapple
  • 2" slice daikon, diced
  • 1 can water chestnuts, diced (or 10 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and diced)
  • ¼ cup red or green onion, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (seeds removed)
  • juice from ½ lime
  • 1 head butter or romaine lettuce, separated into leaves
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, daikon, water chestnuts, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice.
  2. Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and serve alongside filling. Fill lettuce leaves with a few tablespoons of the water chestnut mixture to serve.

 

 

Snow Pea Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing

Today was one of the warmest days so far, in the high 60’s and sunny here in Oregon which is amazing for mid-March. Past years have been rain, rain and more rain in March in Portland, and while people are worried about the water levels this summer I can’t help but enjoy the warmth and the sunshine. My original recipe plan for today was a hot dish but given the weather I couldn’t bear to turn on the stove. Revised plan: yummy Snow Pea Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing. This was perfect for the changing weather, light and delicious with tons of flavor, but still really simple. A perfect change-up from a regular side salad.

We do a lot of side salads in this house. My hubby is super picky about veggies, but a plain old salad with the basic veggies (lettuce, cucumber, tomato, carrots) is fine with him, so it’s my go-to. Gotta get veggies in him somehow! So tonight’s salad features all of his faves, and he loved it. This will definitely be going into my rotation.

Today’s featured veggie for the recipe challenge is the crunchy little snow pea. These edible-podded peas are water and fiber-rich, as well as an excellent source of folic acid and Vitamin C. They contain lots of antioxidants which can help prevent certain cancers. Try these crunchy and refreshing veggies in your next salad!

Snow Pea Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing

 

Snow Pea Salad

with Miso Sesame DressinG

  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 cups snow peas, trimmed and halved
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 3 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs mild white miso paste
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped (optional)

In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, miso, ginger, garlic, vinegar, agave and soy sauce. Set aside.

Mix together lettuce, snow peas, carrots, green onions and cucumber in a large serving bowl. Toss with dressing and sprinkle with peanuts, if using. Serve.

Snow Pea Salad with Miso Sesame Ginger Dressing

Snow Pea Salad

Perk up your salad tonight with this refreshing salad and tangy dressing. This salad was flavorful and perfect for a warm day. I hope you enjoy!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe featuring another veggie, and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to follow the whole 50-day “a different veggie a day” recipe challenge. I’m starting to run out of veggies, so if you have any suggestions please let me know!

In case you missed the last 44 days of recipes, here they are:

Printable Version:

Snow Pea Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 cups snow peas, trimmed and halved
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ medium cucumber, chopped
  • 3 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs mild white miso paste
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, miso, ginger, garlic, vinegar, agave and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Mix together lettuce, snow peas, carrots, green onions and cucumber in a large serving bowl. Toss with dressing and sprinkle with peanuts, if using. Serve.

 

Raw Zucchini Hummus with Ginger and Lime

Raw hummus used to be much more of a staple food for me when I was dabbling in a high-raw diet. I would whip up a big batch and use it on everything – as salad dressing, as dip for crudité, inside lettuce wraps. I love how easy it is to make and how versatile. Even if you’re not trying to follow a raw diet, adding in raw foods is healthy and delicious! The base of this hummus is zucchini, meaning it’s lower in calories than traditional hummus (and often easier to digest than the chickpeas which form the base of cooked hummus). This recipe is modified from this recipe on Choosing Raw, one of my favorite raw food blogs. This time I decided to give it an Asian spin by featuring ginger. This recipe can be done with sesame seeds instead of tahini if using a high speed blender like the Vitamix (I love mine) but since I only had tahini I went with it instead. Using sesame seeds gives the hummus a fluffier and thicker texture.

As the featured vegetable of the day for my veggie recipe challenge, ginger is a powerhouse of nutrients. This spicy root is is still used in many traditional Indian and Chinese medicines to prevent disease and promote general good health. It contains many minerals necessary to the body and is very anti-inflammatory and good for digestion. It adds a very special flavor and interesting twist to this raw hummus.

Raw Zucchini Hummus

 

Raw Zucchini Hummus with

Ginger and Lime

  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of ginger root, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Using a grater, shred the zucchini. Pat dry well using paper towels.

In a food processor or high speed blender, combine all ingredients, with the zucchini on the bottom, and blend until very smooth.

Zucchini Hummus with Ginger and Lime

Raw Zucchini Hummus with Ginger and Lime

Raw Vegan Zucchini Hummus with Ginger and Lime

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe featuring a new veggie, and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to follow the whole 50-day “a different veggie a day” recipe challenge.

In case you missed the last 34 days of recipes, here they are:

Printable Version:

Raw Zucchini Hummus with Ginger and Lime
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 small zucchini
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of ginger root, minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Using a grater, shred the zucchini. Pat dry well using paper towels.
  2. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine all ingredients, with the zucchini on the bottom, and blend until very smooth.

 

Arugula Pesto

Pasta used to be such a staple food for me when I would go out to restaurants as a vegetarian. I mentioned in a previous post how much I adore and miss creamy sauces. But just because I have to make do in a restaurant doesn’t mean I can’t make my own delicious pasta at home. And this arugula pesto is a dream come true. Refreshing and peppery, it’s a bit lighter and more bright-tasting than traditional pesto, with none of the traditional dairy products (although you make it cheesy with a bit of vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast). Woohoo!

This would be fantastic on pasta noodles or over steamed veggies, or even added to a creamy sauce for pasta for ultra decadence (think vegan Alfredo sauce. Yup, my mouth is watering). I can’t wait to try a more traditional basil version, but today’s featured veggie is arugula! Arugula is super healthy – pretty much all leafy greens are good for you. An alternate name for arugula is salad rocket, which, frankly, is a really awesome name for a vegetable. I’m totally going to start calling it that now. “Hey honey, do you want some salad rocket?” Perfect. Anyhoo, arugula (SALAD ROCKET!) is a good source of folate and an excellent source of Vitamins A and K, like kale. So even something rich like pesto can be a healthy addition to a meal. I hope you enjoy this version!

Arugula Pesto with Pine Nuts

Arugula Pesto

  • 1 cup packed arugula, washed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs vegan Parmesan (Go Veggie brand is great) or nutritional yeast
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt, or more to taste

In a food processor, combine arugula, pine nuts, garlic, vegan Parmesan, lemon juice, pepper and salt until fairly smooth.

While the motor is running, slowly add olive oil until pesto is very smooth and incorporated.

Arugula Pesto

One of the things I love about pesto, and recipes like this, is the versatility. This can be served over pasta, potatoes, veggies, even salad. Go crazy! The only issue I had with this recipe was I accidentally added too much salt (don’t worry, the 1/8 tsp I wrote in the recipe is conservative, although if you’re worried you can always do smaller pinches and taste it. You’ll probably want to add a bit more). I think you’ll really enjoy the bright, peppery taste of the arugula in this interesting pesto.

Vegan Arugula Pesto

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recipe featuring a new veggie, and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to follow the whole 50-day “a different veggie a day” recipe challenge.

In case you missed the last 31 days of recipes, here they are:

Printable Version:

Arugula Pesto
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed arugula, washed and chopped
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs vegan Parmesan (Go Veggie brand is great) or nutritional yeast
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp salt, or more to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine arugula, pine nuts, garlic, vegan Parmesan, lemon juice, pepper and salt until fairly smooth.
  2. While the motor is running, slowly add olive oil until pesto is very smooth and incorporated.

 

Radicchio Salad with Walnuts and Citrus-Mustard Vinaigrette

Radicchio is an interesting bitter leafy vegetable with a beautiful rich purple color. I’ll admit, this is a leafy vegetable that I’m not used to using at home, so I was rather excited to try a recipe with radicchio as the main attraction. This lovely veggie belongs to the daisy family, and is an excellent source of anti-oxidants. The bitterness in the leaves come from lactucopicrin, which is a potent anti-malarial agent and has a sedative and analgesic (painkiller) effect. This is one amazing vegetable!

A cool season vegetable, you can’t find it all that often in stores, so when you see it grab it! At New Seasons here in Portland, it’s often only in the produce section for about a week before it’s gone again (the checker said he is never able to remember the code for it even though he’s worked there for years). Glad I got it while I was able to so that I could experiment with this cool vegetable! I hope you enjoy this salad if you get a chance to try it.

Radicchio Salad

Radicchio Salad with Walnuts

and Citrus-Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1 head radicchio
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs grainy mustard
  • juice from 1 tangerine or half an orange
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Removing outermost leaves and core of radicchio, tear remaining leaves into approximately 1-inch chunks, removing tough white parts of outer leaves which can be bitter.

Radicchio

In a small bowl, mix shallot, olive oil, mustard, citrus juice and agave nectar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss radicchio with walnuts and dressing. Serve.

Radicchio Salad with Walnuts and Citrus-Mustard Vinaigrette

This salad was simple and tasty; the tart-sweet dressing really complemented the slight bitterness of the radicchio. An easy and unique side dish with a striking purple color – try it alongside these vegan chickpea cutlets for a great meal.

Radicchio Salad with Citrus-Mustard Vinaigrette

Vegan Radicchio Salad with Walnuts and Citrus-Mustard Vinaigrette

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s veggie recipe, and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to follow the whole 50-day “a different veggie a day” recipe challenge.

In case you missed the last 29 days of recipes (holy cow, have I really done that many?!), here they are:

Printable Version:

Radicchio Salad with Walnuts and Citrus-Mustard Vinaigrette
 
Author:
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 head radicchio
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs grainy mustard
  • juice from 1 tangerine or half an orange
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Removing outermost leaves and core of radicchio, tear remaining leaves into approximately 1-inch chunks, removing tough white parts of outer leaves which can be bitter.
  2. In a small bowl, mix shallot, olive oil, mustard, citrus juice and agave nectar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss radicchio with walnuts and dressing. Serve.