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Peanut Tofu Lettuce Wraps (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These tofu lettuce wraps are the perfect light meal for a warm summer night. Tofu and mushrooms are sautéed, then drenched in creamy peanut sauce before served on crunchy lettuce!

tofu lettuce wraps

If you’ve been here before, you know I absolutely love peanut sauce. I make it all the time for a variety of meals, and pretty much always have the ingredients on hand. These tofu lettuce wraps were basically just another vehicle to satisfy my peanut sauce cravings, but now this is one of my favorite summertime recipes!

It’s tough to turn on the oven during the summer, so I am all about quick meals that require minimal heat. For these tofu lettuce wraps, you only need one pan and only need to turn on the stove for about 10 minutes! You’ll sauté green onion, mushrooms, tofu, and water chestnuts together until browned. Then just pour on delicious homemade peanut sauce and mix together!

In this recipe, you’ll crumble the tofu, rather than slicing it into cubes. This gives the tofu a meatier texture, and ensures the peanut sauce gets into all the nooks and crannies!

tofu lettuce wraps

How to Make Tofu Lettuce Cups

  • Press a block of extra firm tofu between two plates for at least 10 minutes to remove excess water.
  • Chop up half a box of mushrooms and sauté them with sliced green onion.
  • Use your hands to crumble tofu into small, bite size pieces, and add them to the pan.
  • Cook until tofu is browned.
  • Toss tofu mixture with water chestnuts and homemade peanut sauce.
  • Scoop tofu into whole lettuce leaves, and sprinkle with green onions, fresno chilis, and chopped peanuts.

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Tofu: Tofu is a soy-based product that is a staple for vegetarian diets. It is one of my favorite protein sources because it is inexpensive and versatile. Tofu is low in saturated fat, and is also a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium! Tofu tastes very plain on its own, but soaks up any sauce or dressing you add beautifully.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are another staple for vegetarian diets, because they have a meaty texture and savory, umami flavor profile. Unlike other fruits and vegetables, mushrooms are a good plant-based source of vitamin D, a nutrient many Americans do not get enough of!
  • Ginger: Ginger has been used for ages to treat a variety of ailments. It is effective in fighting nausea, and contains powerful antioxidants. It also has antibacterial properties, so it can be used to help fight infections.
  • Water Chestnut
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Peanut Butter
  • Lime Juice
  • Garlic
tofu lettuce wraps

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Peanut Tofu Lettuce Wraps (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

These tofu lettuce wraps are the perfect light meal for a warm summer night. Tofu and mushrooms are sautéed, then drenched in creamy peanut sauce before served on crunchy lettuce!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed for at least 10 minutes
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 head of butter lettuce, leaves removed, washed, and dried
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 fresno chili, sliced thin

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 12 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Heat avocado oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add mushrooms and half of the green onions to the skillet, cooking for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms begin to release their liquid.
  3. Use your hands to crumble the tofu into small chunks directly into the skillet. Continue cooking for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tofu begins to brown nicely and mushrooms are cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the peanut sauce by whisking together all peanut sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
  5. Once tofu is done, remove from heat. Stir in water chestnuts and peanut sauce until everything is evenly coated.
  6. Scoop about 1/4 cup of tofu mixture into each lettuce leaf. Top each lettuce wrap with a sprinkle of the remaining green onion, crushed peanuts, and fresno chili slices.


Notes

  • If you can’t find butter lettuce, any sturdy leafy vegetable will work. Try romaine or cabbage!

Keywords: tofu lettuce cups, vegan, peanut sauce, gluten free, tofu

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magnesium rich foods Featured

Why You Should Add These Magnesium Rich Foods to Your Diet

Learn about the mineral magnesium and why it’s so important for us! This post also includes a list of delicious magnesium rich foods you can add to your diet.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an extremely important mineral for the human body. It is required as a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems that perform all kinds of biochemical reactions! Magnesium is needed for protein synthesis, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar control, and muscle and nerve function, just to name a few.

Because more than half of the magnesium in our bodies is found in bone (50%-60%), magnesium levels are difficult to measure. However, many Americans are not getting the recommended amount of magnesium in their diets. The current Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA’s) for magnesium for adults is between 310-420 mg per day, based on age and gender (1).

Magnesium Health Benefits

Magnesium plays a crucial role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the human body. Because of this, it has significant health benefits.

  • Cardiovascular Disease: Magnesium might help to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure/hypertension is a known risk factor for stroke and heart disease. There is limited evidence that magnesium supplementation is associated with lowering blood pressure. However, one study showed that increased dietary magnesium from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lead to a drop in blood pressure (2).
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Diets high in magnesium are beneficial to prevent Type 2 Diabetes, likely because magnesium plays an important role in glucose metabolism. One meta-analysis showed that increasing magnesium intake by 100 mg per day significantly lowered the risk of Type 2 diabetes (3). Type 2 Diabetes causes higher urinary losses of magnesium, so it’s also important for those with the disease to get enough in their diets.
  • Bone Health: More than half of the magnesium in our bodies exists in bones. It is a part of bone formation, and helps regulate concentrations of other factors needed for strong bones. Even though we stop accumulating bone mass by the age of 25, research shows some positive associations between magnesium intake and bone mineral density in adults (4). This is especially important for post-menopausal women, who are at higher risk of osteoporosis! Magnesium may be just as important as calcium and vitamin D to promote good bone health.
  • Sleep: Magnesium supplementation may help with sleep and insomnia. One study showed that 8 weeks of daily magnesium supplementation lead to improved measures of insomnia, such as sleep time and serum melatonin levels (5).

Eight Magnesium Rich Foods

Now that we’ve gone over the importance of magnesium, and recognize what a powerful mineral it is, here are some delicious ways to add it to your diet!

Spinach and Leafy Greens

kale caesar salad

Half a cup of cooked spinach contains 20% of your daily magnesium needs. Enjoy it as a base for a salad, sautéed in an omelet, or blended into a green smoothie! Spinach and leafy greens are also good sources of fiber, and vitamins A, C and K. Try this Kale Caesar Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas or Spinach, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Quesadilla recipe to get your daily dose of leafy greens!

Beans and Legumes

mushroom tacos with mango avocado salsa

Beans and legumes are an inexpensive source of plant based protein, plus tons of other nutrients. Half a cup of black beans contain 15% of your daily magnesium needs, and half a cup of kidney beans contain 9%. Beans are one of the foods that people in all five Blue Zones eat regularly, which are areas of the world where people live longer than average. Try out these Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Peppers or Mushroom Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa, both which include black beans.

Avocado

chickpea avocado stuffed sweet potatoes

We all know that avocado is full of healthy fats and potassium, but it also contains magnesium. One cup has 11% of our daily needs. Avocado is such a yummy and filling addition to salads, grain bowls, and even smoothies! Check out my Chickpea and Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Vegan Avocado Quesadillas for some new avocado filled meal ideas.

Tofu

crispy baked tofu, magnesium rich foods

Tofu is a versatile vegetarian diet staple. It is an inexpensive, easy to prepare source of plant-based protein, and it also contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, and iron. A 3.5 oz serving of tofu contains 13% of our daily magnesium needs. Some of my favorite tofu recipes include these Peanut Tofu Vermicelli Rice Noodle Bowls with Quick Pickled Vegetables, Tofu Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and Crispy Baked Tofu.

Edamame

edamame

Another soy product, edamame are immature soy beans. They are eaten steamed, and are delicious on their own with just a little salt! Edamame is a nutrition powerhouse, as it contains fiber, healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, iron, and magnesium – one cup has 24% of our daily needs. Try steamed edamame as one of my favorite Healthy Snack Ideas or in this Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing.

Nuts

chocolate coconut balls, magnesium rich foods

Nuts are one of my favorite foods to snack on. They’re a good source of healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. Almonds and cashews are particularly good source of magnesium. One ounce of either will give us around 20% of our daily needs! I love making healthy sweets using nuts, nut butter, or almond flour. Check out these recipes that use nut based ingredients: Almond Butter Zucchini Brownies, Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge, and Chocolate Coconut Balls.

Seeds

cauliflower sweet potato salad

Like nuts, seeds are also a wonderful food to snack on. A tablespoon of flax, chia, or sesame seeds gives us around 10% of our daily magnesium needs. I love to sprinkle seeds on top of oatmeal bowls or salads, and include them in my baking. This Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad with Tahini Citrus Vinaigrette recipe uses sesame, or try this Blended Chocolate Chia Pudding.

Dark Chocolate

Fudgy Tahini Brownies with Chocolate Drizzle

Saving the best for last, dark chocolate is probably everyone’s favorite magnesium rich food! A one ounce piece contains 16% of our daily magnesium needs. Dark chocolate is also rich in flavanol antioxidants, which are protective against cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate is obviously delicious on it’s own, or in desserts! Try these Fudgy Tahini Brownies or Raw Cashew Coconut Snickerdoodle Truffles.

Magnesium is a super important mineral for a ton of biochemical processes in our bodies, and has many health benefits. Load up your plate with magnesium rich foods to get your daily doses! As you can see, including a variety of foods from different food groups will give you a healthy dose of magnesium, as well as other necessary vitamins and minerals.

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magnesium rich foods
rice noodle bowls with peanut tofu and pickled vegetables Featured

Peanut Tofu Vermicelli Rice Noodle Bowls with Quick Pickled Vegetables (Vegan, Gluten Free)

 

What do you prefer, noodle bowls or rice bowls? I usually go for rice bowls (I love how rice soaks up sauces), but there’s one noodle bowl I absolutely love! I first had a Vietnamese Bun noodle bowl years ago, and instantly loved the fresh flavors and thin rice noodles. It’s a light meal, but still very filling. It doesn’t leave you feeling like you need a nap like some other noodle dishes.

The Vietnamese Bun noodle bowls I’ve had are served with nuoc cham, a sweet/salty/acidic sauce that really adds a delicious flavor. They are also served with fresh vegetables like carrots and cucumbers. I wanted to combine both of these elements by pickling my vegetables! The acidity plus a little sweetness of the apple cider vinegar shines though. I encourage you to prepare the pickled vegetables at least a day in advance to allow them to really pick up flavor. If you are unable to make the pickled vegetables, this meal would also be delicious with crunchy raw chopped vegetables!

You guys know I love peanut sauce, so peanut tofu was a natural choice for me to add to this bowl. With all these amazing flavors working together, I could eat this bowl every day! This meal was also boyfriend approved, so we’ll definitely keep this in our regular meal rotation. This meal serves 4-5.

 Ingredients

Pickled Vegetables

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and thinly sliced I used a julienne peeler)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Bowls

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • Avocado oil spray
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, thinly shredded
  • 1 package vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1-2 Fresno chilis, sliced
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts
  • Fresh mint and/or cilantro

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Pack sliced cucumbers and carrots into two jars. Heat the apple cider vinegar, water and maple syrup in a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid into vegetable jars so that vegetables are fully covered. Cover and place in refrigerator. Prepare the pickled vegetables one day in advance if possible, or at least 30 minutes before eating.
  2. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Drain and press tofu to remove excess water.
  4. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes, spray with avocado oil spray and bake for 25-30 minutes, until edges are golden brown and crispy.
  5. Prepare peanut sauce by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Toss tofu in peanut sauce to coat.
  6. Prepare vermicelli noodles according to package instructions.
  7. Arrange portions of lettuce, noodles and tofu in bowls. Top with mung bean sprouts, chilis, crushed peanuts, fresh herbs and pickled vegetables.

If you try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

 

crispy baked tofu Featured

Crispy Baked Tofu

How do you guys feel about tofu? It seems to be one of those foods that people either love or hate. Growing up, the only exposure I had to tofu was the little cubes floating in miso soup. Once I got to college, where my interest in health and nutrition blossomed, I began eating and cooking tofu. I’ve never disliked it, but I understand why somebody may have a bad experience with it. The texture is unique, and when eaten on its own is very bland. One thing I’m quite proud of is getting Ben to willingly eat tofu, and enjoy it! I always make a flavorful sauce, so it really just becomes a vehicle for that.

Soy based foods are some of the most controversial in the food and nutrition world. Why? Soy contains high concentrations of isoflavones, which are a type of plant estrogen (phytoestrogens). Phytoestrogens can have similar effects as human estrogen on the human body, but much weaker. The isoflavones in soy can bind to estrogen receptors in our bodies, causing very weak estrogenic effects OR anti-estrogenic effects. Because of this, there has been concern that soy foods may increase the risk of certain hormonal cancers. However, several studies have shown that soy consumption is associated with lower risk of breast cancer, both hormone positive and hormone negative. Studies also show that soy intake is significantly associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer in men.

I enjoy soy based foods such as edamame, tofu and tempeh, and based on the research, they are safe to consume! Soy has many health benefits, being a high quality source of plant-based protein. Unlike many other plant-based proteins like beans and legumes, soy is a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is low in saturated fat, so it is an excellent replacement for red and processed meat in the diet. It also contains valuable vitamins and minerals, including calcium and iron. Also, I think it is notable to mention that the people of Okinawa, Japan regularly consume tofu – about 8 times more than we do in the US. This population is one of the worlds five “Blue Zones”, regions of the world where people live much longer than average. Following suit and including tofu, amongst other nutritious foods in our diets, like sweet potatoes and turmeric, may help us live longer!

This super simple tofu recipe has become my go-to. I used to pan-fry my tofu, but I found it would brown unevenly, and I would need to use significantly more oil to prevent it from sticking. By baking, I can just use spray oil! It gives the tofu that golden crispy exterior while still being soft on the inside. I usually make this recipe once a week to enjoy in a grain bowl or salad. I kept the seasonings minimal because I always add a flavorful sauce or dressing that the tofu picks up.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Drain the tofu and press between two plates lined with paper towels for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Spray the parchment paper lined baking sheet with avocado oil, then place the tofu cubes on the sheet.
  5. Add salt, pepper and adobo seasoning and another spray of avocado oil to coat. Toss with hands to evenly coat tofu cubes with seasoning.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Tofu should be golden brown and beginning to crisp on the edges.

If you guys try this tofu, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Tofu Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce (Vegan, Gluten Free)

What’s your favorite take-out cuisine? For me, I’ll always choose any restaurant that offers fresh summer rolls. When I lived in Providence, there was a great Thai and sushi restaurant down the street. They had the most delicious summer rolls with the best peanut dipping sauce. Honestly, give me anything drizzled with peanut sauce and I’ll be happy!

I love to experiment with healthier alternatives to my favorite restaurant and take-out meals in my cooking. By preparing food for yourself, you have total control over all the ingredients you add. Restaurants liberally add salt, oils and other fats to their cooking because, well, it makes their food taste delicious! But, you can still enjoy the vibrant flavors without taking in a day’s worth of sodium or saturated fat. I really love Asian cuisine, so I’ve developed some delicious sauces, like a stir fry and sesame ginger sauce.

I think I’ve finally perfected a peanut sauce I’ve been working on for a while, so I had to share it with you guys! I was also craving summer rolls and decided to just make a meal out of it! Why must we limit them to appetizer course? I paired these vegan rolls with some steamed + lightly salted edamame for a better-than-take-out meal. This sauce is not just for dipping; you can use it as a salad dressing, drizzled over avocado toast or tossed in a stir fry.

Ingredients:

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp mauka honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

Summer Rolls

  • 1 block firm tofu, water pressed out for 10 minutes
  • 2 tsp Trader Joe’s Mushroom & Company seasoning (or just salt and pepper)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup baby spinach, stems removed
  • Large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 7 spring roll brown rice paper wrappers
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise, or peeled with julienne peeler
  • Half an avocado, thinly sliced
  • Half a small cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice tofu into thin steaks, season with TJ’s Mushroom & Company, toss in avocado oil and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until browned and crispy.
  2. While tofu is cooking, prepare peanut sauce. Whisk together avocado oil, sesame oil, tamari, lime juice, vinegar, chili paste, honey, garlic and ginger. Then whisk in peanut butter until smooth. Add more chili paste if you like heat!
  3. Prepare veggies and avocado as outlined.
  4. When tofu is done cooking, slice each piece in half lengthwise.
  5. Set up a little assembly line on your countertop: start with rice paper wrappers, then spinach and mint, veggies, avocado and tofu.
  6. Fully submerge 1 rice paper wrapper in water, then place on a clean plate.
  7. Arrange about 5-7 spinach leaves and 2 mint leaves in the center of the wrapper, and then top with the remaining ingredients.
  8. I found it easiest to fold in the sides of the wrapper first, then roll the front edge away from you to form the wrap.
  9. Place finished rolls on another clean plate. You can leave them whole or slice in half with a sharp knife.
  10. Serve with peanut dipping sauce!

These will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days, just bring them to room temperature before eating so the wrappers soften.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂