Skip to main content

Too Hot To Cook? Make a Lettuce Wrap

I love lettuce cups and garden wraps- so fresh and light.

Too hot to cook and you're contemplating going gluten-free to boot? Try a greenwich on for size. Garden fresh lettuce wraps make for an ultra-easy lunch that is perfect for sizzling summer days. Wrap or cradle your favorite sandwich filling with tender Boston lettuce or crisp romaine. Stuff smaller cups with your favorite salad or use larger leaves to wrap and roll a layered classic.

One of the first recipes I started with on my gluten-free journey years ago was the simple idea of wrapping various sandwich fillings in crisp washed lettuce leaves. The possibilities are endless.

Boston lettuce (aka butter lettuce) leaves make deliciously tender wraps. Romaine is sturdier; fill it lengthwise- like a boat- and simply fold it, rib on bottom. When fillings are messy, wrap the wrap with a piece of wax paper, plastic wrap or foil.

Lettuce wraps are great fun for kids. Set up a buffet style Greenwich Bar- with all the fixin's- and let them choose from an assortment of fillings to design their and wrap their own creations.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Asian Inspired Lettuce Wraps

These are quick and tasty for lunches and fun appetizers.

Grate, julienne or chop an assortment of fresh crisp veggies:

Cucumbers, carrots, jicama, apple, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, chilled water chestnuts, etc.
Toss in a bowl with Asian-style dressing. Or make your own sauce with a dash of wheat-free gluten-free tamari or soy sauce, a kiss of toasted sesame oil and a dash of rice vinegar. Season with sea salt and ground pepper.
Spoon the veggie mixture into fresh, washed lettuce leaves. Boston, butter, romaine or red lettuce are all excellent.

Add cold cooked shrimp or crabmeat. Slices of avocado.
Serve in lettuce cups or roll up the greenwiches and chomp.

Other options for a dressing include thinning a small dab of peanut butter with a dash of fresh orange/lime/lemon juice, a touch of mustard, a sprinkle of brown sugar. Add a pinch of cumin or ginger, and some fresh mint, parsley or chopped cilantro. Or be bold and add a touch of wasabi.

Add fresh washed bean sprouts, if you like, or some cold seasoned rice or rice noodles, tossed in a little oil. I like to toss cooked rice with a squeeze of lime juice or rice vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar. Be creative, and taste test as you go.

Wrapped Salads

Any salad you like in a sandwich makes a wonderful rolled greenwich:

Chicken, salmon or tuna salad, egg salad, rice salad, quinoa salad, tofu salad, macaroni get the idea.

Greek Salad Wraps

Dice, grate or chop:

Cucumbers, tomatoes (sweet grape tomatoes are delicious), red onion, kalamata or black olives, pepperoncini, chopped hard boiled egg. Add enough Greek dressing and a dash of extra virgin olive oil to moisten. Sprinkle with Greek herbs such as oregano and mint, fresh parsley. Add crumbled goat cheese or feta.

Options include: chilled chick peas or white beans, a bit of minced garlic, a squeeze of lemon. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Spoon these veggies into fresh, washed lettuce leaves. Add a dollop of hummus tahini, if desired, and roll.

Cold Mexican Wraps

For those who love cold refried beans Old El Paso makes tasty, spicy Fat Free Refried Beans that are gluten-free and perfect for a greenwich wrap. Add shredded cheese, chopped green chiles, red onion, salsa or diced tomatoes. Messy, but good!

If you have leftover rice, moisten the cold rice with lime juice and olive oil and season it with a dash of cumin. Spoon the beans, then the rice, then any additions into the lettuce leaf and wrap.

Roasted Vegetable Wraps

Leftover roasted veggies? If you roast them like I do (in olive oil, sea salt and balsamic vinegar) you've got a built-in salad wrap waiting to happen. Allow the roasted veggies to come to room temperature, then fill lettuce cups or leaves.

Add a dollop of hummus for protein. Or add some three-bean salad, a slice of marinated mozzarella, or a crumble of fresh goat cheese.


Gluten-Free Goddess Pizza Crust

PIZZA. YES. For years I've missed pizza. Not because there isn't gluten-free pizza available. It's out there. You can find it if you look hard enough. Take a gander in the frozen food aisle of your favorite natural market. Snoop around in the dairy case, next to the gluten-free bagels. You might even hit pay dirt at your local pizza joint (if they understand the ins and outs of cross contamination). So yeah. There are some choices out there. Problem is, most gluten-free pizza sucks. It's usually heavy on the chewy aspect.  Or dry as dirt. Like a cracker.  With zero flavor.  Yawningly meh.  Certainly nothing to brag about. I mean, you wouldn't eat it if you didn't have to. You know what I'm sayin'? It's okay in a pinch. If you're famished and tired on a Friday night.  But it's not exactly inspiring. So last week I started experimenting. I tweaked and baked. And lo and behold. A tasty new gluten-free pizza crust was born.  And this

My Favorite Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

My Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes For Fall... The bittersweet, textured beauty of Autumn has always gripped my heartstrings, pulling me in deeper, connecting with some invisible part of me, so much more so than Spring. Much more so than summer's flirtatious pleasures. And Winter, well. She is a dark and icy mistress. That relationship has always been complicated. So unlike my truly, madly deeply love of Fall. Bake on, my friends. Tis the season for pumpkin. xox Karina

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Icing

Did someone say... cupcakes? And better yet, pumpkin cupcakes? My favorite, hands down. Warm spicy fall flavors in a sweet morsel of cakey confection topped with a creamy icing. What's not to love? These tender gluten-free cupcake beauties have just the right balance of pumpkin and sweetness, ginger and cinnamon. They're not overly spicy. And as written, they're dairy-free (the cream cheese we used to make the icing is vegan and it worked beautifully). Note that vegan or lactose free cream cheese is typically less stiff than dairy cream cheese. If you are using dairy based cream cheese, soften it first. Have a safe and beautiful weekend! Karina xo

Gluten-Free Baking Tips + Substitutions

Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Help is Here. Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours: Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture). Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch. Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorg

Sunbutter Cookies

Here's an easy gluten-free cookie recipe made with sunflower butter- a post-modern peanut-free take on those retro peanut butter cookies your Aunt Lizzie used to make. You know, with those jars of Skippy peanut butter (or was it Jif?). Instead of using traditional peanut butter in this recipe, I used sunflower butter, which has a golden nutty flavor not unlike peanut butter, but slightly different. Kinda like peanut butter's wacky, geeky brother. You know, slightly nutty. Fun. Like a bright new bike. And they taste so good you just might want some more. Now, please. I adapted this recipe from a peanut butter cookie recipe (submitted by Erin Smith) to Beyond Rice Cakes , an easy, fun cookbook (especially for teens and students) by Vanessa Maltin, director of outreach and programming at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness .

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones

Sconelicious. You heard me right. Because I know what you're craving.  I'm craving it, too. Something indulgent.  But not overly indulgent.  Sweet.  But not too sweet.  Something warm and tender, and laced with the autumnal spices you've been shaking and dashing and pinching with abandon.  Something using up that leftover half cup of pumpkin sitting in the fridge. Are you with me?  Are ya feelin' me?  Then let's get sconed. Karina xox

Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

We found canned organic pumpkin on the store shelves this week. So be prepared for pumpkin recipes. I, for one, Darling, can't get enough. Pumpkin is my favorite fall ingredient. Maybe because it cozies up to gluten-free flours so well. It adds moisture and depth to g-free baked goods. It flirts with cinnamon and ginger like the sexiest, inscrutable movie star. You know what I'm talking about. It's not overt. Or blatant. It's not over the top. It is subtle. Secure. Pumpkin doesn't demand to be admired. Because it doesn't have to prove itself. It's not a bully flavor that crushes gentler flavors in its wake. It doesn't bark and claw to be Top Dog 24/7. It doesn't have a deep seated need to own the room, to dominate, to control the ingredients it shares a bowl with. Pumpkin goes with the flow. It likes vanilla. And it likes chocolate. You could say, it's bi-flavorful. Which happens to be a quality I admire. Even embody and