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Caesar Lettuce Wraps with Quinoa, Kale and Tofu

vegan lettuce wraps

I couldn’t be happier that my friend Ashley agreed to share this recipe with you today.

Not only are these Vegan Caesar Lettuce Wraps a taste explosion, but they’re kind of like eating two salads in one. Bonus!

After you assemble the filling (which is a tasty salad in itself),

caesar lettuce wraps

you simply stuff the mixture into crunchy butter or Romaine lettuce leaves and eat.

Vegan Caesar Lettuce Wraps

It’s the dressing that really brings these wraps to the next level, so even though it takes some time and ingredient-finding, it’s worth it. And you can make extra for future salads.

For more fantastic recipes (that just happen to be gluten-free), or just to get lost in her stunning photography, visit Ashley’s blog, Edible Perspective.

Caesar Lettuce Wraps with Quinoa, Kale and Tofu
 
Serves: 3-4 hearty servings
Ingredients
  • 1 batch vegan caesar dressing (see recipe below)
  • 1 14oz package non-GMO extra firm tofu
  • 1 head lacinato/dinosaur kale
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, lightly packed
  • 2-3 teaspoons safflower/sunflower oil
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • salt + pepper
  • Butter or Romaine lettuce leaves for serving
Instructions
  1. Slice tofu in ½-inch thick slabs and spread in a single layer in between two, doubled-over kitchen towels. Place a large cutting board overtop and stack a few books on top to press out the liquid for 20-30 minutes.
  2. De-stem the kale, stack the leaves and chop into thin ribbons. Measure 3-4 cups and place in a mixing bowl with the cooked and chilled quinoa.
  3. After pressing the tofu, preheat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over med-high heat with about 2 teaspoons of oil.
  4. Cube the tofu into ½-inch pieces and place in the skillet once hot. Season lightly with salt + pepper.
  5. Let brown for about 2-3 minutes and then toss a few times until browned on all sides. About 7-10 minutes total or longer if desired.
  6. Once the tofu is done, let fully cool then place in the bowl of quinoa and kale.
  7. Add desired amount of dressing and toss together until well-coated. Add salt + pepper as desired and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Add the avocado and sun-dried tomatoes and toss with more dressing as it will have absorbed some in the fridge.
  8. Place in a lettuce or tortilla and serve with extra dressing on the side.
  9. notes/substitutions: If wanting to serve this warm/hot, add the quinoa and kale mixture to the skillet over med-low heat after browning the tofu. Toss with the caesar dressing, avocado, and sun-dried tomatoes until hot. Add more dressing as needed. I used about ¾ of the dressing recipe when making this. Feel free to sub chickpeas or cubed tempeh instead of tofu if desired. Fresh tomatoes are also a great addition in the wrap. Romaine lettuce can be subbed the kale if desired.
Notes
Recipe courtesy of Ashley McLaughlin from Edible Perspective.
Vegan Caesar Dressing
 
Make extra for salads later in the week!
Serves: 1¼ cups dressing
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 5-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓-2/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2-3 teaspoons gluten-free tamari/soy sauce
  • 1¼ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon agave/honey/sugar
  • ¾-1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
  • ½-1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ of an 8x8 sheet of sushi nori
Instructions
  1. Rinse + drain your chickpeas and soaked cashews and place in a high-speed blender with 5 tablespoons lemon juice, ⅓ cup water, tahini, 2 teaspoons tamari, garlic, agave or honey, ¾ teaspoon mustard, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
  2. Blend until fully smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Add more water as needed to thin to desired consistency.
  3. Crumble ¾ of an 8x8 sheet of sushi nori and blend into the dressing.
  4. Taste and adjust flavors as necessary adding more lemon, tamari, pepper, and/or the last ¼ sheet of nori if desired.
  5. Refrigerate for about 5 days. Dressing thickens as it sits. Thin out with water/lemon juice/olive oil as needed.
Notes
Nori is crucial for the sea-like flavor. You may be able to use those little seaweed snack packs as a substitute here, but watch as they typically contain a lot of sodium. This is a taste as you go dressing, so add more of each ingredient slowly.

Ashley McLaughlin is the writer, recipe developer, and photographer for the blog Edible Perspective. In 2013 she published her first cookbook, Baked Doughnuts for Everyone.  Her recipes have been featured in Oprah Magazine, Women’s Health Mag, Fine Cooking, Gourmet blog, The Kitchn, The Huffington Post, and more. A few of Ashley’s favorite things: family // cooking for others // farmers markets // cycling // snowshoeing // snowboarding // bluegrass // architecture // our pups // farm fresh eggs // mountains // boxed wine // breakfast // clean sheets // traveling

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons' Share)
    January 13, 2014 at 8:19 am

    This looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to make it. I actually do like the flavor of Caesar dressing, but never order it when I’m out because it’s usually pretty heavy and processed. This looks like an amazing alternative!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    January 13, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks so much for featuring me on your lovely blog! Your salad month is looking mighty delicious. xoxo

  • Reply
    Amelia @i_heart_kale
    January 14, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Ashley’s recipes are great, aren’t they? I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m going to nix the tofu and swap in another protein, but everything else about it sounds amazing.

    • Reply
      Amelia Winslow
      January 14, 2014 at 9:56 am

      They really are! I think these would be great with any protein. I actually made a version of the dressing yesterday with silken tofu in place of the garbanzos and cashews and it was also fabulous!

  • Reply
    Natasha
    June 24, 2014 at 8:33 am

    What are the nutritional values in the recipes? Is there anyway you could include them? Thank you 🙂

    • Reply
      Amelia Winslow
      June 24, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Hi Tasha! Thanks for your comment. I have hesitated to provide nutrition info for my recipes, since I prefer not to calorie-count myself, but will think about your request.

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