Roasted sweet potato lettuce wraps with black beans, turmeric rice + green goddess dressing

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These crunch and satisfying lettuce wraps are the perfect fix when you want a burrito-style wrap but not the heavy, floury tortilla. (I don’t know about you, but whenever I eat a burrito the only thing I can think about is a nice, long nap.) They’re hearty but not heavy, loaded with nutrient-dense, plant-based ingredients, and a great light meal or snack during the holiday season, when we’re all looking for lighter, healthier meals to rebalance in between all that festive fare.

After a visit to Gotham Greens’ incredible Gowanus, Brooklyn, greenhouse a few weeks ago, I came home with a container of GG’s super fresh and gorgeous Tropicana Green Leaf lettuce. The big, frilly leaves are tender and succulent yet sturdy, making them a perfect wrap lettuce.

As usual I went for a fully loaded version, piling on black beans, turmeric rice, jalapeños, quick-pickled onions, local goat’s milk feta, roasted veggies and my creamy (and dairy-free/vegan) superfood-spiked green goddess dressing.

These wraps are a great way to make tasty use of leftovers or items that you’ve previously batch-cooked: the roasted sweet potato (tossed with coriander and turmeric before going into the oven – so good!) and dressing were leftover from my recent roasted veggie Buddha bowls, and the cooked rice was kicking around the fridge so all I needed to do was reheat it in a little olive oil to which I’d added turmeric to imbue a golden hue.

In this case the beans came from a can (I buy Eden Organics, which packages their beans in BPA-free cans). I threw together a small jar of quick-pickled red onion for these wraps, and have plenty of extra to use in sandwiches, salads, etc – because what savory dish can’t benefit from a few slices of sweet, vinegary, crunchy onion?

You can customize your wraps to use up whatever bits and pieces you might have around: roasted or steamed broccoli or cauliflower, sautéed peppers and onions, cooked lentils or chickpeas, pickled hot peppers, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack, etc etc.

These wraps would also make a fun build-you-own-lettuce-burrito spread for a crowd: simply set out a platter of lettuce leaves, arrange your toppings in individual bowls, and let your guests do the assembly work.

Roasted sweet potato lettuce wraps with black beans, turmeric rice + green goddess dressing

Gluten-free, Dairy-free/Vegan (if you omit the cheese)

Serves 4

1 large sweet potato, diced

extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric, divided (I love Anima Mundi Apothecary turmeric powder)

kosher salt, as needed

freshly ground black pepper, as needed

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon organic cane sugar or coconut sugar

1-1/2 cups leftover cooked rice (I used short-grain brown rice)

8 to 12 large lettuce leaves (I like green leaf or romaine), washed and dried well

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 to 2 avocados (depending on size), pitted/peeled and thinly sliced

garnishes: radish matchsticks, jalapeno slices, crumbled feta or chevre, chives, pumpkin seeds, cilantro

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone liner.

In a bowl combine sweet potato, 1 tablespoon olive oil, coriander and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Add a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Transfer to baking sheet and roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes, shaking pan halfway through. Set aside.

In a small bowl or jar combine onion, vinegar, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add water if needed so the liquid covers the onion slices. Toss or shake to combine. Set aside for at least 15 minutes to pickle.

Make dressing (see below).

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add turmeric and toast for 30 seconds. Add rice and stir to coat with turmeric oil. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Divide lettuce leaves among 4 plates. Top with rice, beans, avocado, pickled onions and other garnishes of your preference. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Moringa Green Goddess Dressing

2 tablespoons cashew butter (I like Artisana Organics raw cashew butter)

1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

1/2 garlic clove, chopped

juice of 1 lemon (about 3 to 4 tablespoons)

1/2 teaspoon Anima Mundi Apothecary moringa powder

salt, to taste (I prefer Celtic salt or pink Himalayan salt)

Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons water, if needed, to thin out to a pourable (but not watery) consistency. Season with salt to taste.

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