My husband and I started practicing meatless Monday two months ago with encouragement from our two granddaughters who are vegetarian. In my search for new dishes, I often adapt recipes by leaving out the meat.
My latest recipe was inspired by a budding young chef from Menlo Park, CA. Rose Scott, age 12, was one of 54 kids honored in the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a contest co-sponsored by Epicurious and first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative.
A panel of experts judged the 1,300 submissions and picked a winner for each U.S. state. Rose represented California and accompanied by her mother, attended a dinner with Michelle Obama. The children also got a tour of the White House garden. Rose said the highlight of the trip was meeting the President who stopped by to shake hands with the winners.
Rose found her inspiration for the recipe from her younger brother who has wheat, dairy and egg allergies. Their mom had to find nutritious foods he could eat and developed this recipe but served it over rice. Rose decided to use lettuce instead.
In my adaptation of Rose Scott’s recipe, I eliminated the ground pork, marinated the tofu before sauteing, and added Shitake mushrooms.
Tofu Lettuce Cups
1 8-oz box organic extra firm cubed tofu, drained
8 medium shitake mushrooms, stems removed and diced
1 tbs. olive oil
4 large Romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup broccoli slaw
1 cup bean sprouts, roughly chopped
3 tbs. low sodium sauce
1 tbs. sesame oil
1 tbs. cornstarch
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. sugar
1 large clove garlic, minced
- Drain tofu and pat dry with paper towel in large pie plate.
- Combine marinade ingredients.
- Pour marinade over tofu cubes and marinate for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Saute mushrooms in olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan about 5 minutes.
- Drain tofu and reserve marinade in a bowl.
- Saute tofu with mushrooms until a nice brown glaze forms on tofu.
- Pour marinade into pan and mix gently into tofu/mushroom mixture until sauce thickens.
- To serve, scoop 2 tbs. of tofu/mushroom mixture across length of Romaine “cup.”
- Pass bowls of bean sprouts, broccoli slaw and cilantro to sprinkle on tofu.
- Fold the two sides of romaine leaf together like a purse.