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Friday??!! What?!? No — you’re joking — it’s not friday. Oh wait, yesterday was the  American Idol results show….I guess it really is Friday!

creamy, velvety avocado!

These past many several months, I’ve done a lot of learning. And everyday, it feels like God has put another lesson in front of me in the form of a conversation, situation, or event. I’ve learned a lot about patience and perseverance, but also about the importance of family. It has become apparent that those relationships are so precious, and deserve to be nurtured. It’s not everyday that we stop to let those people know how much we value them, but we should. Family holds you up when the world falls down.

OK, enough philosophy.

mexican lettuce wrap!!

Here’s another philosophy: Mexican Lettuce Wraps!

vegan deliciousness!

Now, we’ve all had Lettuce Wraps from PF Changs. Those amazingly delectable, salty, crunchy, nutty, Asian-style lettuce wraps. You can’t go to PF Changs and NOT order them — that is a sin again mankind. Unless, of course, you are a gluten-free vegan with food allergies on the Body Ecology Diet…haha. Then, you actually CAN go to PF Changs and NOT order their Heaven-sent Lettuce Wraps!

a fun and delicious meal!

So I got to thinking….why do these lettuce wraps have to be Asian? What about making them MEXICAN?!? After all, tomorrow IS Cinco de Mayo, and Mexican cuisine is easy on the Body Ecology Diet!….Enter: Mexican Quinoa Lettuce Wraps!

such amazing textures bring this wrap to life!

Here’s what you need:

3/4 cups quinoa, cooked in 1 1/2 cups veg stock
1 red pepper, fine dice
6 shiitake mushrooms, fine dice
bunch of asparagus, fine dice
1/2 red onion, fine dice
5 green onions, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
cilantro, chopped
juice and zest of 1 lime
cumin, chili powder, oregano
Romaine lettuce leaves, washed, dried, and chilled
1 avocado, mixed with salt and 1 garlic clove, grated

so flavorful!!

Wash, dry and separate your Romaine lettuce leaves and put them in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the rest of dinner. Saute your onion in 1 tsp EVOO with salt, pepper, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, and 1 tsp oregano. Allow them to soften for about 5 minutes, and then add in your mushrooms. Let them cook down for about 3 minutes, and then add your asparagus. Let it cook for a few minutes, and then add 3/4 of your red peppers. Allow that to cook for about 3 minutes, and then stir in your garlic. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, and then stir in about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of vegetable stock, to moisten and deglaze the pan. Then, stir in your cooked quinoa, lime zest and juice, cilantro, and the rest of your red peppers. Stir to combine and add salt to taste. Serve in the lettuce wraps, garnished with green onions, avocado mixture, and cilantro. YUMMERS!!

nutritious and phenomenal!

Oh my Gosh this meal was SOOO good!! Holy Cow — last night’s dinner was amazing, but tonight’s meal was just as spectacular! We’re 2 for 2!! The quinoa filling is SO flavorful! Its spicy, and a bit smokey with a great herbal flare from the oregano! It also has *zingy* notes from the lime juice and a fabulous garlic backdrop!

all ready to be wrapped up!

The veggies provide wonderful textures, flavors and colors too! The avocado is so rich and creamy — providing a decadence to the filling. And when you wrap it all up in a cooling, crunchy Romaine lettuce leaf, it is delicious and FUN! It was a FUN and interactive meal — to construct your own wrap and gobble it up!

cool and crisp romaine lettuce!

My parents were blown away with how good this “outside the box” meal was! They said they’d serve it for company! Try it! I dare you!

so many gorgeous colors!

And now…ladies and gentlemen…allow me to introduce the “I-Dare-You-To-Hold-Me-Down Cookie!”

gluten, dairy, and sugar free!

This cookie is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free, Egg Yolk Free, Almond Free, Peanut Free, Oil Free, Coconut Free, and Body Ecology Diet Approved! I know, that’s a mouthful — but those are the restrictions I’m dealing with right now because of my new food allergies and the B.E.D. And let me tell you…these cookies are GOOD. Sweetened with Stevia, which is a zero-calorie HERB, these cookies are completely sugar free.

Here’s what you need…

1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
big pinch of salt
1 egg white
1/4 cup macadamia/hazelnut butter (homemade)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (alcohol free)
1 Tbsp pure Stevia powder (NOT truvia or In the Raw…..I used NuNaturals)
1 “dropper full” pure Stevia extract
3 Tbsp water

First, I made my own homemade macadamia/hazelnut butter. I roasted them in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, let them cool, and then whirled them up in the food processor. You have to scrape it down a couple times. I let it run for about 5 minutes — it was a lot more liquidy than I thought it would be. So delicious!

Preheat the oven to 350. I combined all my dry ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl, I “creamed” the egg white and nut butter. Once creamed, I added the stevia powder and extract, and blended those together. Finally, I stirred in the quinoa flakes. Scoop heaping Tablespoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cooked through.

SO moist and cakey!

These cookies were “outta bounds!” You’d think they’d be like rocks, or sandy…but NO! They were SUPER moist from the nut butter and wonderfully cakey! The cinnamon gave it a beautiful spicy note, and they were sweet, but not overly so! Truly phenomenal!

I thought my cookie days were over given my new dietary prison situation. But no sir! These cookies are my new best friend:)

Have a great weekend!

This recipe was featured in the GF Homemaker’s Carnival!