Lettuce Wraps: An Easy Formula for Leftovers

Hear from Melissa to find out how she repurposes leftovers using a simple formula.
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Photo by: Tara Donne ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The lettuce wrap has been having a good few years. Lately it seems like every menu features some sort of deliciously spicy chicken or tofu filling tucked into a cool crunchy leaf of lettuce that you roll up like a burrito and eat. Even I’m on #TeamLettuceWrap, as evidenced by this recipe for Turkey Lettuce Wraps (pictured above) from Ten Dollar Dinners!

And in the summer? Lettuce wraps are far more than just a tasty low-carb treat — they can be your catchall leftover repurposing strategy. Simply follow my easy formula for lettuce wrap bliss:

Protein + shredded veggie + something crunchy + sauce

Let the protein be completely leftover-driven — everything from a few strips of grilled flank steak to slices of boneless skinless chicken breast to rotisserie chicken to meatballs. For a meatless option, you could toss cooked beans or tofu with a little sauce (barbecue and ponzu are both great!), or saute up some eggplant with garlic, onion and smoked paprika. Then, add a veggie, such as shredded rainbow carrots, bean sprouts, cucumber, pickled onion or thinly sliced radishes, for a pop of flavor and texture. Sprinkle a little crunch with a few toasted walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or chopped cashews. Finally, add a sauce or dressing — it can be as simple as some hot sauce and lime juice, or get as fancy as a homemade buttermilk garlic dressing.

Stuff this all into a lettuce leaf, and you have yourself a perfect way to use up your leftovers this summer! Use the larger outer leaves of a head of butter lettuce or iceberg to make a lunch wrap, or use the smaller inside leaves with just one meatball for a fun and easy appetizer.

What are some of your favorite lettuce wrap fillings?
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