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With the sizzle of summer just around the corner, how do you wrap up hot new menu ideas and still stay cool? Start with a nutritious profile, crisp romaine leaves and a little culinary imagination. Bundle those three ingredients together, and make healthy lettuce wrap recipes part of your summertime menu specials.
Whether you’re turning up the heat in a commercial kitchen or dishing up dining inspiration at home, this is the season to celebrate romaine. While we love hearts and leaves equally, those crisp outer wraps are just right for summer recipes that bring out the veggie’s versatility.
Romaine Lettuce: 10 Healthy Recipes That Wrap up Great Taste
You have to admire a lettuce that scores an impressive 63.48 on the CDC’s list of nutrient-dense produce. It’s easy to appreciate a crisp texture and bright flavor that appeals to appetites from country clubs to campus cafeterias. Romaine is a healthy, delicious natural in any of these 10 lettuce wrap recipes.
1. Bite Into Healthy Appetizers
We thank renowned California Chef Beat Giger for a starter that serves up four different grain salads. His Garden Hearts and Grain Bites recipe wraps both leaves and romaine hearts into bundles filled with fresh goodness. This plate gets extra points for perfect presentation too.
2. Wrap up a Restaurant Favorite
P.F. Chang’s restaurants support sourcing local produce, and they put that practice on their menu with a variety of raw lettuce wrap recipes. Their healthy vegetarian version is packed with water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and garlic.
3. Serve Summertime Turkey
Why save this tender bird for holiday occasions only? Turkey folds rich, roasted flavor into lettuce wraps from the kitchen of Food Network’s Melissa D’Arabian. She takes a build-your-own approach with sides of bean sprouts, shredded carrots and chopped cilantro for customized stuffing fun.
4. Make It Easy With Chicken
Most lettuce wrap recipes are easy, and this one from Epicurious is easily one of the simplest. It brightens up sliced chicken breast wraps with roma tomatoes, green onions and avocado. Pine nuts add healthy crunch to a dish that’s delicious served hot or cold.
5. Pair Beef With Tofu
Cookbook author and registered dietician Ellie Kreiger pairs two very different proteins and wraps up one very nutritious recipe. Her lettuce leaves filled with beef and tofu surprise and satisfy with Asian accents of sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce and fresh minced ginger.
6. Stuff It With Chicken Salad
We really enjoy raw lettuce wrap recipes that put a twist on tradition. This chicken salad wrap encourages healthy eating outside the bread box. Forget rich mayo. Indulge in a salad blend of Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard and lemon zest with a toss of red grapes and crushed pecans.
7. Pop Out the Papayas
This salad wrap comes from the files of Tyler Florence’s Food Network kitchen. The flavors really pop with green papaya, cucumber, red onion and fresh cilantro. Florence’s papaya wrap recipe calls for butter lettuce, but we also like the special crispness of romaine.
8. Savor Delicious Asian Flavors
Wrap the Indonesian flavors of chicken satay in romaine, and you create a delicious fusion of culinary tradition and modern presentation. Prepared with skinless chicken breasts, it’s a very healthy dish, and it’s also one of the quickest recipes to wrap up with a prep time of just 10 minutes.
9. Serve Fresh Shrimp Wraps
The best healthy lettuce wrap recipes star healthy ingredients with mouthwatering appeal. Sautéed shrimp topped with apple salsa put a Southwestern zing into crisp romaine wraps. As a side or entree, this menu selection serves up completely guilt-free dining pleasure.
10. Satisfy With a Southwestern Snap
Chef Giger finishes our list with his own irresistible Southwestern spin on the lettuce wrap. His spicy relish and black bean recipe snaps with the flavors of minced jalapeno and fresh cilantro. Corn relish with red onion gives this dish an especially satisfying crunch.
We Enjoy Sharing
Crisp leaves and hearts of romaine are year-round favorites for serving up beautiful presentations and great taste. They inspire creative cooking at home, and they wrap up menu development in all types of foodservice operations.
As your partner in putting the very freshest vegetables on tables across the country, we enjoy sharing recipe ideas and inspiration. As an industry leader among California produce growers, Hitchcock Farms is proud to be your trusted source for the finest premium romaine lettuce available.
Dan Holt is an experienced produce professional who started in the industry as a quality assurance inspector in the early 1990s and leads sales at Hitchcock Farms as Vice President. Prior to joining Hitchcock Farms, Dan enjoyed success in organic, specialty and conventional produce and with independent operators, regional and national chains in North America and abroad. Dan continues his passion in produce through collaborative inspiration and promoting healthy and sustainable food.