It’s a new day with a new way for sandwiches. More nutritious and more creative, lettuce wraps can be a great substitute for cutting the calories, carbohydrates and sodium found in bread.
Choose sturdy greens for the best results in holding and wrapping ingredients like creamy chicken or turkey salad. Greens options such as bibb, romaine or little gem lettuces work well. Some whole leaf lettuces will also work in wrapping or holding ingredients.
Six ways to lettuce wrap success.
1. Select your protein: If you don’t have cooked turkey as listed in our recipe for Turkey Salad Wraps, leftover chicken works just as well. And if you’re into tofu, leftovers involving this healthy protein can also work in a wrap.
Still looking for a quick protein? Open a couple cans of tuna, drain, rinse and add it to the salad ingredients.
2. Adjust your sauce: Typical salads are laden with fat and calories from the sauce. In our recipe, we’ve cut that fat and calories and added a few nutrients, like protein and calcium, by using reduced-fat mayonnaise and non-fat Greek yogurt.
3. Include vegetables: Our recipe calls for celery and onion, but feel free to add more. Chop up some cucumbers, red peppers or carrots for added crunch, flavor and nutrition.
4. Add fruit: We’ve added dried cranberries to our recipe, but if you don’t have cranberries in your cabinet, you can use raisins, slices of strawberries, halved grapes or chopped apples.
5. Try texture: For crunchiness, we used walnuts, but any nut or seed works well, too. For extra flavor, try toasting them. Here’s a quick “toasting” trick: Simply put the nuts or seeds on a plate and microwave them, 30 seconds at a time, until evenly toasted.
6. Substitute wrappings: If you’re out of lettuce or other greens with big leaves, consider putting the turkey salad into a half of a hollowed-out pepper.
MORE RECIPES: The last Caesar salad recipe you’ll ever need
The secret to these wraps is the variety of textures and tastes. Our lettuce wraps can stay fresh and travel to provide a satisfying lunch at work or school. Simply put them in a lidded container and keep cold until serving time. And as you enjoy your lunch, you can relax knowing that you’ve wrapped a lot of nutrients into a single meal.
Turkey salad wrap recipe
Makes: 4 servings (2 wraps each) / Prep-time: 15 minutes / Total time: 15 minutes
2 ½ cups cooked turkey, shredded
¼ cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
½ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
8 full leaves bibb gold romaine lettuce
In a medium bowl, combine turkey, cranberries, walnuts, celery, red onion, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt and white pepper. Divide mixture between eight lettuce leaves and wrap. If not eating right away, place the wraps in a lidded container and refrigerate. Use within a few hours. You can also store the salad separately until ready to make the wraps.
From Henry Ford LiveWell.
290 calories (41% from fat), 14 grams fat (2.5 grams Sat. fat), 10 grams carbohydrates30 grams protein200mg sodium70mg cholesterol24mg calcium1 gram fiber. Food exchanges: ½ fruit, 4 protein.
Bethany Thayer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Henry Ford Health. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog. For questions about today’s recipe, email HenryFordLiveWell@hfhs.org.