Spring is just around the corner here. The temperature is starting to linger above zero, birds are singing, patches of grass are visible through gaps in the snow and best of all – the light remains for a few hours after the work day ends. Soon, dinner will be followed by bike rides and walks and gardening. Or dinner itself might just happen outside.
Which brings me to the next recipe in this series using my favourite vegan, versatile and freezable curried chickpea filling. It is transportable, super quick to pull together and satisfying, and I love the juxtaposition of the warm softness of the chickpeas against the cold crunch of the cucumber.
Warm Curried Chickpea and Tahini Power Wrap
Spicy chickpeas, with crunchy cucumber and creamy tahini, all rolled up in your favourite wrap.
For the Tahini Dressing: Add all the ingredients for the tahini dressing to a small dish and mix with a whisk or small hand blender until throughly combined. If the dressing is too thick add a little more water.
Place the spinach and cucumber in a line down the centre of the wrap, leaving about an inch at one end of the wrap.
Mix the tahini dressing with the quinoa and spoon over the spinach and cucumber.
Warm the curried chickpea filling in the microwave or on the stove (or have it at room temperature) and add it alongside the quinoa.
Fold up the space you left empty end of the wrap over the filling ingredients, and then roll from one side, tucking the ingredients in tightly.
There is a little Vietnamese pho restaurant here in Ottawa that makes these greasy fried spring rolls that I dream about. The shell is paper thin, fried to crispness, encasing a mix of shrimp, veggies, and noodles. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed these bundles of naughty deliciousness more times than I can count. I always discarded the lettuce they are served upon, assuming it was garnish. But recently I learned it is intended to hold and transport the roll, dripping with oil and dipping sauce, cleanly from the plate to mouth. An added bonus – when the rolls are encased in something green, it’s easy to imagine they are much healthier than the reality.
Well, the lettuce wraps I’m going to share with you today, actually are very healthy, and offer a satisfying mix of textures and flavours: spicy chickpeas, a dente brown rice, creamy avocado and a drizzle of lemony yogurt pulled together in a crunchy lettuce leaf.
It uses my favourite versatile and freezer friendly vegetarian filling – curried chickpeas. If you have some on hand, and also keep some brown rice ready to go in your freezer, these can be on the table in under 10 minutes.
Because the chickpea filling is just as delicious at room temperature, they would also be great to bring to a picnic and assemble on the spot.
For a vegan version trying replacing the yogurt with tahini or cashew cream
Vegetarian Curried Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
Spicy chickpeas, a dente rice, creamy avocado, and lemony sumac yogurt all encased in a crunchy lettuce leaf.
10minutes (if chickpeas and rice prepared in advance)
To make the sumac and yogurt sauce: Mix the first four ingredients together. Taste and then add additional sumac, lemon juice and salt and pepper as desired.
To assemble: Lay out your leaves. Put a few spoonfuls of brown rice along the length. Spoon over 1/4 cup of the chickpeas mixture, add a slice of the avocado alongside and then top with a generous drizzle of the sumac and yogurt sauce.