Let-us eat tasty sh*t! Crunchy, colourful, delicious and filling. Great for encouraging the wee ones to try new flavours.
Faff Factor: 3.5/5 * Flavour: 4/5 * Fridge to Face: 25 mins
(Serves 4 with lunch leftovers)
Big, crunchy leaf lettuce for wraps
1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein / soy mince)
Vegetable stock or bouillon
1/2 onion, diced or 3 scallions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 tbsp ginger pulp (fresh ginger peeled & grated)
1/2 Japanese eggplant, diced
2/3 small can water chestnuts, drained and diced
1/2 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tbsp soy sauce, or alternative
Sliced red pepper (or any colour of pepper)
Thai sweet chili sauce
Optional / Modifications:
• Could substitute block of firm / extra firm tofu grated, or pulsed in food processor for TVP
• Also great topped with any sort of sprouts, chopped cilantro, green onions, shredded cabbage or carrot, wedge of lime, slices of avocado, papaya or pineapple.
• Main filling also great with addition of shredded carrot, peas or corn.
• For crunch in the main filling, can use a stalk of celery, diced, instead of water chestnuts.
• The rice in this recipe makes the meal significantly more substantial and filling. I use leftovers, but could sub in pre-boiled rice, puy lentils or quinoa for quicker cooking options if making from scratch.
• My wee one loves everything except the main filling, so she built hers with leftover chicken strips. Would also work brilliantly with slices of boiled egg.
1. Put the TVP in a bowl, boil the kettle, and make enough vegetable stock to cover the TVP according to packet instructions. (Approx 1.5 cups). Set aside to soak up stock.
2. Heat a small splash of oil in a large frying pan, add the onion, garlic, ginger and eggplant. Stir well to coat evenly with the oil, and fry on a med / low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and eggplant is slightly tender and charred. Stir regularly.
3. While vegetables are cooking, thinly slice red pepper and mango. (See youtube link below) Wash bean sprouts and wash and spin lettuce leaves. Place on a big serving dish.
4. Add water chestnuts and cashews to frying pan. Stir and cook for a couple more minutes.
5. Drain TVP of any excess liquid and add to pan, along with rice. Add soy sauce and stir to combine. Add a splash more to taste. Pour mixture into serving bowl.
6. Take all fillings to the table, along with sides of hoisin, sriracha or sweet chili.
7. Serve plates empty, and have everyone build their own adventures.
• Not too bad. The kettle boiling and washing & spinning of lettuce and sprouts is about as bad as it gets, and that’s not too bad. If you have a helper, definitely offload this bit. Aside from that, it’s one frying pan, one chopping board and a few serving dishes. Although if you have one big serving dish, put everything on one plate. The colours all look so amazing together. Hoisin straight from the plastic bottle baby!
• I buy cashews pre roasted so I don’t have to throw away yet another 1/2 cup of burnt nuts that I forgot were in the oven…
• Build your own adventure always goes down a treat in our house. Also great for encouraging the littles to try new flavours.
• Makes fantastic lunch leftovers, especially if you can transport all the bits separately in a bento type box. The bottle of hoisin comes with, in my purse.
• Not going to lie, this one makes for some pretty top notch ‘oooo’ ing and ‘aaaaah’ ing in the staff lunchroom.
*Also loving the look of these lettuce wraps by Pinch of Yum.