By Rachel Stuck, RDN
Including vegetables in your diet adds a natural, refreshing crunch, gut-healthy fiber, and a variety of nutrients to your meals. But what if those plants also add protein? In this video, we explain how to make a tasty, plant-based wrap that will contribute 35 to 40 grams of protein to your daily intake.
Asian-style tempeh lettuce wraps paired with edamame is a protein powerhouse meal that is nothing short of delicious. This recipe spotlights tempeh. Tempeh is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with a variety of grains, nuts, and seeds. The result is a firm, dense block that can be used as a protein in sandwiches, salads, and stir-fries.
Tempeh is a fermented food, meaning bacteria are used to make it. Miso paste, which is used in the sauce, is also a fermented food. Eating fermented foods, which contain beneficial probiotics, helps maintain the population of healthy bacteria that live in the gut.
Although plant-based eating habits have grown in popularity, getting enough protein with each meal and sticking to nutrition recommendations is a common struggle in these diets. This recipe will help you not only meet your protein goals, but also nurture your gut health.
Start by sautéing peppers and onions. After about four minutes, when your kitchen is filled with the sweet smell of onions, add crumbled tempeh and garlic to the pan. Next, mix together the lime/miso/sesame sauce. Drizzle it over the tempeh mixture and stir gently to combine. And that’s it. Within just 10 minutes, your skillet contains a flavorful and protein-dense lettuce wrap filling. Oh, and just in case you didn’t notice, this meal is also a “one-pan meal,” so it won’t leave you scrubbing dishes for hours. Win!
Once the tempeh mixture is ready, you can scoop 3/4 cup of filling into each leaf of romaine lettuce. Then, layer on a few additional toppings like shredded purple cabbage, shredded carrots, cilantro, or sesame seeds. In our video, we used cabbage, a sesame seed blend, and cilantro.
This recipe makes two servings. One serving includes two lettuce wraps (1½ cups of filling and 2 romaine leaves), coming in at about 25 grams of protein. Finally, we added a serving of steamed edamame (10 grams protein/serving) for a total of 35 grams of protein. For an additional 5 grams of protein, we recommend adding a serving of whole grains like quinoa or brown rice and topping your wraps with toasted cashews.
Ixcela customers have access to the full recipe, which can be found here.
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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Rachel Stuck has a background in culinary arts and nutrition counseling. Rachel takes a positive approach to nutrition: she avoids recommending restrictive diets and instead focuses on helping people choose foods that promote health and well-being. She is passionate about empowering and assisting Ixcela members as they develop their unique, gut-healthy lifestyles.
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