I learned very early on that the easiest way to get my children to eat their vegetables was to put it in some sort of a stir fry or vegetarian lettuce wraps. They love the oyster sauce and soy sauce flavors and they don’t realize it, but they really like anything cooked in garlic!
Until recently, the kids were too young to eat lettuce wraps without having them fall apart on their plates (and on the floor!) so I would serve it to them with brown rice or Quinoa instead. To be honest, I would also sit there and feed them the lettuce wraps one bite at a time…
But these days we have a dog who only has one job…to eat the food that the kids drop…and he is very good at his job! So I don’t worry too much if some of it makes it to the floor.
Easy Lettuce Wraps
Now, I love the PF Chang’s lettuce wraps as much as the next person, but when cooking with kids, you need to keep it simple. I have made the PF Chang copy cat recipes and it requires quite a bit of chopping. There are also ingredients like chestnuts that I’m fairly certain my kids won’t touch.
When I make this vegetarian recipe myself, I usually add in as many vegetables as possible. However, since my daughter was helping, I kept it to just 3 – spinach, snap peas and carrots. She is 9 but that was about all she could handle as far as chopping.
She has been testing out the Opinel knife for a few weeks now. She loves using it for anything other than carrots, but thick carrots are difficult to cut through so she likes to switch to my knife for those.
The Best Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
I typically make lettuce wraps with ground turkey or chicken, but this past week we had guests over. One of those guests loves meat of any kind and that is what we ate every night of the week. So I would be happy if I didn’t eat meat for the next week!
That is one reason we decided to make these delicious vegetarian wraps instead of making them with chicken. This week we got some snap peas in our CSA box and they were the perfect way to add some substance to these wraps. We added them at the end to keep them slightly crunchy.
How Do You Make Lettuce Wraps?
Lettuce wraps are so easy to make. The hardest part is chopping all the vegetables. Some recipes will tell you to mix the sauce ahead of time then pour it on while cooking. I don’t think that is necessary
I prefer to add oyster sauce and soy sauce straight to the pan. Then serve it with a side of hoisin for more flavor!
In this dish, we used fresh spinach, one large carrot and 1 pound of snap peas. You could use any vegetables that you have in the fridge. Almost anything will be delicious in this dish!
Putting It All Together – Cooking with Kids
Start by having the kids mince 2 cloves of garlic. The kids may need help with this part. Garlic cloves are small and they can easily slip out from under the knife. Dice 1/4 of an onion.
Watch our short video above on how to peel snap peas and prepare them for chopping
Next chop the spinach into small pieces. The easiest way to have the kids do this, is to roll the spinach into a pile and chop them all at once.
Next, cut the carrots into bite sized pieces.
Sauteing the Vegetables
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions start to soften. Try to prevent the garlic from burning or it may turn bitter.
Next, add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the spinach and snap peas and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until everything is tender.
Add the oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir well. Remind your child to be very careful not to touch the edge of the pan. It will be very hot!
How to Eat Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce wraps can be tricky to eat. The best tip is to use more than one lettuce leaf at a time. That way, if one tears, there are others to catch the food.
Red leaf lettuce or butter lettuce are the best types to use. We have tried romaine before but the stiff leaves break when you roll them up.
Another tip is to be sure your leaves are completely dry. So once you wash them, dry them off with a napkin. Any remaining water will drip while you eat and causes a big mess down your arm!
Serve the lettuce wraps with on organic hoisin sauce or chili pepper sauce (if you like it hot)! You could eat the wraps with chopsticks but it is easiest to just use your hands!
Wondering What to Serve With Lettuce Wraps? Try these…
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Pound Snap Peas
- 1 Carrot, Large
- 1 Cup Spinach, Fresh
- 1/2 Cup Onions
- 1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- Hoisin Sauce, Optional
- 1 Head Lettuce, Butter or Red Leaf
- Mince the Garlic and set aside
- Dice the Onions. Set Aside
- Peel and chop the carrot into bite sized pieces. Set Aside
- Chop the spinach. Set Aside
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, over medium heat
- Carefully add the garlic and onions. Cook 2-3 minutes or until the onions start to soften
- Add the carrots. Cover the pan and let cook for 2 minutes. Very carefully, lift the lid and stir the carrots and cook covered for another 2 minutes.
- Add the Snap peas and spinach and cook for 3 minutes
- Turn off the heat and add the Oyster Sauce and Soy Sauce. Stir it well.
- Serve on lettuce or brown rice and enjoy!
- Serve with Hoisin Sauce if desired
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Saturated Fat: 2gSodium: 292mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g