Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lunch Week 16: Grilled Portobello Lettuce Wraps with Corn Guacamole

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Grilled Portobello Lettuce Wraps
Whenever I spend the weekend in NJ with my in laws, I take advantage of their grill. I definitely wanted to do grilled portobello mushrooms but wasn't sure how to prepare it. My question was answered after a trip to Wegmans, my favorite supermarket (also located in NJ).

First, I marinated the mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, oregano, oil, salt, and pepper. I let the flavors meld together for about an hour.
Then I washed and prepped all the vegetables to be grilled: corn, tomatoes, jalapenos and scallions. I was running out of time so I bought jarred roasted red peppers. But feel free to grill those as well.
Then the grill was heated up on high and reduced to medium. I placed the corn on the inside on indirect heat, then added the mushrooms to direct heat. I grilled it until slightly tender then flipped (about 3-5 minutes).

Once the mushrooms are tender, remove from heat and let rest. A lot of juices will run out at this time so be sure to place them in a sided plate/bowl.
Then I grilled the rest of the vegetables until cooked through.
Once everything was cooled, I prepped my guacamole. I removed the kernels from the ears of corn, added diced avocado, red onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, and oil.
I should have added the jalapenos to the guacamole but instead opted to eat them in slices.
Then I prepped the wrap. I washed the leaves of a Boston lettuce head. They tend to be really sandy so make sure they're properly cleaned. Then I added the mushroom, guacamole, scallions, tomato, jalapenos, and roasted red pepper.

At first, I traveled with it in a plastic bowl but they turned out to be really difficult to use when eating. So the next time, I wrapped it up tightly in aluminum foil which worked much better.
The mushrooms turned out to be really good. They remained really juicy and absorbed a lot of the balsamic vinegar flavor. The corn guacamole was fresh, sweet, and creamy. I love it. I made extra to eat separately with tortilla chips. The scallions were a little rubbery and suffered being served whole. Next time, I'll chop them up more. The tomato was sweet and juicy as well. The only thing I couldn't eat was the jalapenos which turned out to be too spicy. It was so spicy that I actually had to pick them out of the sandwich. Not sure what to do with them now. Maybe I'll pickle them.

Over all, I really liked this lunch. It was very light but felt meaty (mostly due to the mushroom). Did I mention that it's also vegan? Yeah, only fresh produce was used. Of course, you can use tortillas instead of lettuce leaves as your wrap but I enjoyed the fresh crunch that the lettuce gave.


  1. Ttrockwood@yahoo.comMay 14, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Altho portabellos are the most cliche overused vegetarian "meat" they are still lovely- as an actual vegan reader (?!) this is the best lunch yet !! :) have you tried bbq tempeh yet? It would be a great protein for this kind of wrap to add- trader joes has a great super cheap one

    1. @Ttrock: I'm not a huge fan of tempeh so I haven't experimented much with it. But thanks for the info.


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