Lettuce wraps vs. tortillas
With time and convenience being such a big factor in people’s eating decisions and habits, having easy options is always a plus. Throwing some turkey, chicken, or leftover meat in a wrap for the next day’s lunch is always a great meal idea and lunchtime staple. With an extra 300 calories and 50 carbs, generic tortillas and wraps can turn today’s lunch into a carb-loaded hazard. Below is the breakdown of some popular tortillas that are common among lunchtime meals.
Chipotle Flour Tortilla 13″ inch
- Fat-9 g
- Carbs-44 g
- Sodium- 670 g
- Protein- 7 g
Mission Flour Taco Tortilla 8″ inch
- Calories- 146
- Fat- 3 g
- Carbs- 25 g
- Sodium- 249 mg
- Protein- 4 g
Taco bell heat pressed tortilla 13″
- Calories- 317
- Fat- 8 g
- Carbs- 52 g
- Sodium- 887 mg
- Protein- 9 g
Butterhead Lettuce (1 large leaf)
- Calories- 2
- Fat- 0 g
- Carbs- 0 g
- Sodium- 0 g
- Protein- 0
Romaine Lettuce (1 large outer leaf)
- Calories- 5
- Fat- 0
- Carbs- 1 g
- Sodium- 1 g
- Protein- 0 g
A Great Recipe “Asian Lettuce Wrap”
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, peeled and minced
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and diced
½ cup bamboo shoots, drained and diced
½ cup water chestnuts, drained and diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 head butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce, washed and leaves separated
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Place the first five ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together. Pour mixture over the chicken and stir together. Set aside and allow chicken to marinate for 10 minutes.
2. Place all ingredients for cooking sauce into a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3. Place 2 tablespoons oil into a large skillet over high heat. Sauté chicken for 6 to 8 minutes or until half-cooked. Remove from skillet and set aside.
4. Pour remaining oil into the same skillet and place over high heat. Sauté the ginger, garlic and shiitake mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Add the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add chicken back into the skillet; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Pour the cooking sauce over the mixture and stir together. Lower the heat to medium and allow the mixture to thicken, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the green onions. Adjust seasonings.
6. Remove from heat and allow chicken mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Top with a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seed and serve warm with crisp lettuce cups.
A lettuce wrap is a great alternative for a tortilla when making a meal. Some athletes, or those looking to gain weight and a more calorie dense meal, might make the argument that the tortilla gives them extra protein and calories to meet there needs. Instead of filling up on processed and empty carbs received from a tortilla, adding more meat, beans, or vegetables to make up for the calories you will be loosing from the tortilla is ideal.
Any time you can substitute a processed bun or wrap for something that is natural and has nutritional benefits is always encouraged. My suggestion is to not only substitute the lettuce for tortilla wraps, tacos, and burritos, but also for buns and bread. This will force you to add more of the “in between ingredients” which will provide more of a nutritional benefit to everyone.
From South Bend,