These lettuce cup tacos are not just food; they are an experience. That’s why I love to share this recipe.
One of my favorite things to do in life is to teach others how to cook. In fact, teaching my kids to cook, pretty much everyday, is one of the highest privileges I enjoy in life.
Food is essential to life and one of the most creative outlets one can have. It is a way to nurture and love the people around you and it is common to all people…everyone has to eat; why not eat the best!
The Joy of Cooking – on a Tight Schedule
Cheryl, a friend of mine, doesn’t cook. For one thing, she is way too busy with her career at Bonnie Plants. She is the Executive Assistant to the President of Bonnie Plants, and depending on the time of the year, she may work up to twelve hours a day! Truly, she is an amazing business woman whose shoes would be incredibly difficult to fill.
Cheryl loves her work and all that it entails, but it leaves little time for her to learn to cook. That is where I can joyfully step in.
Whipping Up Lettuce Cup Tacos for Cheryl’s No-Cooking Blog
I am greatly honored that Cheryl asked me to aid her in her in her attempt to “cook” for a new blog idea based on a recipe that requires no cooking. She got her inspiration for this blog after representing Bonnie Plants in California at Variety’s Power of Youth event. There she met Liza, a California chef, that was providing an awesome vegetable filled dish that didn’t require cooking.
Bonnie Plants provide vegetable plants to Teaching Gardens to help children learn about nutrition through gardening. I LOVE the idea of the blog and am overjoyed to give back to her, as she has been so generous with me!
She is naming her blog, “I Can Cook That.” What a great concept!
Benefits of “Cooking” without Heat
Cheryl’s concept of “cooking” without using heat has many advantages. For one thing, heat destroys certain water-soluble vitamins (vitamins B and C) during the cooking process, thereby decreasing the nutritional value of those otherwise healthy foods.
For another thing, raw foods are chock full of enzymes. By eating raw foods, we reduce the need for the body to produce its own digestive enzymes. The raw foods contain most of what we need for digestion, leaving the body’s enzymes free to do more important work such as healing and cell repair.
To review all the health benefits of eating raw fruits and vegetables would take another blog entirely. Oh, I nearly forgot one of my favorite benefits of not actually “cooking”: no hard to clean pots!
Something hit me as I was helping Cheryl with this recipe. Natural questions and answers are how we learn the precepts of almost any discipline. Her questions were basic to cooking. Once you learn the basics of anything, then comes the creativity.
Cheryl is incredibly smart and gifted at just about everything. I could see the wheels of her mind spinning. She took in everything that I said, from how to “cut” the asparagus to my lengthy explanation of how emulsification works.
The Delicious Result: Lettuce Cup Tacos
I could have eaten all 8 servings of this recipe…it is just that good!!! This is a “keeper” vinaigrette! The balance is exceptional.
If I had to choose, I think the fresh corn is my very favorite part of this dish. If you like this recipe and the concept of no-cook recipes, I know you will like what is coming up on the next “I Can Cook That” blog. Don’t miss it. Subscribe to my blog and to Bonnie’s blog to get the updates.
Check out Cheryl’s blog at Bonnie Plants!
Lettuce Cup Tacos
- 8 grape tomatoes cut in half
- 5 ears of fresh corn cut off the cop
- 5 medium asparagus cut cross wise in small slices 1/8 inch
- 2 avacados scored and scooped out into cubes / chunks
- 1 head of fresh butter leaf / Boston Bibb lettuce – taco shells
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
- 1 good pinch of salt
- 3 grinds of fresh black pepper
- 1/8 cup sherry vinegar you can substitute with red wine vinegar if you need to
- 1/8 cup champagne vinegar
- 3/4 cup Roasted Walnut oil **must be roasted walnut oil – I like La Tourangelle brand
- Break off, wash and dry 6-8 lettuce leaves. (Don’t use any leaves with large holes, as these will serve as your taco shells—and you don’t want the filling to fall through onto your shirt! )
- Combine corn, tomatoes, and asparagus in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, adding them one by one in the order listed above.
- Add most of the vinaigrette to the taco mixture and gently toss.
- Divide the mixture among the lettuce cups, then top each with 3 to 4 avocado chunks. Drizzle with the extra vinaigrette.