Food & Drink

Taco lettuce wraps make a healthful post-holiday meal

Roasted portobello mushroom “tacos” (recipe, Page 2D)
Roasted portobello mushroom “tacos” (recipe, Page 2D) TNS

Offset some of the rich holiday meals we’ve enjoyed with this quick, light, vegetarian meal. Using lettuce leaves instead of flour tortillas creates a fresh crisp wrap for these tacos.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Richard Ingraham’s “Eating Well to Win.” He is a private chef to NBA stars and talked about healthy eating at the Miami International Book Fair this year. In a recent interview, he told me his job is to feed the players a healthful meal, that gives them the energy they need for a game.

Helpful Hints

▪  Butter lettuce is sometimes called Boston lettuce. Iceberg or Romaine lettuce can be used instead.

▪  Any type of onion can be used.

▪  To quickly ripen an avocado, place it in a bag in a warm spot. It also helps if you can place it in a bag with a banana.


▪  Heat oven to 400 degrees.

▪  Assemble the ingredients.

▪  Make the tacos.

Shopping List

To Buy: 2 portobello mushroom caps, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bottle smoked paprika, 1 can reduced-sodium canned black beans, 2 small ripe Haas avocados, 1 container cherry tomatoes, 1 red onion, 1 bag frozen corn kernels, 1 head butter lettuce, 1 lime and 1 bunch cilantro

Staples: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and black peppercorns.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of “Delicious One-Pot Dishes,” featuring 60 recipes designed to be stewed, braised, slow-cooked or steamed, each in a single pot. Her website is Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer. Email:

Roasted portobello mushroom ‘tacos’

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use

1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cumin divided use

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed, sliced into strips (about 3 cups)

1/2 tablespoon lime juice

2 small, ripe Haas avocados, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted

1 1/2-cups reduced-sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 large butter lettuce leaves

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and smoked paprika. Stir to combine ingredients. Add mushrooms and toss with the mixture. Spread mushrooms out in one layer on the baking sheet and roast 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

Meanwhile, add the remaining olive oil, lime juice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin to a bowl. Mix well. Add the avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, onion, corn kernels, black beans and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well.

Divide lettuce leaves between 2 plates. Fill the center with the roasted mushroom slices and spoon the avocado mixture on top. Sprinkle cilantro on top.

Nutrition information per serving: 613 calories (44 percent from fat), 30.1 g fat (4.3 g saturated, 17.1 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 21.9 g protein, 76.5 g carbohydrates, 27.9 g fiber, 183 mg sodium.