Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps (Vegan, GF, DF)

I've been developing recipes to use my leftover hibiscus petals from all the hibiscus tea I make, pictured below.
Hibiscus Tea with Lime 2 by Mary Banducci Hibiscus Tea with Lime by Mary Banducci
I created antioxidant rich Hibiscus Ketchup with crunchy and golden polenta fries, which is also great on salmon burgers.

My next adventure with this versatile herb is lettuce wraps. Hibiscus combined with toasted red walnuts, sauteed carrots, and caramelized onions is a delicious alternative to meat. It has pep from the tart hibiscus petals, sweetness from the onions and carrots rounded out by the hearty walnuts. This combo will make you think twice about buying ground beef.
Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps by Mary Banducci 4 Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps by Mary Banducci 2
I soaked my walnuts prior to this recipe (about four hours). I think soaked walnuts taste better and cook better. You can choose not to but I can not vouch how they will cook up in the end. Also, you can use any walnuts but my sweet father purchased some lovely red walnuts a while back for me to create a recipe and I finally have (I just couldn't bear to use them until now). Thanks again, Dad!
Soaked Red Walnuts by Mary Banducci
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! It happens to be so versatile as well! You can use it to substitute any ground or shredded meat.
Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps by Mary Banducci 3 Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps with Avocado by Mary Banducc Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps by Mary Banducci
On another note, I need to buy more hibiscus! I'm plum out and I have so many recipe ideas. You can buy hibiscus petals (aka flor de jamaica) from Mountain Rose Herbs. Goodness gracious, I love them.

Hibiscus and Red Walnut Lettuce Wraps
1 cup hibiscus petals, dried
1 large carrot
1/2 small sweet onion
1/2 cup soaked red walnuts
1 T Braggs amino acids (optional but adds incredible depth)
1 T Oil
Boiling Water 2-3 cups

For making wraps
Lettuce Leaf (I used butter lettuc)
Lime Wedges
Cashew Lime Cream Sauce (recipe below)
Carrot, sliced into matchsticks.

1. Pour boiling water over hibiscus leaves. Let sit at least fifteen minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 c of infusion for cooking. Drink the rest with a little agave and a squeeze of lime.
2. Dice one carrot and the onion. Heat oil in saute pan on medium low and add the carrot and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion starts to brown.
3. Meanwhile chop hibiscus leaves and walnuts until desired consistency - I made sure they were minced but not pulverized. I wanted a consistency of cooked ground beef.
4. Add remaining ingredients (including 1/4 c hibiscus infusion) and turn on medium. Cook until liquid is reduced and everything is heated.
5. Serve in lettuce wraps with cashew lime cream sauce and other accroutements.

Cashew Lime Cream Sauce Cashew Lime Cream Sauce (vegan alternative to sour cream)
1/2 c raw cashews
Juice of 1 1/2 limes

In mini food processor, blend cashews until fine. Add the juice of limes. Blend. Add water by tablespoon until desired consistency.
Butter Lettuce by Mary Banducci
If you are looking for more of a sushi wrap made with greens, try some Garden Rolls over at Alisa's Garden.

And don't forget to like us on facebook!


  1. That soaked red walnut really does look like a brain.

    1. I know! That will be fun for a Halloween deco on cupcakes or something... Recipe idea! Brain cakes! Boo wah haha....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...