Wednesday, January 6, 2010


One Big Wrap

One cloudy, rainy Saturday before Christmas, I headed out to 'wrap up' my Holiday shopping. (My tongue is in my cheek) I didn't get far before I realized I hadn't yet eaten anything substantial. I wasn't far from my favorite Mexican Restaurant. Just a left and then a right and I was there. But the door was locked and the sign said, "Closed for a private party." Must have been some party, to require the whole crew.

I dug out my umbrella and walked to the Meat Market - Deli, 5 doors down. I knew they made sandwiches and might have something good a gluten-free gal could eat. I asked the young man at the counter if he could make me a sandwich that fit my diet.

Turns out he has gluten issues too and has made many of these wraps for himself. He said, "Most people do have food allergies, they just don't know it." A kindred spirit. He was very generous with the lettuce because he didn't want the sandwich to fall apart. I ate it all.

I wanted to make a vegan version of this sandwich and this is what I ended up with:


The lettuce I chose was very pretty in the package, but unsuited for wrapping. I made do. When you wrap with lettuce, it's just a convenient salad. 

Oh dear. It was not that successful. For a wrap, I figured it would have to be 'sticky' to hold together. I ended up with a dip really. Under the pile of avocado/tapenade/pesto/artichoke/onion/celery/red pepper glob are some big white beans. It was OK. It could use a tomato and some cucumber. I'm not a bit discouraged.

This week I also experimented with a gluten free date bar. I took a recipe from Betty Crocker and looked at the ingredients and started making substitutions. Elton Brown says that when you follow a recipe, you need sit down and read through the WHOLE recipe, ingredients and instructions. I should have done that. My date bar is not ready for publication.

On Sunday I fixed one of those, "Let's see what's in the refrigerator" soups. It started with a bag of small lima beans and about a qt of water. Never mind the soaking step, I went right to boil, then simmer. It was simmering about 10 minutes when I started adding - Onion, cilantro leaves, a jar of med salsa, a lot of raw chopped garlic, salt, pepper. The 5 year old helped. She's good at tearing the leaves off the cilantro, diving into the refrigerator to see what else we can add. She found a carrot. Then she said, "It smells good." She's a cook. She should know. Her soup last night was applesauce, water and chips. I tasted it. Not bad. She tasted it and said, "It's just water."

When it came time to taste my soup, it was delicious. Can I tell you how to make it? Not a chance. It was an accident. And it was vegan on a non-vegan day. It's happening. It's getting very familiar. I will never a vegan be, but I am more vegan than I ever thought I'd be. The spell is broken. My brain has opened up to new possibilities.

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