As picnic season hits, and folks want to be spending more and more time outside (weather permitting of course - or not if you just want to get outside), I find the desire to be in the kitchen waning ever so (very) slightly. This is not to say I don't want to prepare food (I do), but obviously hours standing at the stove seem a whole lot less appealing that nestling my painted-toed bare feet into plush green grass or, if we are really talking, tucking them into the ocean water somewhere close by (this is when we really enjoy the blessings of living on the ocean).
Easy and simple are always the rule around here (except when it's not because we all have those times), but now, more than ever, is when a little planning goes a long way. I love a good beach picnic just about as much as anyone, but if I really think about it, it's not really the eating outside part I love as much as it is the hanging outdoors with folks I really dig. When we picnic, it's finger food all the way, as I'm not super big on carting away dirty dishes or worse, using the paper stuff.
Here's a perfectly packable little option that is tasty, healthy & actually really filling. This idea can take you anywhere, and today's recipe is really just a place to start. I carted these babies to an all ages picnic last week, and it was pretty awesome to see the grandmothers eat them up alongside their classic deli potato salad and their delicious always-bordering-on-too-strong gin & tonics.
Once you get the hang of using these cabbage wraps, you can wrap pretty much an entire meal in there, adding pre-cooked protein or veggies in whatever form you like and wrapping them up to go. They pack well, require only one hand (cause the other one is holding your beverage, right?), and won't fill you up so much that you can't toss the frisbee or do a few comfortably free cartwheels after the meal. Because summertime should be just this easy & light.
Raw Cabbage & Hummus Veggie Wraps
- (1) head green cabbage
- (1) recipe Lime Zest & Sundried Tomato Hummus (or your fave hummus or bean dip)
- (1) red bell pepper, seeded & sliced thinly
- (1/2) small red onion, sliced thinly
- (4) cups fresh sprouts (I used sunflower & pea shoots from the Food Pedallers - gorgeous sprouts!)
- toothpicks, for holding the wraps closed
Start by rinsing the whole head of cabbage under cold water to freshen it up. Peel the wilted outer leaves and either set aside for use later or discard. To release the cabbage leaves, start by coring the cabbage at the stem end. To do this, simply cut a square with a sharp knife all around the stem of the cabbage and insert the knife about 1/3 into the cabbage. This should loosen the core enough so that you can pull it out with your hands. Once removed, discard the core.
Carefully peel the cabbage leaves off the cabbage starting with the outside ones and working your way in (don't worry if there is a tear here and there). Once you have about 12 leaves, you might be at the centre of the cabbage where the leaves are no longer big enough. Set the leaves you are using aside and save your new mini cabbage heart for a salad or slaw later.
Once your ingredients are all prepared, start filling those babies up. Simply spoon about a heaping tbsp or so of hummus into the base of each wrap, right down the centre of each cabbage leaf, spreading evenly and leaving space on either end. Then add your onion & pepper slices (about 2-3 each) and finish with a generous handful of sprouts*.
*Here you could easily add raw smoked tofu or pre-cooked tempeh, tofu, or cheese or chicken even
Complete until all are finished. When ready, close each wrap by rolling first one side in and then closing the wrap with the other side of the leaf. To keep them closed, simply insert one or two toothpicks into the wrap on either side, ensuring they go all the way through.
Keep wrapped or covered in the fridge until ready to eat or take to their final destination. Easy peasy! Depending on what you use here, these would make a great lunch on the go in addition to a fantastic starter for a summer dinner on the deck. I was thrilled to pick up these beautiful sprouts on my last trip to the farmer's market. Just $5 buys a bag of gorgeous green vitality that makes me smile every tie I think about them. Of course if you can't find these sprouts, feel free to add in alfalfa sprouts, or any green leafy veggie that captures your attention!