These hearty lettuce cups require less than 10 minutes of stove time, making them a perfect summertime meal. (Psst… This post is sponsored by LightLife®. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The New Baguette!)
My main objective when cooking dinner in the summer? Make something healthy and light that won’t weigh me down, all while keeping the cooking time as brief as possible. It gets so hot and humid here in New York, that any active heating has to be kept to a minimum to avoid total self-destruction.
These hearty lettuce cups with LightLife® Smart Ground fit the bill perfectly. They require less than 10 minutes of stove time, minimal prep work, and just a handful of ingredients. Loosely (very loosely) inspired by Laotian larb, they’re flavored with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and lime.
What’s In These Lettuce Cups
This recipe is loosely inspired by larb, a Laotian dish of spiced stir-fried ground meat, commonly served in crunchy lettuce cups. For my take, I use LightLife® Smart Ground – 100% plant-based “meaty” crumbles. This ingredient is super versatile, has 11 grams of protein per serving, and zero saturated fat.
Here I season the crumbles with lots of fresh garlic and ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, and rice vinegar. Chopped tomatoes give it a saucy texture and balance out the other flavors. The mixture is finished with scallions and piled into crunchy bibb lettuce cups for a light summer dinner.
How to Make These Lettuce Cups
Find the complete recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
Pro Tip: Chop the veggies and prep all the seasonings before turning the stove on. Once you get started on cooking, everything will go into the pan in quick succession.
- Start Cooking Smart Ground. Heat a bit of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the crumbles and cook until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in Garlic and Ginger. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add Tomatoes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they’ve collapsed and released their juices, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the Sauce. Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, and lime juice in a bowl. Then add to the skillet and turn the heat off.
- Serve. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the mixture into two layers of lettuce. Serve immediately.
How to Serve Vegan Lettuce Cups
Once you assemble the lettuce cups, they should be eaten right away, since they will get soggy kinda quickly. If you want to make it into a knife-and-fork meal, chop up the lettuce and serve the Smart Ground mixture on top in a bowl instead. (The Smart Ground mixture will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.)
Other Plant-Based Dinners To Try
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.
The Full RecipePrint
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 package LightLife® Original Smart Ground
- 4 medium garlic cloves, sliced
- 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced
- 1 large or 2 small vine tomatoes, finely diced
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1–2 teaspoons sriracha, to taste (or another hot sauce)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 head bibb lettuce*
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the Smart Ground and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add the tomatoes and lots of black pepper, and cook until the tomatoes collapse and release their juices, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, and sriracha.
- When the crumbles are ready, stir in the sauce mixture and turn the heat off. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Sprinkle with scallions.
- Gently tear the leaves off the lettuce and make individual stacks of 2 leaves. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of crumbles into each “cup”. Serve immediately.
If you can’t find bibb lettuce, use romaine or green cabbage leaves instead.
- Serving Size: 2 lettuce cups
- Calories: 190
- Sodium: 459 g
- Fat: 9.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 11.2 g
- Fiber: 5.5 g
- Protein: 17.6 g
Keywords: larb, lettuce cups, lightlife, smart ground