I remember before I started on the GAPS Diet I used to hear about people eating hamburgers with lettuce leaves wrapped around them and I remember thinking that I would never do that. Why would I? I had “regular” hamburgers buns to eat, gosh darn it!
And then I started on GAPS, and my relationship with food changed dramatically. It's amazing to me but my mouth waters at the thought of a lettuce wrapped burger. Especially one with some bacon grease or lard drizzled on top of the burger fixins if you don't have homemade mayonnaise on hand.
You can use romaine lettuce, or green or red leaf lettuce for wraps, burger or even tacos and they are very easy to pluck away.
I like using iceberg because it has less flavor and if you prepare the leaves and let them sit out for a few hours until they become kind of wilted, they work even better. At least I that's my preference.
The only problem when you're using iceberg lettuce is the leaves are often hard to remove. I have had times where I removed half of the leaves to get 3 or 4 intact leaves. One day I had a brainstorm. I decided to ask the cook at my job if she had any ideas on how to remove the lettuce leaves any easier than the way I'd been trying it. She's been in the food industry for over 20 years and she told me to use water to help the leaves fall away from the head.
So I went home and tried it. It worked great and I've been doing it this way ever since!
Here is a video I put together which shows exactly how it works.
And here are some written instructions, in case you don't have 2 minutes to check out the video. 🙂
- Cut around the core with a knife, and bang the core against a hard surface. This will allow you to easily remove the core.
- Remove any leaves that are blemished before starting.
- Place a strainer in the sink to catch the leaves as they fall from the head.
- Find the outermost leaf and begin working there.
- Turn on the water, and lightly pull the stem of that lettuce leaf back to where the stream of water can flow down in between the outermost leaf and the next leaf.
- As the water streams in between the leaves, the outermost leaf will grow heavy and will fall away from the head. Assist this falling away by cradling the head of lettuce with your hand so that you control the movement of the lettuce leaf. You increase your chances of more intact and useable leaves in this way.
- Find the next outermost leaf and follow the same process.
- Place a burger, or a dollop of chicken salad, or bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado on the lettuce leaf. Fold the stem part over the food, then tuck the left and right sides in and finish by folding the burger onto itself to end up with a completely wrapped sandwich.
- Garnish, if desired.
I would love to hear from you in the comments if you've had this same problem, and if my solution has been helpful. Thanks!! Starlene