Monday, October 19, 2009

Raw Eggplant, Mushroom, and Bell Pepper in Lettuce Wraps

Last week Debra at Vegan Family Style posted a recipe for raw stuffed mushrooms, which intrigued me. I bought a cheap dehydrator many years ago (pre veg days) to make salmon jerky. I used it a few times and then put it away to gather dust for a number of years. Fortunately I didn’t throw it away so I could play around with it today.

When I reread “Eat for Health” by Dr. Fuhrman a little while ago I was reminded that the doctor advocates consuming at least a pound of raw fruits and veggies a day in addition to a pound of cooked fruit and veggies. We never have any problem eating the cooked produce but the raw vegetable portion is a little more difficult. Most days we eat a salad with lunch and dinner but that gets boring after a while. There are only so many raw vegetables I can toss into the Vitamix and make into fresh juice. Since the mushrooms Debra posted looked good I thought I would try something in the dehydrator today. Both myhusband and I like lettuce wraps so I decided to make a warm version of them today. Here is what I did.

Raw Eggplant, Mushroom, and Bell Pepper in Lettuce Wraps
Serves 2


4 cups eggplant, cut into ½ inch dice
2 cups crimini mushrooms, cut into ½ inch dice
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½ inch dice
1 tablespoon liquid aminos
4 tablespoons mirin
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 head leaf lettuce


Combine the eggplant, mushrooms, bell pepper, liquid aminos, mirin and garlic and stir to combine. Allow the vegetables to marinate for at least 2 hours. Stir the mixture periodically to make certain all the vegetables get coated with the marinade.

Drain the excess marinade from the vegetables and dehydrate until you like the texture of the vegetables. Mine were in the dehydrator for 8 hours, but longer would have been fine too they were still tender and a little moist.

Place a little of the eggplant mixture and sprouts on each lettuce leaf. Serve these immediately since the slight warmth of the vegetables from the dehydrator seem to intensify the flavor.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 124.01
Calories From Fat (6%) - 7.52

Total Fat - 1.21g
Saturated Fat - 0.13g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 533.86mg
Potassium - 1339.6mg
Total Carbohydrates - 35.74g
Fiber - 10.16g
Sugar - 10.96g
Protein - 8.27g


This dish is a little sweet from the mirin, and slightly salty from the liquid aminos. If I were going to make this again I would add a few peanuts for more crunch. A little lime zest would also be good in this dish. We had a few of the wraps without the sprouts and those had more flavor since it wasn’t “diluted” by the sprouts. From a taste perspective we preferred the wraps without the sprouts, but the sprout version won out on nutrition. Overall I thought this was a good first attempt.

I have been trying to feed us more raw food for about a month. Now that it is cold in Baltimore I don’t really feel like eating cold raw food. This is why I pulled out the dehydrator.

I will be the first to admit the temperature of the food made a big difference to me. I made the wraps straight from the dehydrator so they were a little warm which made the flavor much more intense than it would have been cold. These wraps were better than I expected. I am going to continue to play around with the dehydrator. Who knows I may spring for an Excalibur soon if my experiments continue to improve. In general I would say that having raw food be a little warm makes it a lot more palatable when the weather is cold.

The nutrition on this recipe is also particularly high when you compare it to the total calories. One serving of this contains almost 13,000IU of vitamin A, 110mg of vitamin C, 165mcg of folate, 240mcg of vitamin K, 190mg of phosphorus and almost 10mcg of selenium.


  1. What are the rules for what qualifies as raw? I've seen others use dehydrators in raw food, and it seems like a great way to have a little bit of both worlds. I assume that it's considered raw as long as it not heated above a certain temperature...yes?

  2. Rose,

    Great question and there doesn't seem to be a clear answer from what I have read. Some say it is under 120 degrees, others under 118 degrees and yet more that say less than 105 degrees. Nothing like clarity on a topic. I used my laser thermometer and the dehydrator I have was averaging 109 degrees. Since I don't have any intention of going raw I decided 109 degrees was close enough.

    I have never used the dehydrator in this way before and it worked better than I expected it to. Even my husband thought it was worth continuing to play around with. He was ready to order me a fancy dehydrator tonight but I think that is a little premature to say the least.

    I am going to make something else raw tomorrow using the dehydrator, but I have no idea what at the moment.

    hope you are having a good evening,

  3. This looks delicious and would be perfect for my Favorite Fall Vegetable Recipe Roundup if you'd like to add it-

  4. Janet,

    Thanks for the invitation. I added it to your roundup.



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