Glowing Lettuce Wraps

This past weekend I had an amazing time doing a photoshoot with Newlife Photography. Alex is one of the most professional photographers I have ever worked with, and is both encouraging and respectful. We spent several hours on Saturday shooting indoors and outdoors, and ended up with some amazing shots (hopefully I'll be able to share some of them soon!). 

I used to do quite a bit of modeling, but before this weekend's shoot, I had taken several solid months away from it. I was SO nervous getting back to it. I was worried that I would look awkward or feel stupid, or see the photos after the fact and realize that my body doesn't in fact look as good as it feels. It was silly to worry about all of these things, of course, but still, getting back into it took some internal pep-talks. 

Thankfully, I have an amazing boyfriend that supports and encourages everything I want to try. David was just the right combination of supportive and no-nonsense about confronting my insecurities.  He helped give me that little push I needed to commit to doing this shoot. Once I actually got to the studio, Alex (the photographer) was so reassuring and positive, he made my job as effortless as it could have been. I think he could make anyone look and feel amazing! 

Since it was the first shoot I've done in a while, I was extra cautious of what I ate (and drank) leading up to the session. In the week or two before, this means drinking plenty of water, avoiding or limiting all processed foods, sweets, and alcohol. During the 24 hours before, it means all of those things, plus avoiding anything that could cause bloating or water retention. In other words, nothing salty, and avoiding certain vegetables and legumes I would otherwise eat like broccoli, beans, chickpeas, cabbage, etc. Some of the foods I like to have on hand for day-of-photoshoot meals and snacks are carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, raw almonds, toast, blueberries or strawberries, and unsalted pumpkin seeds. 

All this pre-shoot food planning got me to thinking: what could I make that would taste decadent, be healthful and help me feel light and fresh for shooting? Answer: lettuce wraps. 

These are easy, fresh, and can be prepared in 15 minutes or less. I served everything build-your-own style, and it was perfect. The ingredients are crisp, and refreshingly cool. A great recipe for summer nights when you don't want to heat up the kitchen. Prepare to glow!


Glowing Lettuce Wraps

Serves 2 with leftovers

Lettuce Wraps


  • 16 ounces shiitake or baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 head butter leaf lettuce 
    • My grocery store was out, so I used green leaf lettuce and it worked fine too. 
  • 1 heaping cup shredded carrots
  • 1 small bulb jicama (cut into sticks)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped, unsalted peanuts
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon veggie broth or oil
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Peanut dipping sauce
    • 1 teaspoon smooth peanut butter
    • 1 teaspoon sweet red chili sauce
    • splash of tamari or soy sauce


  1. Wash lettuce and lay out to dry.
  2. Heat veggie broth or oil over medium heat in a nonstick pan. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high to cook off excess liquid. Add hoisin sauce and red pepper flakes, stirring until coated. Remove from heat & transfer to serving bowl. 
  3. Prepare dipping sauce: combine peanut butter, sweet red chili sauce, and tamari in a small dish and stir to combine. 
  4. Serve lettuce, cooked mushrooms, shredded carrots, jicama, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and green onions build-your-own style. Use peanut dipping sauce inside the wrap or as a dipping sauce. 

***For nut-free, skip chopped peanuts and serve with sweet red chili sauce. 

Build It Lettuce Wraps