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Monday, March 19, 2012

Veggie Wraps with Sprouts and Cabbage

Gluten Free Asian Rice Wraps
Gluten Free Asian - style Sprout Wraps
a.k.a. cheap wraps, grow your own sprout wraps
gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, sugar free (optional)

This might sound strange to some of you, but I always keep a head of green cabbage in my fridge.  Always. No exaggeration.  I slip it into all kinds of dishes as a cheap filler, like the wraps shown here. These wraps are a standard in my house and my fiance was actually around the corner nibbling on the other ones while I was photographing these. 

I also love these wraps for traveling.  With so many food allergies, airport food offers very little in the way of options so I always pack a ton of food with me (more on packing food for traveling later).  The last thing anyone wants is to be sick on an airplane, or better yet, miss your flight because you're stuck in the bathroom!  I've found that taking lots of fresh veggies and rice cakes really helps to stave off that "I'm so gross, bloated, dirty, yucky, shouldn't have eaten that whole bag of chips" feeling from spending a day traveling.  These little wraps are a staple in my traveling lunch bag.  They hold up really well and I actually feel good after eating them, even if I am stuck on a smelly bus on the way to the airport. 

Ok, so on Saturday I suggested to my followers on my Facebook page and on Google+ that you all stock up on cabbage, as it's on sale right now for St. Patrick's Day.  I promised to give you recipes that had to do with cabbage!  (Here's a thank you to Rogene whose post on Gluten Free and Loving It reminded me about buying cabbage for St. Paddy's Day, therefore inadvertently inspiring me to post on cabbage).  Cabbage is always a good deal, even when not on sale, and is extremely versatile.  It can be used for everything from British to German to Asian to Indian cuisine and everywhere in between.  It can be raw, cooked, boiled, baked, or anything else you like.  It also stores well in the freezer, and can be taken out to use for cabbage rolls and wraps, or shredded for stir fries and curries. So to kick off the cabbage fest, I'm posting my recipe for gluten free Asian rice wraps. 

Mung Beans
So this recipe that I developed a while back uses cabbage, along with one of my favorite things - Home Grown Sprouts.  Those of you who have been following along with me for a bit know that I seriously love sprouts and have been working on incorporating them into everything, including Sprouted Green Lentil Bread and Sprouted Red Lentil Bread.  Well these wraps are actually based around two types of sprouts that you can grow at home, Mung Bean and Alfalfa.

Of course, you can just buy the grown sprouts in almost any market, but I prefer to grow my own.  It's cheaper, of course, and I just love to sprout.

Mung beans can be found in many markets that have a bulk section or an Asian section, or they can be found at an Asian market.  They are often used in soups, stir fries, or in mung bean noodles.  They're like little green, oval pea-type things with a white dot (see the picture to the right).   Alfalfa can be found in health food stores, or some enlightened markets ;)  Both should be very cheap, and you only need a very small amount to make about a dozen of these filling little wraps.

Ready-grown alfalfa is easy to find, but if you can't find sprouted mung beans, or the seeds, you can substitute sprouted soy beans (or sprout soy beans yourself) or most other pea or bean mixes.

Alfalfa sprouts
Note: If sprouting these yourself you'll need to plan about 5 days ahead, as the alfalfa take a few days to grow green leaves.  If one or the other of these sprouts is ready to go ahead of the other, you can refrigerate them.  Rinse and drain once per day until you are ready to use them.  They will keep in the fridge up to 4 days.

Ingredients: (makes about 10-12 wraps)

2 Tbsp alfalfa seeds (or about 2-3 c alfalfa sprouts)

4 Tbsp mung beans (about 2.5 c mung bean sprouts)

Shredded cabbage, carrots and mung beans
2-3 medium sized carrots, peeled, shredded or julienned finely*

approx. 2 cups of packed green cabbage leaves, then shredded or finely chopped (cut out the hard white centre)

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, chopped fine

1 Tbsp oil for stir frying

approx. 12 rice wrappers, available in the Asian section of most markets


3 Tbsp Gluten Free Soy Sauce (I use Bragg, widely available in markets - in Canada in Save-On or Choices) or GF Tamari sauce*

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp honey or brown sugar

1/4 c warm water (or veggie stock)


1. If sprouting alfalfa and mung beans yourself, start with the alfalfa.  Soak for 5-6 hours, then drain.  Continue to rinse and drain 2-3 times per day (see here for more details on sprouting).  On the third day, once little tails have begun to grow, set the alfalfa seeds in a sunny spot.  On this day, you can begin the mung bean sprouts.  Soak overnight, or 8 hours, then drain.  Continue to rinse and drain 2-3 times per day.  When the alfalfa sprouts have little green leaves and the mung beans are about 1" long (really, you can use them anytime once they begin to sprout, but I like them a bit longer for stir fries) they are ready to go.

2. Heat a wok or large pan over medium heat.  Mix together the sauce.

3. Add chopped garlic and ginger to pan and cook 1 minute to release their fragrance.

Figure 1, laying out the veggies
4. Add cabbage and carrots, along with the sauce.  Cook until softened and cabbage begins to change colour.  This will depend on how you've chopped your veggies, julienned and hand sliced will cook a little bit longer.

5. Add mung beans and fry another 2-3 minutes, stirring to ensure the beans are cooked through.  Remove from heat and cool until easy to handle. 

6. In a large bowl, pot or plate, soak 2 rice wrappers at a time for about 1 minute (you can leave one in the pot while you work with the first one).  The wrapping is only a little tricky, but might take a couple of practices to get tight enough.  I've added some step by step photos to help. 

7. Lay out one rice wrapper on a flat surface (I use my cutting board).  Add a couple of spoonfuls of the cooked veggies to the end of the wrapper closest to you, leave a 1" border around the veggies.  Fig 1.

8. Using a fork to pry them apart, add a thick layer of alfalfa sprouts, about 1" high worth. Fig 2.  (Here you can see my set up - large pot for soaking rice wrappers, bowl of alfalfa sprouts, and off screen to the right, a plate for the finished wraps)
Figure 2, Adding alfalfa sprouts

Figure 3, wrapping the veggies
9. Fold the end of the wrapper up over the veggies, tucking it under them slightly and pulling it tight.  Fold the the right and left sides over this, creating an envelope.  Fig 3.

10. Keep rolling towards the end, pulling the veggies towards you as you go to wrap them tightly. 

11. Repeat with remaining veggies and wrappers.  How many wraps you get depends on how much filling you put in them.

Serve plain or with a little bowl of  dipping sauce, such as more Bragg and rice vinegar, or tamari sauce.

These little wraps are deceptively filling.  You can eat them as soon as you're done wrapping, or chill them in the fridge.  They also last a day or two in the fridge (honestly mine all get eaten within 24 hours so I can't say for sure how long they last).  As I mentioned, they also pack really well into a plastic baggy or container for traveling snacks, too.  So there you have it, wraps that are filled with cheap cabbage and sprouts, the fruits of your own hard labour, out tilling the soil in the hot sun, breaking your back, praying for rain... oh wait, it's not that hard at all!  Just spoon a couple of tablespoons of seeds into a jar and away you go!

What do you do with your cabbage?  I'd love to hear your ideas, and stay tuned for more of mine!  

*OAS Info: Carrots are high on the list of OAS foods.  The cooking process here *should* kill the allergen proteins and make the carrots safe to eat.  However, if you are very reactive you could try boiling them first, or eliminating them altogether.  If you have a problem with soy sauce, you could try substituting coconut aminos instead, or fish oil. 

This recipe is linked to the following wonderful sites:
the Gluten Free Weekly Meal Plan on,  Made From Scratch Mondays on,  5 Dollar, Sugar Free Sunday on Fresh Bites Friday 

Gluten Free Meal Plan via Musings of a Housewife Monday Meals


  1. Oooh, those sound awfully tasty :) The rice wraps we get around here are thick and don't taste all that good. Yours look much thinner and would be much easier to work with. We have an Asian store about 45 minutes from me and I'll have to check the next time I'm in that area. Also, if there is someone avoiding soy due to sensitivities or allergies, they can substitute Coconut Soy Sauce. It tastes just like regular soy sauce...without the soy :)

    1. Thanks for the tip, Mary! I'll have to look for that Coconut Soy Sauce next time I'm out and about. That's too bad your local wraps are thick, I hope you can get your hands on some tastier ones soon that aren't so far away! I've tried making my own rice wraps but that was a disaster...

  2. Looks delicious! Even if I didn't grow my own sprouts, I'd make use of that recipe. Thanks for the 'how-to' and you're getting me hungry for something crunchy!!! That's a good thing!

    1. Lol, making my readers hungry is definitely one of my goals! Thanks for checking in :) The recipe is quite versatile, you could substitute lettuce, or even fresh shredded cabbage for the alfalfa, and various other veggies for the stir fry. I just like things low budget and do-it-yourself!

  3. that looks SOOOO good. thanks for linking up last week! I have another linky up today if you have more recipes to share. :-)

    1. Thanks! I've shared my Easter cabbage rolls recipe on today's linky :) Thanks again for having the linky, it's a great way to find new recipes and connect with others.

  4. Hi Danielle! I just discovered your blog via #MNINB. Very nice. I tweeted about this recipe to my veggie friends because it looks delish and is a great way to make use of sprouts (for those of us who keep a jarful growing on the sill at all times). Enjoy the April Challenge! - Veggie Val

    1. Hi Val,

      thanks for stopping by and sharing this with others! I'm actually off to a writers conference this weekend and will be packing these along with me to snack on :) Good luck with the #MNINB challenge!

  5. These actually fit in beautifully with the Anti-Cancer diet (will modify the sauteing process and substitute maltitol for honey), so with your permission would love to share.
    Cheers! Hoda

  6. Hi Hoda, thanks for stopping by and you are welcome to share this recipe, especially for such an important cause! Please just link back to my site for reference :) Thanks again!


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