Athlete Food: Tofu Lettuce Wraps

I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to eat a decent home-cooked meal at the end of a tiring training day, I have to fix it all day, in 10- to 15-minute increments. Having a 45-minute block of time to cook? It’s taken me six months to figure out that it’s not going to happen. 

That’s why these Tofu Lettuce Wraps have become one of my staple meals this summer. I make the tofu marinade during the 15 minutes that Amy will stay occupied in her pack n’ play. I wash the lettuce leaves while she takes her afternoon nap. While she exercises in her bouncy seat, I cook the tofu. By Amy’s bathtime, I’ve prepped all of the components of the meal.

Since these wraps taste good at room temperature, I don’t even have to press “start” on the microwave once I’ve gotten Amy to sleep for the night. 


Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entrée.

For the Tofu:

1 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed*

1 tablespoon soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce

For Serving:

1 head of butter or romaine lettuce, leaves wash, dried and stacked

2 avocados, diced

3 to 4 radishes, sliced

1 small bunch of fresh cilantro

½ cup chopped roasted peanuts

1 lime, cut into wedges

Drain tofu and press as much moisture out of it as you can. Transfer it to a zip-top bag. Mix the tamari, rice vinegar, and Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce in a small bowl. Pour marinade into the bag of tofu and seal, removing as much air as possible. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Remove tofu from marinade by draining it in a colander. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Add tofu. Allow to brown slightly before turning. Turn the tofu pieces every 1-2 minutes until all sides are golden and the edges are crispy. Don’t leave the pan alone for too long: the sugar in the sweet chili sauce can cause the tofu to darken quickly.

Serve with a platter of lettuce leaves, avocado, radishes, cilantro, peanuts and lime wedges.  

*To save on the prep time, buy tofu that is already cubed.