Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Romaine Lettuce Boats w/Lentils, Quinoa and Dairy-free Alfredo Sauce

I will serve this side dish at AT&T’s cafeteria in San Ramon, on Thursday, October 13th. That morning, I’ll give a motivational talk to 120 employees — how to get to a new automatic pilot in the kitchen, making food, for a healthy, happy, productive, quality life.

Here is the designer lunch I created to be served in their cafeteria for all AT&T employees:

This sauce uses white beans to create a mock Alfredo Sauce (a mock mayonnaise) for a grain and legume salad.

Romaine Lettuce Boats w/Lentils, Quinoa and Dairy-free Alfredo Sauce

Makes 10 wraps

  • 10 lettuce leaves (Romaine, Butter, Oak Leaf)
  • 1 cup lentils, cooked
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 bunch broccoli, steamed
  • 1 cup peas, thawed
  • 2 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 scallions, green shoots only, sliced diagonally
  • Small handful dried cherries (or cranberries)

1. Best to rinse, then soak the lentils and quinoa overnight in 4-5 cups of water.

2. Drain and cook the lentils and quinoa with 3 cups water in a 2-quart pot with tight fitting lid.

3. Bring to simmer, cover, reduce the heat to low, cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep the lid on, let sit for another 10-15 mins. Put in large bowl and fluff, allowing moisture to evaporate.

4. Cut the broccoli into small bite-size pieces. Steam until soft, yet firm, about 8 minutes, set aside.

5. Thaw the peas, drain.

6. Mix everything gently with herbs and salt, set aside.


The mock Alfredo sauce:

  • 2 cups cooked white beans (or 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 tbls olive oil (a very grassy, peppery oil will be best)  (omit for Fat-free version)
  • 2 tbls nutritional yeast (for the butter flavor)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4 scallions, the white bulbs
  • Water, add 1/4 cup at a time, until desired consistency

1. Blend all ingredients well in food processor, except the scallions and cranberries, until smooth and creamy. Use high-speed blender for best results.

2. Set aside, best to make the day of serving. Served cold.


1. Put scoop of lentil and quinoa mixture on a Romaine leaf.

2. Add the sauce.

3. Top with a few of the sliced scallions and dried cherries, and chicken (optional).


  • This is unique out-of-the-box way to serve grains.
  • The bean-based Alfredo sauce is similar to this mock mayonnaise:
  • Colors are green, red, brown, tan, white.
  • The white bulb of the scallions will be chopped, and added to the bean-based Alfredo sauce.
  • Textures are grain-y, creamy, watery crunch.
  • Can be made the day before, and then put into lettuce boats just before serving.

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