Lettuce wraps are my new best friend. I don’t love salad, but I’ve discovered (very late to the party) that nice fat lettuce leaves can substitute for any bread-type product. In fact, I can’t think of a single type of sandwich, be it on bread, bagels, tortillas, or any other grain-based leavened baked good, that can’t be made even better (and of course healthier) by using lettuce instead. (Okay, grilled cheese. But I’ll figure out a way.)
The thing is, I can’t buy lettuce just anywhere. Why? Because, in the immortal words of Jeb Berrier in the film, Bag It, “I like my lettuce loose, like my ladies.” Or something like that. It’s 1am, and I don’t feel like looking it up. But most lettuce, even if it’s not wrapped in plastic, has either a plastic band or a big fat twist tie around it.
And while some of those twist ties are wire and paper instead of plastic, I’d rather not generate any garbage if I can help it. (How many twist ties can anyone actually reuse? And vendors won’t take them back.)
So I wait until I find a store (like Market Hall Produce in my neighborhood) selling naked lettuce and snatch it up. Just like I did today.
I buy my lettuce in an organic cotton produce bag. And when I get it home, I remove the lettuce to wash it, wet the bag completely, wring it out equally as completely, and put lettuce back in the bag in a metal bowl in my refrigerator. It will stay fresh and crisp all week, although I may have to wet the bag again after a few days.
Another way to buy lettuce without any packaging, bands, or twist ties is to find loose mixed lettuce and put it in your produce bag. This kind of lettuce doesn’t really work for wraps, but it is how I buy my spinach.
Here are a few more plastic-free produce photos to inspire you. The broccoli and carrots are the good guys. I’ll buy celery at a different store that doesn’t put a band around it.
I have a hard time finding kale or chard completely packaging-free:
So instead, I opt for heads of cabbage, which are also cruciferous veggies. I can usually find Brussels sprouts loose in a bin too. And often, green beans. Just have to remember my cloth bags!
Here are a few related posts you might find useful:
Ditch the plastic salad spinner. Use your cloth produce bags instead. They work better!
Here’s a ginormous list of ways to buy and store produce without plastic.
Even little plastic produce stickers are a problem.
One more look at the tasty bite I made today…