You might think that most of the things I make on this blog are sweets because:

A. It’s called The Sweet Life
B. I’m a trained pastry chef
C. I am a self-proclaimed dessert lover

But oftentimes the recipe that I choose are based solely on photography.

Cookies, cakes, and candies are almost always easier to photograph. I love styling, shooting, and editing these pictures because it makes me feel confident as a photographer and I get giddy to share these creations with you.  My attempts to photography savory food on the other hand usually makes me feel a little bit discouraged. I can’t tell you the number of taco, pizza, curries, etc. that I’ve made with the intention of sharing only to find myself looking through disappointing, embarrassing, and sometimes downright disgusting pictures of food. 

The food gets eaten up and the recipe is forgotten about. 

chickpea3That was almost the fate of these Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wraps.

After a frustrating attempt of trying to take pictures in the ten minutes (if I’m lucky) that the kids are both “napping”, I called it quits, accepted the recipe as “for my eyes only”, and moved on. 

But when Jason came home from work he found the chickpeas in the refrigerator and dug in. According to him, they had “the best buffalo sauce [he] had ever had” and proclaimed he “could eat them for lunch every day for the rest of his life“. (You should know, Jason’s not the most expressive guy.) I told him the recipe was scraped but he begged me to try again. 

A little encouragement is all I need sometimes.

And I guess the best way to learn about photographing savory food is keep trying. Besides, I really don’t eat dessert all day long. Really. I don’t. 


Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
serves 2-4
  • Buffalo Chickpeas
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup Franks hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • Ranch Dressing
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 2 hours
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh chives, minced

  • Extras
  • 8-12 large leafs of Romain Lettuce
  • 2 green onions, diced
  1. To make the buffalo chickpeas, combine hot sauce, mayonnaise, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Stir in chickpeas and celery, cover, and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  2. To make the ranch dressing, drain and rinse the cashews. In a food processor or high-powered blender combine cashews, water, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Blend until completely smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the minced herbs, cover, and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  3. To assemble, place 3-4 tbsp of buffalo chickpeas inside each romaine lettuce leaf. Drizzle with ranch dressing, top with green onions and serve immediately.
  4. Store chickpeas and dressing in the refrigerator for up to five days.

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