Here are a few tasty wrap creations to satisfy the whole family that also make a balanced plate.
Wraps have quickly overtaken the role of the sandwich as a mealtime staple. There are many benefits to serving breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the form of a wrap. They are easy to make, portable, often less messy than sandwiches, and can be prepared to incorporate healthy whole grains, protein, lean dairy, vegetables, and fruits in one comprehensive dish!
Combinations of fixings to use in a wrap are endless. Just be sure to make a wrap or choose a pre-made wrap that is whole grain, contains vegetables for added fiber, is low in saturated fat, and is high in fiber. When considering fillings- get creative! Planning to serve chicken stir fry for dinner? Thinking about using up leftovers in a casserole? Turn your next meal into a wrap instead!
Barbeque Pulled Chicken Wrap with Blue Cheese Cabbage Slaw
Cook and shred 3 chicken breasts. Combine with ½ cup barbeque sauce, or more to reach desired consistency. Set aside. Prepare slaw by stirring together ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream with 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise and ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese. Add 2 cups shredded raw cabbage and stir to combine. Fill 4 whole-grain tortillas with the chicken and cabbage mixtures to create wraps. If serving warm, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese before wrapping. Makes 4 wraps. Check out this easy purple cabbage and apple slaw.
Chicken Margherita Wrap
Cut or shred 3 cooked chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Lightly drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 1 tablespoon honey. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine, then set aside. Layer fresh basil, sliced tomato, and sliced mozzarella on 4 whole-grain tortillas. Add chicken mixture and roll to form wraps. Serves 4.
Sauté 2 chicken sausages in a large frying pan until cooked through. Remove from heat and cut into ¼ inch slices. Using the same pan, sauté ½ red pepper (diced), ¼ onion (diced), ½ cup diced celery, and 1 minced garlic clove with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When vegetables begin to brown, add 2 dozen small shrimp and 1 16-oz can crushed tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until shrimp are cooked through, then add sliced sausage and ½ cup drained crushed canned pineapple. Can add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes if desired. After 1-2 minutes, remove from heat. Use the mixture to fill 4 whole-grain tortillas and form wraps. Serves 4.
Thai Peanut Vegetable Wrap
Sauté the desired mixture of diced vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil until brown. Peppers, onions, carrots, celery, eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, and squash work well. Set aside. Create Thai peanut dressing by combining 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, ¼ cup peanut butter, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Use dressing to coat vegetables, then spread onto 4 whole-grain tortillas. Add shredded raw cabbage, and roll to form wraps. Serves 4.
Cheesy Tuna and Broccoli Wrap
Prepare tuna by mixing 2 5-ounce cans of water-packed tuna with ½ cup light mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon spicy yellow mustard. Can use more to reach desired consistency. Add diced onion, celery, carrots, and peppers if desired. Add black pepper to taste. Steam 2 cups broccoli, drain well and chop. Spread tuna mixture onto 4 whole grain tortillas, add broccoli. Sprinkle each portion with ¼ cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese. Roll into wraps, heat in toaster oven until cheese just melts. Serves 4.
Using these ideas as templates, you can create wraps to exhaust leftovers, incorporate new foods into your child’s diet, include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into one meal, and to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters at home. Prepare wraps in advance to minimize preparation and clean-up time at meals. Add a side salad, soup, veggie slaw, or fruit cup when serving to ensure a well-rounded meal. Ask your children to get creative by constructing new wrap ideas and getting involved in meal preparation. You might be surprised and impressed by what they come up with!
What are some everyday meals that can be turned into wraps?
- Stir fry of any kind
- Salads with chicken or fish
- Egg scrambles and omelets
- Yogurt and fresh fruit parfaits
What should you avoid when preparing wraps to ensure healthy eating?
- Processed white flour tortillas
- Instead purchase whole grain or whole wheat prepared wraps, or learn to make your own healthy tortillas
- Excessive use of whole fat cheese or cheese spreads
- High calorie, high fat sauces and dressings
- Fried or breaded chicken, fish, or other proteins
- Including too many carbohydrates (stay away from fillers like rice or noodles)