Posts tagged healthy

Meet My Favorite Quick Fix

Wraps are healthy. Wraps are cheap. Wraps are versatile.

So how it is that a post on wraps has yet to be done? In particular, a post about wheat wraps lined with basil pesto and topped with sliced turkey and roma tomatoes?

This is one of the easiest meals, made in record time (4:30 thank you very much), and there’s few ingredients involved. Chances are you already have them in your fridge. If not, grab em’ next time your’re at the store, since this is one of those no-planning processes.  It’ll work for lunch or dinner.

You’ll need:

  • Tortilla Wraps. Wheat is healthier than regular plain ones, but feel free to go either route, or mix it up with a different flavor like tomato basil or honey wheat. Medium or small sizes work best.
  • Basil pesto. I usually keep a small container in the fridge and use it on multiple occasions (with pasta or sandwiches). You’ll need about two spoonfuls for this recipe. Feeling daring? Make your own pesto using my recipe.
  • Fresh sliced turkey breast from you local deli. Smoked or honey works best for this particular wrap. You’ll need about five or six slices, unless you want your wrap on the thick side, in which case throw in a few more slices.
  • One roma tomato (the oval-shaped ones), since they’re a touch healthier. A regular ones (only use half) will do just fine as well.
  • Black pepper to taste.

Directions:

  1. Cover about three-quarters of the wrap, laid out flat, with the pesto (about two spoonfuls), spreading it evenly. Be generous here, that pesto flavor completes the wrap.
  2. Dice up the tomato into small cubes. Then layer the tomatoes on top of the pesto.
  3. Pile the turkey on top, making sure you cover most of the surface
  4. Sprinkle some back pepper over it all then get ready for the tricky part, wrapping it up. If you’re like me, and not too concerned with the wrap staying together since you;re about to devour it anyway, then you can just fold it up as you would a fajita or soft taco, making sure one end overlaps the other.
  5. If you’re on the fancier side and maybe serving this to guests or want to save it for later, you should fold two opposing sides inward, then wrap it up, making sure all the stuffing stays in the middle. If you have some handy, stick a toothpick on two sides of the wrap and cut it in half.

Here’s a visual step-by-step:

Spread the pesto evenly

Dice the tomato into small cubes

Toss the tomatoes over the pesto

Layer the turkey on top and sprinkle with black pepper

Wrap it all up, connecting two opposing sides

The ultimate pesto-lover in me prefers this wrap, but there are a ton of different options you could try. Grilled chicken would work great here, or instead of pesto, use spicy brown mustard, your favorite salad dressing or hummus. Almost anything will substitute, so get creative! Throw in some lettuce for an extra crunch, or add some mozzarella cheese for a delicious (yet a bit unhealthier) touch.

Featured Links

Check out the Food Network’s Food Network’s wrap collection for more great ideas.

cdkitchen.com‘s large variety of wrap recipes

Healthy Sandwich and wrap ideas from Fitness Magazine

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Tackling hummus: a store-bought staple

Hummus is one of those foods I repeatedly buy from the grocery store because it seems like a pre-packaged item I wouldn’t even consider trying to make.  One of the great things about writing this blog is that I’ve been attempting recipes that I would otherwise write off as scary and complicated; and news flash, the recipe (from SimplyRecipes.com) for hummus is the exact opposite.  It’s actually really simple and pretty quick.  On the down side, you’ll probably have to go out and purchase more of the ingredients (find me a college student who regularly stocks their shelves with tahini).  But it’s a great (very healthy) snack so if you ask me, the positives outweigh the negs.  I’m pretty sure this is a first on this blog, but I’m actually admitting defeat here.  The recipe came out okay.  The texture works, and I used all the right ingredients, but something about the taste was a little bit off and I’m not sure why.  If any readers out there are experienced in making hummus, please take a look at my recipe and directions and let me know what you think.  Possible problems I’m considering are not stirring the tahini enough before using it, or too much garlic.  It came out decent, but it could definitely use improvement, but that’s what cooking is all about: experimenting with new things and figuring out where things went wrong so the next time I make it, it’ll be 10 times better. 🙂

With hopes that I didn’t scare you out of giving this recipe a try, you’ll need:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, mashed then cut into tiny pieces
  • 30 oz garbanzo beans(chickpeas)
  • 2/3 cup tahini (sesame paste), you can usually find it wherever the peanut butter is or in a Middle Eastern food store. You can also make it if you’re feeling daring.
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of black pepper (optional)
  • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Blender/food processor

Directions:

  1. Mash the garlic cloves and cut them up into tiny pieces.
  2. Cut and squeeze the lemons into a measuring cup until you get 1/3 cup of juice.  This is probably the most time-consuming step.
  3. Combine the garlic, beans, tahini, water, olive oil and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  This part sounds pretty easy, but it actually took me awhile to blend the chickpeas and then everything else together, plus it’s a pain to clean the blender afterward.  If you have a food processor, I would suggest using it; however, in my humble kitchen I was stuck with a blender and it got a little tricky.
  4. Transfer the processed mixture into a medium-sized bowl and give it a stir.  Then add the salt, and dash of black pepper ad crushed red pepper if you’d like it on the spicy side.  If you have any parsley around, garnish the humus with a sprinkle or two.
  5. Serve with pita chips (I recommend Stacy’s simply naked– Grand Union only had multigrain and parmesan garlic & herb), pita bread, pretzels, or toasted chunks of french bread

Like I said above, please please please don’t hesitate to let me know what you would have done differently.  I’d love to get your thoughts and give my hummus recipe a second try!

Here’s a visual guide:

Mash the garlic then squeeze the fresh lemon juice before adding the other ingredients:

Process everything together until smooth:

Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add the salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper:

Serve with your item of choice (mine being pita chips):

Here are some other hummus recipe to try your hand at:

Another easy recipe from About.com’s Middle Eastern food section.  This site also has links to videos about making hummus and making pita bread!

Ina Garten of the Food Network shares her hummus recipe

A hummus recipe from Epicurious.com, featuring additional recipes with chickpeas

Here’s a good video from Good Housekeeping about making hummus:

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