Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quick Sandwich Ideas For Meals In Minutes

By Laura Cokherell

For busy people who want a quick grab-n-go meal, sandwich wraps are the perfect choice. Using only simple ingredients that you have on hand, you can put together delicious and healthy meals in minutes. They are perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks whenever you are short on time or energy.

Here is a simple procedure to put a healthy and delicious wrap together in just a little bit of time. It's quick, easy, and flexible and allows for your own tastes, the seasons, or for what you may have on hand at the time you make your sandwich wrap. Just take the ingredients you are using and layer them down the center of the wrap, leaving an inch or so at the bottom to close the wrap when you are finished.

1. First choose the kind of wrap that you want. Soft tortilla shells come in a wide variety of flavors today such as spinach, tomato, whole grain and more. You may also want to try some kale leaves (raw or lightly steamed) with the stem cut out so you are only using the leafy part or try some large lettuce leaves or even some steamed cabbage leaves.

2. Choose a flavorful spread. This is the base upon which all your other ingredients will be placed. Spread on some of your chosen spread as thin or as thick as you like over the wrap you have picked. You might like to try any of the following ideas for spreading on your wrap: Greek style plain yogurt, pesto (basil pesto, artichoke pesto, roasted red pepper or olive pesto), hummus (regular, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, dill or lemon), or plain cream cheese (regular or whipped style).

3. Fill the wrap. Choose a single item or a combination of items and place as much as you like down the center of the sandwich wrap. Try tofu (bake and seasoned), cheese (sliced or shredded), leftover cooked chicken or steak, avocado, canned salmon or smoked salmon slices, etc.

4. Add some vegetables or fruit to the wrap. This is a painless way to get vegetables and fruit in your diet. Place your chosen vegetables or fruit on top of your filling. Here are some simple and flavorful suggestions:

Vegetable Suggestions: shredded lettuce, peeled and thinly sliced jicama, thinly sliced cucumbers, marinated artichoke hearts, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, fresh tomato slices or diced tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, sliced scallions, sliced roasted red peppers, sliced sweet bell peppers, very thinly sliced fennel, chopped or diced onion, etc.

Fruit Suggestions: dried cranberries, orange slices, diced or sliced apples or pears, peach slices, sliced strawberries or mango, raisins or dried fruit of choice, fresh blueberries or blackberries, sliced mango, diced cantaloupe or honeydew melon, etc.

5. Add an extra layer of flavor. These are food items that boost the flavor of your sandwich wrap. Use as much and as many as you would like. Here are a few ideas for flavor accents to add depending on the type of wrap you are creating.

Crunchy/Salty/Spicy Flavor Toppings: cooked and crumbled bacon bits (regular or vegetarian), pickle relish, peanut sauce, a little chopped fresh herbs of choice like mint, basil, dill, oregano, or cilantro, chopped nuts, salsa, oyster sauce, or a sprinkling of soy sauce

Sweet/Spicy/Crunchy Flavor Toppings: a spoonful of marmalade or all-fruit spread, nutmeg or cinnamon, a little chutney, or something crunchy and/or sweet like granola, chopped nuts, mini-chocolate chips, shredded coconut, etc.

Once you have placed all of your ingredients in layers on your wrap, simply fold up the bottom end and then fold in the sides to close the sandwich.

A few simple and flavorful wrap sandwich ideas are listed to get you started making these quick meals in minutes.

- whole grain tortilla wrap, mayonnaise, cooked boneless chicken breast (thinly sliced), shredded lettuce, mango chutney

- whole grain tortilla wrap, peanut butter, canned (drained) fruit cocktail, brown sugar

- kale leaves, whipped cream cheese, refried beans, jalapeno slices, salsa, chopped pitted black olives

- whole grain tortilla wrap, almond butter, sliced peaches, sliced strawberries, honey, cinnamon

- spinach flavored tortilla wrap, basil pesto, cooked vegetarian sausage links sliced lengthwise, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes

- whole grain tortilla wrap, mashed avocado mixed with cumin and a little chili powder, cooked cocktail shrimp, corn kernels and diced celery, prepared salsa, chopped fresh cilantro

- whole grain tortilla wrap, Dijon mustard, scrambled egg, marinated artichoke hearts (drained and chopped), sour cream, pitted and chopped green olives

- whole grain tortilla wrap, mayonnaise, cooked and flaked crabmeat, chopped celery and scallions, lemon zest, diced avocado

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