With fall in full swing, it’s a tough truth to face: the lazy days of summer are gone and so are all those easy grab-and-go summer suppers. Or are they?
Maybe you miss sitting out on the deck with a big salad to pass or a tasty meal off the grill, but don’t give up on the quick and healthy group meal just yet.
After work and school, and in between activities, a freshly made meal of favorite ingredients that everyone can assemble themselves sounds almost too good to be true…but it’s not! On busy nights when you’re tired and hungry, wraps are the perfect rescue.
We’re featuring chicken as a protein for this selection, but they work with substitutions ranging from flank steak to shrimp to no meat at all. Bonus: wraps make excellent leftovers to pack for lunches.
What to Wrap In
You’ll find plenty of choices for wrappings according to your dietary needs and your family’s tastes. Some favorites are soft tortilla style wraps in flavors like sundried tomato or garden herb. There are also low-carb and whole grain versions, and if you’re going grain-free or low-cal, don’t forget about good ol’ lettuce cups!
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap
Grilling is a healthy, low-fat way to serve up a lot of flavor, and it works perfectly in a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. Make a fast version for wraps by tossing some romaine lettuce with a bit of your favorite Caesar dressing—you don’t need much because this dish is more about the protein and crunch.
Next, slice up some cucumbers, and perhaps some black olives, cherry tomatoes and green onion. Remember, fillings for a wrap are customizable. Small garlicky croutons are a nice touch, and don’t forget a pile of shredded parmesan cheese.
Cut your grilled chicken it into small chunks and let everyone layer it on with the dressed lettuce and toppings of their choice. These ingredients also work well with grilled shrimp. If you can’t grill outside, feel free to use your indoor grill!
Asian Chicken Wrap
This delicious chicken mixture is fun to wrap with bright and savory flavors. Simply sauté a couple of cups of finely diced chicken breast and/or thigh meat with minced ginger and garlic to taste, then moisten it in the pan with a solid pour of soy sauce. Add fish sauce (about a tablespoon) combined with cornstarch (1/2 to 1 tsp.) and if you have it, a dash of mirin. (No mirin? Use a splash of water or white wine and a dash of sugar.) Finish with some chili sauce, also to taste.
For toppings, chop carrots and green onions like little matchsticks. Also put out piles of chopped water chestnuts, peanuts, fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges and a dish of hoisin or ponzu sauce for dipping. Oh—you’ll need some large iceberg lettuce leaves to wrap in! Or, if you’re brave, try rolling in damp rice paper spring rolls.
These wraps also work well with ground pork or chopped firm tofu instead of chicken.
Mesquite Chicken Wrap
original recipe courtesy of Sandra’s Easy Cooking
Makes: 1 wrap
- 3 – 5 oz. Chicken Breast
- 1 Tbs. Oil (olive or coconut works)
- 1.5 tsp. Mesquite Seasoning
- 1 Large Tortilla
- Shredded Cheese Blend (you might like Colby and Jack)
- Sriracha (optional/to taste)
- Baby Arugula (Rocket), Spinach or Lettuce
- 1/4 Mango, diced
- 1/4 Onion, diced (green, red, white or yellow)
- 1/4 Tomato, diced
- 1/4 English Cucumber, diced
- 1/4 Avocado, diced
- Cilantro or Parsley, finely chopped
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp. Sugar
- 1 garlic clove, crushed/minced (powder could be used)
- Pinch of Red Hot Chili Pepper (optional/to taste)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Oil the chicken all over and rub on the Mesquite seasoning. Cut in strips. Place on the preheated grill (or you can pan fry in a bit of oil). Cook on both sides until golden, about 3 minutes per side depending how thick strips are.
- Set cooked chicken aside and dice toppings/salsa ingredients. Mix dressing and toss with salsa or keep on the side.
- If you are using a grill, place tortilla on the grill, add cheese and chicken. Let cheese melt. Microwave or Preheated oven could be also used.
- Add greens, then toppings or salsa. Drizzle with Sriracha to your liking. Wrap it up and enjoy!
- You can use whatever type of salsa you like, including a store-bought brand
- When cooking chicken, internal temperature should be between 165°F-170°F
- This also could be served in pita bread
- Peach or pineapple works well instead of mango
- Try substituting grilled flank steak for the chicken, or making it meatless with extra avocado and warm black beans seasoned with the Mesquite rub