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Hearty Garden Wraps

When you are short on time and need a meal that can travel with you, skip the drive-thru and fix a sandwich wrap. Wraps are healthy, easy to put together, and fun to eat for the whole family! You can make a wrap to fit any dietary restriction, even gluten-free or carb-free! Gather your favorite ingredients and wrapper and learn how to transform them into a sandwich wrap.

Wrap Basics:

The Wrapper

There are many delicious options to wrap your favorite fillings in. The most commonly used wrapper is a tortilla, but naan bread, pita bread, potato lavash, egg roll wrappers, cracker bread, or flavored specialty wraps are also delicious. 

For those on restricted diets, there are gluten-free tortillas, gluten-free specialty wraps, gluten-free egg roll wrappers, or paleo wraps made from coconut meat. Large lettuce leaves also make an excellent, low-calorie, gluten-free, carb-free wrapper.

Choosing the right wrapper for your sandwich wrap is all about taste and texture. The wrapper is the backbone of your sandwich wrap and needs to be sturdy to prevent messy leaks or unappetizing squashiness. However, this has led to many of the items sold specifically as wrappers to have a stiff, almost dry texture. Try different kinds of wrappers and pick a go-to-wrapper that has the taste and texture you like. Keep it on hand so that you can make a wrap on short notice when you are suddenly pressed for time. 

Many of the breads that are so good to use as a wrapper, (such as tortillas, lavash, and cracker bread), need to be stored carefully. Once the package is opened, they are at a high risk for becoming dry and difficult to eat. Repackage your wrappers in a large zip-top storage bag to be sure that they will stay fresh.

Some wrap recipes call for heating the wrapper to make it pliable. This is a double-edged sword. If you heat the wrapper it will become easier to work with, for a time. Once it has cooled, it can become hard and dry. To heat your wrapper and keep it moist, cover it with a damp paper towel as you microwave it. Never heat lettuce or coconut meat wrappers.

The Filling

The filling you place in your wrap is what makes it delicious. There are three basic kinds of wraps: salad wraps, sandwich wraps, and breakfast wraps. All of these wraps are a great way to use up leftovers. Leftover salad, grilled or fresh veggies, baked meats, cheeses, beans, rice, barbecue, hash browns, scrambled eggs, and fried chicken are all delicious in wrap sandwiches.

Salad wraps are filled with plenty of veggies and a protein source, such as beans, cheese, hard boiled egg, or lunch meat. They are dressed with a bit of salad dressing and might also include traditional salad toppers, like nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. Make sure that all of your veggies and lettuces have been cut down to bite size. Be sure not to over-dress your salad wrap filling or the the veggies will become limp and your wrapper will be soggy.

Sandwich wraps are made with the fillings of your favorite sandwich. Sandwich salads, such as chicken or egg, can be spread over the wrapper with some veggies and cheese. Deli meats, cheeses, and veggies can be layered over the wrapper. Sandwich spreads, such as mustard, mayonnaise or horseradish, can also be layered between the meat and cheese or spread on the wrapper.

Breakfast wraps are often served warm and are filled with breakfast foods, like scrambled eggs, sausage, diced ham, cheese, bacon, hashbrowns, or black beans. A tortilla is almost always used as the wrapper for a breakfast wrap. Be sure to carefully drain the grease off sausage or bacon before adding them to your wrap filling.

For sandwich, breakfast, or salad wraps it is important not to overfill the wrap. Even though your filling is delicious, too much is a bad thing. An over-filled wrap will cause the wrapper to fall apart and make a mess. Be sure that your wrap filling is not too wet. Carefully drain ingredients that have been jarred, stored in a brine, or kept in a dressing. Make sure that your chicken or egg salad is lightly dressed. 

How to wrap

Once you have a wrapper and filling, it is time to put your wrap together. Before you start, get a large piece of plastic wrap and set it aside. Lay your wrapper on a flat surface. Spread it with a sandwich spread, hummus, bean dip, sour cream, or soft cheese. Sprinkle on a light layer of shredded cheese,  if desired. 

  • For a salad wrap, place your filling in the center and spread it a bit toward you on the wrapper. Layer on extra cheese or salad toppings and then your salad dressing. Place a layer of lettuce leaves on top to protect your wrapper from sogginess. 
  • For a sandwich wrap, place a protective layer of lettuce over the cheese and sandwich spread. Then add a few alternating layer of sandwich salad, meat, cheese, or veggies. 
  • For a breakfast wrap, place scrambled eggs and other fillings in the center of the wrap over a layer of hummus or sour cream. Push the ingredients toward you a little bit. Top with a final layer of cheese.
  • Fold the edge of the wrapper closest to you over the filling by one-third. Tuck in the ends and then fold again. Tuck in the ends once more and then fold your wrap for the last time. Place your sandwich wrap on the plastic film and wrap it up tightly. 

    Storage and Transport

    Place your wrap in an appropriately sized zip top bag or plastic storage container. Keep it refrigerated until you are ready to go. Most wraps can sit overnight in the refrigerator, but need to be discarded after 24 hours. 

    If you are making a breakfast wrap that is warm, wrap it in foil instead of plastic. Eat it quickly before it has the time to sweat and become soggy.



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