On a mission to keep lunches fueling and interesting yet easy, I started to brainstorm ideas for something I don't have many recipes for - wraps. Always a fan of veggies, I loaded this week's wraps full of a variety of veggies, included some source of protein and added additional components to give it lots of flavor and keep it from being dry.
This wrap is loaded with so much goodness you should definitely give it a try. The combination of carrots, and chickpeas, cucumber and lettuce give it that satisfying crunch that is then balanced by the smooth roasted red peppers and creamy hummus. And that crumbled feta is the perfect salty counterpart to the sweet roasted red peppers and drizzles of balsamic vinaigrette.
Fun fact - studies have found that the human brain's reward system is more stimulated when there are more senses being stimulated in a food. Looking at sweets - it's why we tend to go for the more decadent desserts like the salted caramel toffee nut crunch ice cream..... with the hot and cold, smooth and crunchy, sweet and salty - there is so much going on here! (To learn more about this you can check out the book Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. I find it extremely interesting!) To me, this wrap does all of those things, but in a meal that fuels the body, the workday, and your workouts.
I hope this gives you a new fueling recipe to add to your collection or, as always, I hope that it at least inspires you to make some version of your own.
MEDITERRANEAN LUNCH WRAP
- 1 whole wheat wrap (The warp pictured here is the Multi Grain with Flax variety from FlatOut)
- 1/4 cup plain hummus (I used the Original Whole Foods variety. It's my fave!)
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced & quartered cucumbers
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
- 1/2 - 1 cup spinach & romaine mix
- 1/4 cup canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1 - 1/2 tbs. crumbled feta
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette
- ~2 oz. of protein of choice (1 - 2 chopped hardboiled eggs / 2 oz. chopped, shredded, or rotisserie chicken / cooked lean ground beef or lean ground chicken breast, or tofu)
- Lay parchment paper out on a flat surface like your kitchen counter (need enough paper so that you can wrap your sandwich wrap in it).
- Lay wrap out flat onto parchment paper.
- Spread hummus evenly across middle area of wrap.
- Top wrap with the carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, and chickpeas - centering ingredients in the center of wrap.
- Top with crumbled feta cheese.
- Drizzle with balsamic.
- Roll up your wrap, cut in half and enjoy!
- To keep it from being super messy, or when I'm preparing this and then packing it for lunch that day, I wrap it in parchment paper to keep all the ingredients from spilling out before I get to eat it. I'm thinking a tutorial on how to wrap these wraps is soon to follow.... Enjoy!
WHAT'S are some of the benefits?
Along with complex carbohydrate (mostly from the wrap & chickpeas), protein (from your protein of choice, chickpeas & whole-wheat wrap), and little fat (from your hummus & feta), this wrap provides you with some....
Roasted Red Peppers: vitamin C, fiber, vitamin A
Spinach: vitamin C, folate, iron, calcium
Carrots: vitamin A, fiber
Chickpeas (and hummus): fiber, protein, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese
Cucumber: fluid and fiber
Feta: protein, calcium, phosphorus