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Lately, a fast food idea known as a “wrap” seems to be taking certain parts of the country by storm. Simply a meal rolled in a flour tortilla, a wrap goes a burrito one better by expanding the possibilities for fillings. Gourmet combinations or ethnic inspirations, long-standing favorites, exotic ensembles, and countless vegetarian ingredients are showing up, cloaked in steaming tortilla “wraps.”

Though the idea has taken hold in upscale fast food restaurants, it’s also fast and easy to make your own at home. Kids love finger foods, but doesn’t everyone? And dinner is especially enjoyable for all concerned when it’s this easy to prepare and clean up, as well as fun to eat.

It’s easy to wrap-simply fold one end of the tortilla over the filling, turn in each side, and roll it up, burrito-style. Make wraps in the kitchen, and serve ready to eat at the table, rolled in waxed paper and stuffed into a basket. Or hand them out to enjoy at the game, tailgate picnic, or lunch by the TV.

Mushroom Stir-Fry Wraps

Start the rice and assemble the ingredients first, then chop vegetables, mix the sauce, and heat the wok.

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil 
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 pound< mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons peanuts, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 package (10) whole wheat or white flour tortillas

1. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, sesame oil, soy sauce, and honey, and set aside. In another bowl, combine cornstarch with water and set aside. Heat a large wok or Dutch oven over high heat.

2. To the hot wok, add peanut oil, swirling to coat sides. Stir-fry mushrooms about 2 minutes, until starting to soften. Add zucchini and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add scallions and stir-fry another 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce mixture and cabbage and toss to mix. Make a well in the center and add cornstarch mixture to the bubbling juices in the bottom, stirring quickly as it thickens. Add peanuts and toss together to coat with sauce. Spoon into warm tortillas with hot rice, and roll.

Makes 10 wraps.

V PER WRAP: 212 CAL (28% from fat), 7g PROT, 7g FAT, 32g CARB, 455mg SOD, trmg CHOL, 7g FIBER

East Indian Pea & Potato Wraps

Start the rice and assemble the ingredients first, then slice the onions, mince the jalapeño, and start on the spices and vegetables.

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark mustard seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, minced
  • 12 ounces tiny red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons currants or raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1 package (10) whole wheat or white flour totillas
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • Nonfat sour cream (optional)

1. Heat a medium pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric, stirring constantly. When seeds start to pop, add onion and jalapeño and sauté a few minutes more. Add potatoes, salt, and water, and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Watch closely as it cooks, adding more water, if needed, just enough to keep the pot bottom covered until the very end.

2. Add lime juice and stir quickly to deglaze the pan. Stir in peas, currants, and parsley. Heat through and spoon into warm tortillas with rice and a spoonful of sour cream, if desired.

Makes 10 wraps.

V PER WRAP: 251 CAL (17% from fat), 7g PROT, 5g FAT, 46g CARB, 514mg SOD, 0mg CHOL, 7g FIBER

Black Bean BBQ Wraps

A savory, satisfying, stick-to-the-ribs sort of meal, to ward off wintry chills.

  • 8 ounces chicken-style seitan, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil 
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, rosemary and thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 15-ounce can ground tomatoes, with puree
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 package (10) whole wheat or white flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray

1.Spray a medium pot with cooking spray and brown seitan over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add oil, celery, onion, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and garlic to the pot and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, until limp and fragrant.

2. Stir in beans with liquid, tomatoes, mustard, honey, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, adding water, if necessary to keep from sticking and drying out. While beans simmer, shred cabbage, grate carrot, and toss together. Fill warmed tortillas with barbecue, cabbage, and carrots. Roll, wrap in waxed paper, if desired.

Makes 10 wraps.

V PER WRAP: 217 CAL (21% from fat), 13g PROT, 5g FAT, 31g CARB, 571mg SOD, 0mg CHOL, 8g FIBER

Sharmin Begum

The author Sharmin Begum

I have loved spicy food, Mexican in particular, since I was a child as my father was from El Paso where I acquired a taste for it on our many visits. I have cooked Tex-Mex all my adult life, but about 7 years ago I began cooking authentic Mexican food using my own ingredients and making my own tortillas, tamales, etc. On one of my visits to NM I attended the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta and took some excellent cooking classes at the Santa Fe Cooking School and the Old Mexico Grill. I love New Mexican food equally as well as Mexican.

I also grow my own chile peppers, tomatillos, and herbs like cilantro and epazote because they are not available locally.

I got into web publishing because I enjoy “meeting” fellow Chile-heads from all over the world and sharing my passion with them.

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