Wraps are my jam, baby. As the temperature rises, I use my oven and stove less and less. In fact, my goal is to have the oven and stove on as little as possible. We’ve got sun to soak up, pools to jump into, picnics to spread out – no time for anything other than nice, cool, easy, on-the-go meal prep and eating. What can’t be grilled, must be refrigerated…and wrapped!
Sweet or savory, wraps are so cool, they’re hot, hot, hot–at my house anyway. Whether they’re stuffed with fruit, veggies, or a punch of protein, they come together easily and pack beautifully. Plus, I can make them out of pretty much any ingredients already in my fridge and pantry (hello, again, leftovers), without ever touching the microwave, stove or oven. Annnnd…BONUS: no utensils necessary. Long story short, wraps are the perfect on-the-go meal.
3 Steps to Wrapper’s Paradise
Here are my tips for making the coolest wraps on the block all summer long:
1. The Wrap Itself
For stellar results, one must consider that which will be the actual wrap first. It might seem silly to point this out – obvious, maybe – but, I do believe the quality of the wrap is too often overlooked. Sturdiness and flavor are the two most important factors in wrap selection. Soggy, stale or falling-apart wraps just aren’t gonna cut it.
- Avoid the disappointment and mess of an exploding or crumbling wrap by selecting a strong, but flexible, outer layer. Tortillas are the usual choice, but crepes and greens are great options too. Use Boston Bibb or Romaine lettuce leaves for their size, shape and crunch.
- Make sure the flavor of your wrap itself complements the taste of all you plan to roll inside of it. It will be a part of every bite, so you want it to add flavor to the finished product. A plain, flour tortilla provides a mild backdrop, but don’t be afraid to seek out and play with the many varieties of tortillas you can buy these days; sundried tomato, spinach, and jalapeño tortillas are really interesting alternatives to flour. If you feel like a really grown-up, fancy wrap, try using fresh leaves of Italian Black Kale for added earthiness.
2. The Glue
If you’ve ever watched a burrito assembly line in full swing, you know that the poor soul at the end of the line has the toughest job – wrapping it up. Indubitably, there is artful technique that goes into every fold, turn, and twist of the hand.
In truth, I almost never have to handle anything too super-stuffed, but I often do need help sealing the simple sandwich wraps that I am handling. So, this tip is all about strategy. Delicious “glue” is my secret for binding a bulging wrap with added flavor and texture. Hummus, cream cheese, peanut butter, and Nutella are the tasty tricks I use in lieu of years of assembly-line experience. I spread them on the wraps first, to help keep the rest of the ingredients in place, and then I often use them to “seal” the edges of the wrap once I’ve wrestled it into place – eh, I mean, it’s all folded up.
3. The Filling
This is the good stuff! And the options really are endless. Incorporate every leftover dinnertime protein from chicken to salmon to smashed beans into your lunch wraps. Layer deli meats and cheeses for ease and variety. And, always, always, always roll up as many fruits and veggies as you can. Wraps are meant to be stuffed with color and crunch, and they provide the perfect pocket for sneaking in nutrients for your kiddos and picky eaters.
Endless Combo Options
With all of the above in mind, here are some of my personal favorite wrap combinations:
- Flour Tortilla + Peanut Butter + Banana + Honey
- Spinach Tortilla + Tzatziki + Olives + Tomatoes + Grilled Chicken + Lemon Juice
- Romaine + Grilled Salmon + Green Beans + Hard-Boiled Eggs + Red Pepper Hummus
- Strips of Bacon + Shredded Lettuce + Wedges of Tomato + Chicken Salad or Egg Salad