Wraps are a great way to get health in. You can jam so many goodies into one meal, the brighter the better! You can make your own vegie creations or for a protein boost add eggs or tuna to the mix. Pesto or hummus are great additions too.
If you're gluten-intolerant or trying to cut down on starchy carbs, here are three alternatives to wheat-based wraps and some great filling suggestions. They're good options for lunch or a quick dinner on the run.
This idea came from a trip to Los Angeles. The whole silverbeet leaf is used as a wrap; it doesn't look too fancy but it's a great way to get loads of flavour plus a hit of fibre, magnesium (helps to calm us down when we're stressed out), calcium for bone health and plant iron.
Fill it: Mash up some sweet potato with lime juice, chilli, coriander, cinnamon and butter. Combine with a fork, leaving plenty of rustic chunks. Season well. Fill your washed silverbeet leaves with the sweet potato mix then sprinkle with pepitas, diced brazil nuts, mung beans and sprouts. Wrap then devour. It's a tad messy but delicious.
Top tip: Make sure you remove the silverbeet's tough stem. If the leaves are larger, you may have to remove some of the spine as well.
I love using cos lettuce cups as little wraps when I travel and have a small hotel kitchenette to make food.
Fill it: An ace combo is baby spinach, goats' feta, raisins, roughly chopped macadamia nuts and sunflower sprouts (sometimes these are a little tricky to find but I love adding any type of sprout to a wrap for the wallop of health benefits and the fresh texture).
Top tip: When it comes to wrap fillings, the sky really is the limit. Any flavour combinations that work well in a salad or sandwich will work in a wrap.
Nori (seaweed) is an awesome superfood, and combined with the protein power of quinoa and colourful vegies, makes this a nutritional gold mine. The metabolism boost comes from the seaweed, as it's a naturally high source of iodine, which our thyroid needs to function properly, and our thyroid is in charge of our metabolism.
These are fine to eat over a couple of days; I keep them in the fridge as a handy snack, or if I get home from work really late and want a quick-fix dinner.
Nori and quinoa rolls
Makes 4 rolls
1/2 cup mixed quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
4 standard nori sheets
2 tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar (or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
1/2 an avocado, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of pepitas
1/2 small carrot, washed, trimmed and grated
tamari, to serve
pickled ginger, to serve
wasabi, to serve
chia seeds, to garnish
Place quinoa and water in a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-15 mins until quinoa is cooked (it will fluff up to triple its original size and appear to have little 'tails'). Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the plum vinegar.
Lay the first nori sheet on a cutting board (or rolling mat if you have one). Spread a 1cm thick layer of quinoa evenly over the sheet, leaving a 2cm strip along the top end (to allow for sealing). Now lay a line of avocado, grated carrot, cranberries and pepitas on top of the quinoa at the bottom edge (closest to you).
Moisten the 2cm strip at the top with a pastry brush dipped in water. Pick up the bottom edge of the sheet and carefully roll it tightly (away from you).
Repeat with remaining sheets.
Dip the ends of the wraps in chia seeds.
Serve with tamari, wasabi and ginger. Be careful; the wasabi is pretty spicy!