As August melts into September, it’s time to return to school or back to work. It’s also time to consider healthy brown bag lunch ideas. Taking your lunch to work or school will ensure you are eating healthy ingredients and saving money on eating out. One suggestion is to roll up your favorite lunch foods in a whole grain tortilla or flat bread. These breads are unique in that no yeast has been used in the baking process, and depending on the brand, little or no added oil. They average 140 calories, 3 grams of fat and up to 6 grams of protein per wrap. They are available in a variety of flours including, spelt, sprouted grains, whole wheat and rice flour.
The variety of flat breads available in today’s health foods market can have you scratching your head as to what to buy, so here are a few suggestions that may help you narrow down the choices.
Whole Spelt Tortilla: For those of you avoiding wheat, but not gluten, these spelt tortillas work really well. They are just large enough for one good roll, so be careful not to overstuff them.
Sprouted Grain Tortilla: Made with a combination of grains sprouted to create a complete protein, they come out of the package a bit stiff without the pliability a good wrap needs. Best to steam the tortilla first, very gently, maybe 5 seconds, either in a steam basket or by laying an oil splatter shield over cooking soup and lay the tortilla on that. Takes no time at all and leaves you with a soft, flexible tortilla that wraps easily.
Rice Tortilla: These tortillas are a bit dry so rather than toast or use at room temperature, steam gently. They are then fine for rolling if you do so immediately. Good for individuals on a gluten free diet.
Corn Tortilla: gluten free and ideal for Mexican burritos or topped with beans and salsa. They are best served warm, for when cool they tend to be a bit rubbery.
Whole Wheat Lavash: is a soft thin flatbread of Armenian origin. It is made very simply with flour, water and salt. Traditionally the dough is rolled out flat and slapped against the hot walls of a tandoor oven. Although flexible when removed from the package they can dry out quickly, so keep covered.
Listed below are 15 suggestions for creating wraps with the tortillas and flat breads. Feel free to adapt them to suit your tastes and invite your spouse or children to create their own wraps with ingredients they love. You will want to pack your lunch in a tote bag with a frozen ice pack to ensure all is fresh and safe come lunchtime.
BROWN BAG WRAPS
- Avocado, baked tofu, lettuce, tomato, vegenaise.
- Chickpea hummus with grilled vegetables.
- Tuna fish, mayonnaise, arugula.
- Tofu or turkey sausage with roasted vegetables.
- Tabbouleh with hummus or bean spread.
- Scrambled egg, cheese, turkey bacon, arugula.
- Veggie burger with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise.
- Curried Egg salad with red leaf lettuce.
- Turkey bacon, grilled zucchini, eggplant, arugula, vegenaise.
- Ahi Tuna, avocado, tomato, lettuce, pesto aioli.
- Roasted almond butter, sliced banana, raspberry jam.
- Refried beans, brown rice, guacamole, salsa, lettuce.
- Sliced turkey, avocado, cheese, arugula, fresh basil.
- Grated carrot and beets, black bean dip, red wine vinegar, lettuce.
- Grilled chicken, honey Dijon dressing, avocado, arugula.
Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics videos and classes, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia’s credentials include holistic nutritional counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker.
Quigley is the author of seven books on health and nutrition, including: The Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, The Complete Idiots Guide to Detoxing Your Body, The Everything SuperFoods Book, and Empowering Your Life With Meditation, available on Amazon.com. To view her website go to: www.deliaquigley.com