Friday recipe: ginger chicken and vegetable wraps

I love wraps because they’re basically a salad all nicely tucked in a tortilla or other flatbread. Anything goes with wraps. If you want protein, thinly sliced deli meat, cooked chicken, black beans or drained tuna are great options. Toss in whatever crunchy veggies you like, from fresh spinach to sliced cucumbers to chopped/stripped peppers. If there’s leftover cooked sweetcorn in the fridge, I add that as well. You can season the mix however you like – try salsa, cumin, lime juice, whatever – and spread a little cream cheese, mustard or pesto on your wrap before you roll it all up. It’s a wrap!

Colorful and delicious!
Colorful and delicious!

Here’s a great wrap suggestion from The Washington Post and chef/cookbook author Russell Cronkhite. He likes to spread a little light cream cheese or a tofu spread such as non-dairy Tofutti on his wraps to hold in the moisture and protect the wraps from becoming soggy. They can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated. For added freshness, you can make the filling ahead, then assemble the wrap in the morning just before leaving for work. And don’t be freaked by this relatively long list of ingredients – use whatever chopped or julienned veggies you have on hand.

Ginger chicken and vegetable wrap

  • 1/4 cup mango chutney, such as Major Grey’s
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeƱo chili pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • 8 ounces cooked, skinless chicken strips
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup peeled jicama, cut into julienne strips
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, cut into julienne strips
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and tender green parts
  • 4 8-inch tortillas or herbed wraps
  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese or tofu spread
  • 2 cups fresh baby greens or spinach leaves

In a blender, combine the chutney, garlic, ginger, honey, jalapeno chili pepper, lime juice, mustard and vinegar. Pulse until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and add a pinch each of allspice and cumin to taste. Add the chicken and toss thoroughly. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the carrots, jicama, snow peas, bell pepper and scallions. Add the chicken mixture and toss to combine.

Heat the tortillas or wraps for 10 to 20 seconds in the microwave (this will make them easier to roll). Apply a thin layer of the cream cheese or tofu to each tortilla or wrap. Cover with a layer of baby greens or spinach leaves. Spoon a row of the chicken mixture across the middle. Fold the ends in by about 1 inch and then roll tightly. Wrap in waxed paper, then plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Nutritional info per each of four servings: 308 calories, 9g fat, 2g saturated fat, 48mg cholesterol, 547mg sodium, 35g carbohydrates, 5g dietary fiber, n/a sugar, 23g protein.

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