With summer approaching, I love making quick and delicious wraps. They are so versatile, from what you put in them to what you choose to wrap them. They get in and out of the kitchen quickly, pack well for a hike or picnic, and are very nutritious and satisfying.
So, let’s start with the wrap itself. Now, you can go the traditional route with a tortilla wrap or similar; but have you thought about trying other wrapping vessels? Here’s some of my ideas that I love to change it up with:
- One of my favorites is the rice paper wrap. I am particularly fond of the 12” brown rice paper wraps. You can get a lot in those babies, and they are admittedly loads of fun to work with.
- Use a whole grain soft loaf of sliced bread. Cut of edges off (let them dry completely, then grind for bread crumbs for another use). Here comes the fun part—one slice at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the bread slice flatter. It will elongate and become wider. Ah, now you have a perfect wrap. The bread must be fresh so that it will be pliable and fold nicely once stuffed rather than cracking and breaking, becoming a frustrating mess.
- Have you seen some of those new, dried fruit/vegetable gluten-free wraps that are on the market? There are a plethora of them, including the expected pliable vegetable wraps made from a variety of fruits and/or vegetables. However, how about using something exotic—such as Nuco’s Turmeric Coconut Wraps; or NewGem’s Barbeque Origami Sushi Wrap; or for some kick, their Pineapple Habanero Origami Sushi Wrap. You don’t need to think of them just for sushi anymore.
- If you really feel creative and inventive, you can make your own puree of fruits and/or veggies with herbs/spices and dry them in your dehydrator. If you want something with a little more substance, try adding some cooked oatmeal to the mix. Yum! Now we’re talking, right!?
- You can always use a butter-leaf lettuce, which is naturally fresh and pliable. Try kale, or some other green leafy vegetables. All you have to do is cut out the rib, and you will be left with two wraps. If you’d like your fresh vegetable wrap to be more pliable, lightly steam the leaves and shock in ice water to keep their color vibrant and their nutrients intact.
- Feeling a bit more ambitious? You can make a flat pancake-like wrap, such as a crepe. My personal favorite is the Indian dosa, which is actually quite easy. Mix two parts rice flour to one part urad dal flour (lentil flour). Add an equal amount of water, mix well, and allow to ferment for several days. I usually put mine into a large mason jar, allowing for the mixture to almost double in size. It will become amazingly aromatic as well. The batter should be a bit thinner than a pancake batter. It should be similar to a crepe batter; however, I usually like mine somewhere in between the consistency of a crepe batter and pancake batter. Heat a flat skillet or a crepe skillet, dot with vegan creamy spread. Using a ladle, pour about ¼ cup of the batter into the center; then using the bottom of the ladle in a circular motion, spread the dosa batter out to as thin as you can get it. Make it as even as possible, but you will wind up with some unevenness. If you have crepe prowess, you can use a crepe paddle to attain a circular, more even side. Cook until the batter’s air bubbles pop, the bottom is slightly browned, and you will be able to easily flip it over. Cook the second side just until done.
I’m sure you can come up with some other equally wonderful wraps. The most important thing to remember is that the wrap is thin enough and pliable enough to actually wrap.
Now that we have the wrapping covered, what to fill it with? Ah, again, sweet, savory, something in between?
- Top on my list is my riff on the summer roll, which I call the winter roll when I keep it raw, and a fall roll when I air fry it. Check out my blog post from December 2016
- For the peanut butter lover within me, a real treat is a peanut butter and banana wrap. For some added decadence to this family-friendly delight, try adding a dollop of jam or some grated vegan dark chocolate.
- Tired of hummus? Roast a whole eggplant or two in the oven, allow it to cool. Into your processor go the eggplant (minus the skin) and a container of hummus of your choice. For some added adventure, add a jalapeno and/or spices of your choosing. Process until smooth. Fill your wrap with this creation and some broccoli or mustard microgreens. You can swap out the eggplant for any veggie of your choosing.
- Do you like some of those vegan dogs? One of my favs is Field Roast’s frankfurter. Stuff that into your wrap along with some homemade sauerkraut. Easy to make and so worth the short amount of time to prepare followed by the wait.
- Tofu No-Egg Salad. Egg salad is certainly a classic for any sandwich, but when you make it vegan, it not only tastes amazing, but no one’s been harmed to bring it to your wrap. Scroll down below for my version of vegan egg salad.
- Pinwheel sandwiches: using your favorite vegan deli slices, cover the wrap in single layers with a variety of thinly-sliced vegan “meats”. Put a layer of vegan cheese slices as your middle layer, then top with your remaining “meat” slices. At the end of the wrap that you will begin to roll, place a line of cornichons (sweet gherkins or small pickle spear). Maybe even spritz a line of some really good mustard. Starting with the line of cornichons, roll your wrap tightly. Slice in 1”-1-1/2” slices, and arrange cut-side down on a platter. Makes an impressive presentation in addition to being quite delicious. A great appetizer for a party.
Be a visionary with your wrap. Have fun! I’d love to hear about your inspirations.