Wrap is a variation of the taco or burrito and is made of soft flour bread, soft flour tortilla, flatbread or pita wrapped around a variety of fillings. Wraps can contain vegetables and nuts along with cheese (cheddar) and also meats, fish and seafood like shrimp and even eggs. The fillings in the wrap are seasoned with salad dressings like honey mustard or salsa sauces like Pico de Gallo. Meat fillings include chicken, ground beef, and bacon along with mushrooms, lettuce and cheese. Wraps can be made small or large and served as an appetizer, meal or snack accordingly.
Wrap is a kind of roll made of soft flatbread wrapped around innumerable varieties of fillings. While the flatbread could range between wheat-flour rotis, tortillas, lavash or pita bread; the filling inside could be minced meat, poultry, fish; with or without raw or sautéed veggies like shredded cabbage, lettuce, diced tomato, bell peppers, mushrooms, with grilled onions, jalapeno peppers, cheese and even a sauce such as mayonnaise or honey mustard among others.
Wraps form an any time snack or can even qualify as a meal on the go, since it can be made in different ways suited to every occasion and situation. It can form a nutritious and satisfying packed lunch or can be served at suppertime along with a bowl of hot soup. It may be served as a cold snack with a filling of creamy mayonnaise and tuna with shredded lettuce or with a hot filling of grilled chicken bits in a spicy barbecue sauce. Thus, wraps make for a tasty, quick and very convenient hand held meal.
While wraps can be made in a healthy manner at the domestic level, it is a very popular food item sold at a number of eateries, cafes, food courts and fast food chains all over the world. KFC recently started serving chicken with lettuce, mayonnaise and salsa in a wrap as a popular item on its menu. McDonald's not long ago introduced a snack wrap, consisting of a fried strip of chicken or fish, lettuce, Cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing. These may be served with fries, ketchup and mustard dip.
Wraps are believed to be the descendents of the Mexican tacos or burritos. Their popularity gained momentum towards the end of the 19th century. In fact it was World Wrapps, a California based restaurants chain, which pioneered and popularized the wrap as a culinary phenomenon. World Wrapps was among the first to introduce the concept of the assorted wrap, inviting a variety of diverse ingredients that extended way beyond the traditional burrito fillings. This business founded in 1996, was in fact the first and foremost restaurant chain to offer a wide range of flavours and taste from all around the world enclosed within a tortilla and since then has been the inspiration to many others who followed suit.
Wraps from Across the Globe
Wraps in some form or other have made their presence felt in most cuisines today – be it American, Mexican, from where it all started to, Asian and Vietnamese and many more.
Turkey Wrap from America
These are light and tasty wraps, a great option for a packed office or school lunch, or they may be sliced smaller and made wonderful little party appetizers or tempting after-school snacks for kids.
- cream cheese with chives
- Dijon mustard
- whole wheat tortillas
- finely shredded iceberg lettuce
- thinly sliced deli turkey (cooked and sliced meat)
- shredded Swiss cheese
- large diced tomato
- large sliced avocado
- bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
- Cream cheese and Dijon mustard are mixed together until smooth. Each tortilla is first layered with the cream cheese mixture, spreading up to the edges.
- Shredded lettuce is arranged on each tortilla and slightly pressed down into the creamy cheese mixture. Turkey slices are placed atop the lettuce, and shredded Swiss cheese sprinkled on top. Then tomato, crumbled bacon and avocado slices are spread evenly on top of each tortilla.
- The tortilla is then rolled up tightly, and a slightly diagonal cut made across the middle to divide in half.
A serving of the Turkey Wrap ~ 220 g provides-
- 457 calories
- 28 g fat
- 78 mg cholesterol
- 1438 mg sodium
- 37.1 g total carbohydrates with 6.2 g dietary fibre
- 24.2 g protein
The turkey in the above recipe may be substituted for boiled or smoked chicken, tuna, boiled egg or for a vegetarian wrap with cottage cheese or tofu cubes, veggies like baked aubergine, asparagus, beans, avocados and so on.
Cheese Quesadilla Twist from Mexico
These whole-wheat quesadillas can be modified into a kind of wrap filled with black beans, salsa, topped with plenty of Cheddar and Parmesan cheese and finally baked to crispness.
- prepared salsa
- shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
- shredded Parmesan cheese
- drained and rinsed canned black beans
- chopped fresh cilantro
- whole-wheat tortillas
- melted butter
- prepared guacamole
- chopped red bell peppers
The salsa, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, black beans, and cilantro are mixed together in a bowl. This mixture is spread on each tortilla evenly and then rolled in the form of a wrap. These wraps are arranged on a baking sheet and brushed with butter on top of each tortilla. These are baked in a pre-heated oven till cheese melts, plated and served alongside guacamole and red bell pepper strips.
A serving of the Cheese Quesadilla Wrap ~ 200 g provides-
- 259 calories
- 6.9 g fat
- 12 mg cholesterol
- 958 mg sodium
- 48.6 g total carbohydrates with 6.6 g dietary fibre
- 13.2 g protein
Asian Style Chicken Wraps
- The soy sauce, vegetable oil, finely chopped green onion, hoisin sauce, white wine white sugar, cornstarch, minced fresh ginger, chopped garlic, salt and ground black pepper to taste, Chinese five-spice powder are mixed together in a large bowl and skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes are tossed in the sauce and coated in the marinade.
- In little heated peanut oil in a pan, the marinated chicken pieces are pan-fried, drained and set aside on paper towels.
- These chicken pieces are placed along with roasted onion and bell pepper strips on rice-flour or soy-flour based flatbreads and rolled into a tight wrap.
A serving of the Asian Style Chicken Wrap ~ 200 g provides-
- 159 calories
- 7.6 g fat
- 39 mg cholesterol
- 441 mg sodium
- 4 g total carbohydrates with 0.2 g dietary fibre
- 15.2 g protein
Vietnamese Salad Wraps
These work out well as a light, refreshing and elegant appetizer. Very delicate rice wrappers are filled with noodles, carrots, lettuce, shrimp and basil. Cubed and cooked chicken or beef may be substituted for shrimp.
- cooked vermicelli
- cooked, peeled shrimp, cut lengthwise in half
- rice wrappers
- julienned carrot
- shredded lettuce
- chopped fresh basil
- hoisin sauce
- water as needed
Rice wrappers are dipped into hot water very briefly and then laid flat. Little amounts of cooked vermicelli, shrimps, carrot, lettuce and basil are placed in the centre and the filling is gently folded into a tight wrap. These are ready to be served with warm dipping sauce made with rice wine, hoisin sauce and little water combined together.
A serving of the Vietnamese Salad Wrap ~ 120 g provides-
- 187 calories
- 1.5 g fat
- 57 mg cholesterol
- 344 mg sodium
- 31.2 g total carbohydrates with 1.7 g dietary fibre
- 11.6 g protein
- Indian Wrap
A delicious Indianized version of the famous wrap which includes a blend of rajmah (red kidney beans) cooked in tomato along with spinach added and wrapped in a warm chapati and served with fresh cucumber-tomato salsa, sour cream and avocado dip.
- Curried Quinoa Wrap
This wrap includes sautéed and spiced veggies cooked together with quinoa, which packs in higher amounts of complete proteins when compared to other grains, with all the essential amino acids. This together with its characteristic chewy texture provides a feeling of fullness. Thus, it is a hearty and nutty meal backed with plenty of flavors and fiber.
- Florida Avocado Wrap
Florida avocados are believed to have about 50% lesser fat and 30% lesser calories than regular California avocados. The soft, juicy Florida avocado make for a perfect wrap filling along with sweet onions, yellow tomatoes, shredded carrots seasoned with fresh ground pepper, lemon juice and flavoured by maple syrup, apple cider vinegar. The avocado hydrates the surrounding flavors, adds taste, texture and body while supplying healthy monounsaturated fats, Beta-sitosterol and Vitamin E.