Food Writing & Food Photography from a self-proclaimed Foodie

Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

The Glory of WRAPS!

So….hey!  It’s been a while since I’ve been around here!  Alot has happened since I was here.  We had a baby girl – October 2011 (so yeah, she is 15 months now).  Since I was the one staying home with her, it didn’t leave me a lot of time for much of anything, particularly food writing/blogging or restaurant reviewing.  But since our little bundle of joy came into our lives, we have been trying to change a lot of things in our lives, especially the way that we eat and relate to food and exercise.  So far we’re doing pretty well!  My wife has gone to a plant-based diet (aka vegan), and I have gone to a part-time plant-based diet.  I still like my eggs, and some meats, but am discovering that the longer we do this, the less that I want red meat.  And this is a good thing!  We are also working out together about three days per week at the gym, and then I try to squeeze in a couple of other days on my own while she will do yoga with another friend of ours.  It’s all good and we love our lives – and we love modeling to our kids about eating healthy and new foods, as well as exercising regularly.  We don’t ever want our baby girl to remember her mommies as being overweight – she’s going to have enough to deal with by having two mommies!  LOL

But I digress.  I am discovering the glory of WRAPS!  Over the past year, in my mind, when I wanted to eat a “healthier” fast food lunch (ie:  not a burger), I would go to Subway and get a sandwich.  Unfortunately, since I have spent almost a year logging my food and counting calories, I have learned that this is not always the “healthier” standard!  I used to get a six inch flatbread sandwich, with chicken and bacon, shredded american mixed cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Southwest Chipotle sauce.  Want to know how many calories that is?  570.  I only allow myself 1200 per day, sometimes more when I work out; so when I look at 570, that doesn’t leave much for my other meals and snacks.  Interestingly enough, the Quarter Pounder w/Cheese that I used to get without cheese is 520 calories (probably around 500 without the cheese).  So see?  My old Subway sandwich was NOT better, except maybe only in that there were some veggies on it.

Well, then one day I was at the store and saw some flatbread and thought I would get some and try a wrap one day for lunch.  I think that the first one I made had ham, cheese, spinach leaves, tomatoes, pickles and mayo.  Not sure what the calories were, but I know it was less than 570.  But then the other day, my wife subscribed to a website that is now providing weekly vegan meal plans/recipes.  One of the recipes was a veggie wrap with hummus and kalamata olives, so we put it on our weekly meal plan rotation, and planned it on a night that we work out so we could have it when we got home from the gym.  Let me just tell ya….last night’s wraps were absolutely amazing, as well as low calorie!  I put a couple of slices of mesquite chicken lunchmeat on mine, along with everything else, so mine was only slightly higher in calories – but WOW.  Here is what I put on them:

  • Whole wheat Flatbread
  • Roasted Garlic Hummus (instead of mayo or mustard)
  • Sliced chicken (on mine)
  • Kalamata olives
  • Lettuce or Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Purple onion slices

Mine, with the chicken was 294 calories; my wife’s wrap, without the chicken, was approximately 234 calories.

Very filling, tasted fantastic, and was WAY less than a “healthy” sandwich at Subway.  I loved it so much, I had the exact same wrap for lunch today….it may be my new go-to instead of sandwiches or turkey hot dogs!

Chocolate Parsnip Chili

I saw a recipe in a magazine for this intriguing chili and knew that I wanted to try it.  I didn’t put a bell pepper in mine, but you can put one in yours; and it called for both kidney beans as well as black beans – I, however, do not put beans in my chilis….EVER.  But this was not your typical chili, and it wasn’t spicy like a lot of chilis can be; plus, the parsnips are a great source of natural fiber and folate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, 29 oz.
  • 1 can tomato paste, 6 oz.
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa

Directions:

  • Heat vegetable oil in a large pot
  • Add onion and beef and cook until meat is browned throughout
  • Add parsnips and garlic and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt & pepper; cook 2 minutes more
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and cocoa powder.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
  • Ladle into serving bowls; sprinkle cheese on top, if desired