Mediterranean Pesto Wrap
We're still trying to keep the New Year reasonable healthy, and have been munchin' on this wrap for about a week now. We had to share. Simple in construction, the flavors mingle and POP! We used falafel as the main protein in these wraps, but you could easily substitute veggie burgers, 'meat'balls, beans, tofu, or go all veggie to keep it simple! It's really all about the pesto, olives + creamy avocado. I've been making two wraps at lunch time each day- one to eat then & there, and one to eat for dinner at work. Its a great way to pack a bunch of veggies into one meal without really realizing it, and adding a protein- like the garbanzo based falafel, is a great way to stack off snack-y hunger all afternoon! And while we like lavash bread for its shape, softer texture, and ease-in-wrapping, you can use whatever wraps (gluten-free, perhaps?) you prefer. Pro-tip: warm up your lavash/ wrap/ pita on low heat in the oven for a minute before filling it. Makes it a little easier to wrap-up and gives the whole sandwich a very cozy, drippy pesto thing that is just too good to miss. Let's eat!
1 piece lavash bread (or your favorite wrap or pita)
2-4 tablespoons garlic hummus
4 falafel (or one of the protein replacements from above!)
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1 small cucumber, cut into thin spears
1/4 of a small onion onion, thinly sliced
1/4 of an avocado, sliced
5-8 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro
handful of mixed greens
sprinkle of hot sauce (optional, but recommended)
Heat your oven on low to prepare to heat your lavash bread.
Bake/ heat your falafel or prepare your protein of choice. While your protein cooks, cut up your cucumbers, onions, avocado, olives, and cilantro.
Place your lavash bread in the oven for a a minute to warm it up. Heat it TOO long and the wrap will become too hard to fold and wrap easily, so just let it get warm, then pull it. On you've pulled it, lay it on a work surface, like a large cutting board. Spread hummus evenly around the middle of the lavash. Top with falafel (or veg burger, tofu, whatever!), then pesto. Arrange cucumber, onion, & avocado around falafel width-wise (like shown below). Sprinkle with sliced olives, chopped cilantro, and hot sauce. Finally, toss on a hearty handful of greens. Starting at one end of the lavash bread, begin to roll the wrap up away from you, tucking the innards in to the bread under as you roll to form a tight wrap, which'll help keep your ingredients in. If you prefer to tuck the ends in around the roll, more 'burrito-style'- go for it. I'm just not great at it, and don't mind open-ended wraps. Once its rolled up tight, use a serrated knife to slice the wrap in half at a slight angle. Serve, enjoy! (Makes one wrap- but there are two halves, if you're a good sharer. If not, double the recipe!)
Falafel is by far one of the most easily-prepared and versatile foods I have ever made. Its tastes great with just about everything its paired with. I also love that the falafel in this recipe is baked and not fried, an even healthier alternative. Fun wikipedia fact for you: Falafel has become so popular all over the world that in some countries, McDonald's now serves a McFalafel! That is so neat.
Anyway, I spent my Monday making these delicious little things and have been incorporating them into every meal I can since. They're so good you'll want to bake oodles and oodles and freeze them so they're at your constant disposal. Plus, chickpeas are high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and low in fat, so they'll keep you fuller, longer.
This recipe makes approximately 20 balls.
2-fifteen ounce cans of Garbanzo Beans, strained
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drain and rinse the beans. Put the beans into a medium sized mixing bowl and mash with a fork until almost all beans are smooshed! Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Form into small balls (about 1.5 inches in diameter) and slightly flatten with fork before placing onto floured pan. Bake for about 20 minutes on each side, until falafel looks slightly browned. Let cool and serve with your favorite hummus and veggies!