7 Healthy, Grain-Free Wrap Recipes That Swap Vegetables for Bread
Flour tortillas and lavash are the traditional means for making wraps, but depending on size and type, they can really add a lot of empty, unwanted calories. Low-carb wraps have been increasing in popularity, but those can still play host to a lot of processed ingredients, and don’t be fooled by spinach wraps, which may add some vitamins, but are still composed of more white flour than spinach.
So we set out to find some delicious recipes that offer a similar eating experience to traditional wraps — but swap the bread for vegetables. Consider these wrap recipes for healthy, grain-free lunches and dinners.
We love dumplings, but we also know that fried dough isn’t something we should really eat every day. However, once you remove the fried outer layer, a dumpling’s insides are balanced, healthy, and best of all, extremely flavorful. In these Dumpling-Inspired Cabbage Wraps, cabbage takes a turn on the outside of the dumpling and is browned, providing a tasty exterior for a savory ground turkey and crunchy water chestnut filling. Water chestnuts, while seemingly just a vehicle for texture, are actually a great source of antioxidants.
You don’t need rice or sushi-grade raw fish to enjoy a sushi-inspired, wrapped lunch. Nori is the Japanese seaweed that can be found either inside or outside your sushi rolls. It’s also available in sheets in most grocery stores, and it’s a rich source of vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate. Accessible, inexpensive canned fish, such as tuna, is a great way to get more beneficial seafood in your diet. In these Nori Tuna Wraps, canned tuna joins forces with boiled egg, avocado, cucumbers, and sriracha for an easy, filling lunch reminiscent of onigiri that you can easily imagine forgoing Seamless for.
Ordering lettuce in lieu of a bun is a better-for-you burger option that’s greens-forward but more fun to eat than a salad — and it’s also an easy dish to make at home. French lentils are an amazing source of both protein and fiber and they retain their shape and texture more easily than standard brown lentils. These French Lentil Lettuce Wraps are delicious, or for a variation on the theme with a flavor profile more reminiscent of a burger, try these lentil burger wraps, too.
Fact: dipping anything into a sauce makes it more satisfying. Okay, that particular piece of evidence may be difficult to prove empirically, but who doesn’t love a spring or summer roll dipped in a gingery peanut sauce? This Grain Free Spring Rolls recipe manages to improve every nutritional aspect of the roll, without sacrificing any of the flavor or fun of the experience. Colorful Swiss chard takes the place of a traditional rice wrapper, and spaghetti squash stands in for rice noodles. Even the peanut sauce gets a glow-up via pureed sweet potatoes to reduce the fat content and amp up the vitamin factor. A quick protein source could also be easily added to these vegetable-forward spring rolls (we’re thinking either shrimp or tofu) and would taste fantastic.
Summer is prime grilling time. That’s one major reason we love the season, since grilling provides a low-fat cooking method that yields a ton of flavor. Like various lettuces, zucchini strips can also stand in for wrappers, so throw some on the grill whenever you have it fired up so you have zucchini strips on-hand for fun, easy lunches (they last about four days in the fridge). These Grilled Zucchini Wraps with mozzarella lean a little more appetizer than sandwich, but are so simple to assemble with such a big payoff. Fresh mozzarella is the king of summer cheese, in our opinion, providing creamy flavor without breaking the caloric bank. It’s also relatively low in fat but high in protein and calcium.
You’ll probably need more than one hand to eat this wrap, since the exterior consists of slices of eggplant. (But trust us, it will be worth it!) Because it’s such a nutritional powerhouse while being a relatively blank slate for flavor, eggplant is extremely versatile and easy to come by in the summer. Roasted eggplant rounds are called for here, but are certainly another vegetable that could do with a turn on the grill if you’ve got one going. The rounds play host to other seasonal produce like asparagus and zucchini, and are rounded out with ricotta cheese and a bright cherry tomato vinaigrette which we’ll be using a lot this summer.
You could easily just take your typical turkey sandwich fixings and wrap them up with kale or collard greens for a great fiber and vitamin K boost, but in this collard wrap, we get a little more creative by leaning toward the burrito end of the wrap spectrum and incorporating southwestern components such as black beans, red pepper, and avocado. This recipe utilizes sliced deli chicken, but if summer has inspired you to grill up a storm lately, leftover barbecued chicken would amplify the fun and flavor even more (and doesn’t contain nitrates).
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