Taste the rainbow with Thai peanut wraps
I eat lunch every day. I am sure there are some readers who might find this a strange thing to “admit” – I mean, most people do, right? But there you have it, since the early 1970s, I have eaten lunch nearly every day. I love to eat lunch – it is a nice chance to refuel and take a break mid-day. When I eat a good lunch, my whole day goes better. I spend the morning looking forward to it and the afternoon feeling nourished by it.
The only problem is that making lunch can leave me feeling really uninspired. It is not unusual for me to grab a protein bar (dry, boring) or some cheese and crackers (unhealthy, bland), or even just a Diet Coke (utterly unsatisfying), hoping for better things at dinner time. What I am sharing here is one of the solutions I have found to the problem that is lunch time – something I can make in quantity and then assemble in a flash for a delicious, healthy, satisfying lunch.
This particular dish was born – as lunches so often are – out of the leftovers of an evening meal. I actually love leftovers and am grateful to have them as an option for lunch, but given that my children are all now adults living at home for the summer college break, leftovers don’t happen much. Still, a few weeks ago I made a Thai-inspired stir fry and ended up with some of the stir fry sauce left over. It is a really simple mixture of things I always have on hand – peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and honey, plus a little Sriracha for added heat. Gazing into the fridge, I discovered I had several veggies in the crisper that needed to be eaten soon, so I warmed a few tortillas, tossed everything together, wrapped them in Saran wrap and put them in the fridge overnight.
The next day at lunch, I was delighted to discover that the flavors had all married to create a cohesive whole. The dressing had soaked into the tortilla ever so slightly, making it soft but not soggy, and the veggies had retained most of their crunch. Like a protein bar, this lunch required no utensils or dishes but was infinitely more satisfying and left me feeling light, energized, and ready for a productive afternoon.
This lunch is now in heavy rotation at our house. It is easy to prep (or buy already-prepped) veggies and either roast and shred a batch of chicken breasts or simply buy shredded chicken at the store. I put the ingredients in clear containers so it is easy to see what is to offer. A container of the peanut sauce is now a regular refrigerator staple, so anyone can grab the prepped veggies and sauce and have a tasty lunch in about a minute. True confession: this also makes a delicious, light dinner. As an added bonus, this meal looks fantastic. We eat with our eyes first, and this one is a satisfying, nutritious rainbow of flavor. I may never eat another protein bar again.
Recipe Thai Peanut Wraps
• ¼ cup peanut butter
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon honey
• Sriracha to taste
• Burrito sized tortillas
• Shredded carrot
• Thinly sliced red pepper
• Shredded cabbage
• Baby spinach
• Chopped cilantro
• Shredded chicken breast
Mix dressing ingredients, then thin with about a tablespoon of warm water
to achieve desired consistency. Layer tortilla with desired ingredients and
drizzle with dressing. Eat immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and
store in the fridge up to 24 hours.
Article and photo by Lisa Crockett