Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Few Easy Recipes...

Well, it’s been quite a while since I updated this thing. I’m going to blame it on a combination of making a trip back to the States and sheer laziness! :)

I’ve got another post in the works, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite recipes. The first is one I stumbled upon accidentally a few years ago. As usual, I had put off going to the grocery store until we literally were down to scraps. Neither of us felt like braving the commissary, so I scavenged through our cabinets looking for anything I could throw together to get us through one more meal. It was total improvisation born out of desperation, but this turned into one of our favorite meals! It’s a great standby...I always keep the ingredients on hand in case we want something quick and easy to make! It is super easy to throw together and offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of portion size and ingredients. It makes a quick, simple meal for just the two of us, but the ingredients can easily be increased to feed a larger family. You can add or subtract ingredients easily, and substitute lower fat, healthier ingredients for those watching their diets. It also incorporates most of the major food groups in one fast meal!

Ranch Rice Wraps

  • Flour Tortillas (can use low-carb or whole wheat tortillas as healthier options)
  • Chicken Breasts, sliced into strips (I usually calculate 1/2 large chicken breast per wrap)
  • Lettuce, shredded (spinach can be substituted, if desired)
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Cheese, shredded (I usually use a low-fat Mexican blend, but swiss is another good choice)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • White or Brown Rice, cooked (I usually allow for 1/4-1/2 c. rice per wrap)
  • 1 Large Ranch Salad Dressing/Dip Mix Packet
  • Salt & Pepper

Cook rice per package instructions. Once rice has been cooked and drained, stir in 1/2 of the ranch seasoning packet. Set aside. Pour wine into a large skillet. Add chicken. Season chicken with the remainder of the ranch mix and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until chicken shows no pink in the center and is tender.

Heat flour tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Fill wraps with chicken, rice, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Fold in two opposite sides of the wrap, then roll from the bottom up. All done! :)

This recipe can easily be given a Greek twist, with just a few variations.

Greek Rice Wraps

The ingredients and directions are essentially the same, but with a few substitutions and additions.

  • Substitute spinach wraps for flour tortillas.
  • Substitute feta cheese for the shredded Mexican or Swiss cheese.*
  • Don’t season the rice with the ranch mix, leave it plain.
  • Cook the chicken in the white wine, but add a little bit (about 1-2 tsp) of lemon juice. Season with 1/2 the packet of ranch mix.
  • Add sliced olives, if desired.
  • Once all the ingredients have been prepared and are in the wrap, add Greek sauce to taste (recipe below) before rolling wrap. The Greek Sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce.

Greek Sauce:
1 c. plain Greek yogurt (can use low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt)
1/2 - 1 tsp. lemon juice
Remaining ranch seasoning packet
pinch of salt and pepper
*Due to its strong flavor, a little bit of feta goes a long way! Use less feta than you would of the other cheese(s) for the original Ranch Rice Wraps.

A few other suggestions/variations for the original recipe:
  • Grill the chicken, rather than cooking it in a skillet on the stove.
  • Add cooked bacon or turkey bacon to the wrap, or wrap the chicken in bacon prior to cooking
  • Substitute shrimp or strips of tofu for the chicken (Morning Star Farms fake chik’n strips also work well)
  • For a vitamin boost, add bean sprouts
  • For a bit of a kick, add a dash of crushed red peppers or a few jalapenos

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