We're thrilled to have Katie Morford on the blog today for our first guest post. Katie has been a longtime contributor to the image gallery here at Healthy Aperture and pens one of my favorite dietitian-authored blogs, at Mom's Kitchen Handbook. Her food is real, doable and healthy... all with a mom- and kid-centric focus (something that fits perfect for my life!) Katie has a new book out - Best Lunch Box Ever - so we asked her to weigh in on back to school lunches and share a favorite recipe. Thanks for posting Katie!
Back in the 90s “the wrap” as it was called, was all the rage. Tortillas broke out of their role as a solely south-of-the-border ingredient and were suddenly being used to hold together everything from teriyaki chicken to turkey and cranberry sauce. Restaurants devoted entirely to wraps cropped up all over the country; most of them have long since shuttered.
But the wrap is well worth a second look, particularly for lunch. Indeed I devote a chapter to wraps and roll-ups in my new cookbook Best Lunch Box Ever (Chronicle Books, 2013), relying not just on whole grain tortillas, but also whole wheat lavash, a Middle Eastern flatbread that is equally handy in the kitchen.
One of the upsides of wraps is that they aren’t bulky in the way that bread can be, so the flavors on the inside really come through. Plus, healthy ingredients such as chopped fruits and sliced vegetables are easy to package up into lavash and tortillas.
Here’s a wrap from Best Lunch Box Ever that puts a modern spin on a traditional cream cheese, celery, and date sandwich. It’s crunchy, and creamy, and a little bit sweet all at once. It just may make you reconsider the wrap.
THE PERFECT Date
THE TASTY DUO of cream cheese and dates on a sandwich is an old-fashioned one. Rolling it up in lavash and cutting it into pinwheels makes it more modern. Kids will love the creamy, slightly sweet filling and crunch of the celery so much that the spinach may just go unnoticed. While nourishing, this wrap is a little light in the protein department, so include a protein-rich side such as nuts or yogurt. Feel free to substitute a large, whole-wheat flour tortilla for the lavash.
MAKES 1 OR 2 SERVINGS
1 whole-wheat lavash (7 1/2 by 10 inches)
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
6 medium pitted Medjool dates, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup loosely packed baby spinach
- Cut the lavash in half crosswise. Spread both halves of lavash with the cream cheese all the way to the edge. Scatter the dates and celery over the cream cheese, pressing down gently. Lay the spinach on top.
- With the shorter edge of the lavash toward you, roll up the wrap. Repeat with the remaining lavash. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll into four pinwheels.
- Store the pinwheels in one or two snug containers, or reassemble the log shape and roll in parchment paper, twisting the ends so it looks like a big Tootsie Roll.
MAKE-AHEAD NOTES: can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator, but best made the morning before school.
Reprinted with permission by Katie Sullivan Morford from Best Lunch Box Ever (Chronicle Books, 2013)