5 Ways to Upgrade Your Wrap with Greens

A wrap is a healthy lunch favorite. Swapping out that flour tortilla for great big greens can make it even healthier.
Related To:


Photo by: Tara Donne ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tara Donne, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Though the history of the wrap is disputed, one truth remains: The sandwich substitute is often wrongly labeled as a “health food.” While eating a wrap packed with lean protein and veggies definitely provides key nutrients your body needs, the vessel your ingredients are wrapped in may be sabotaging that “healthy” label. One 12-inch whole-wheat tortilla — a standard for a wrap — has 310 calories and more than 50 grams of carbs. One way to take your calorie count into your own hands is to swap that bread — be it a tortilla, rice paper, lavash or pita — for greens. Large leafy greens make a seamless substitute for traditional wraps and are a delicious alternative to bread.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps (pictured above)

These wraps are made with large leaves of iceberg lettuce. Iceberg has a higher water content (great for hydration!) than most leafy greens, but feel free to swap it for a more nutrient-dense leaf, like romaine or kale. Cooking the turkey and vegetables for the filling in one pan keeps your dirty dishes to a minimum.

Skipping the bagel for your traditional smoked salmon sandwich is a triumph in itself, but make the deli fave even healthier by swapping bread altogether for large leaves of romaine. A serving of romaine provides over 100 percent of your daily vitamin K and is source of vitamin A and folates. Using fat-free cream cheese keeps these wraps at less than 150 calories — so go ahead and have two.

Food Network Kitchen's Collard Wrapped Bean Burritos For Bunless/Breadless Sandwiches As seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Steam gorgeous, dark-green collard leaves in a pan and you get a flexible, nutrient-dense wrap for your burrito. A whole head can be steamed at once, and the leaves can be kept between damp paper towels in your fridge for wrap replacement at a moment’s notice. Collard greens are famous for being a good source of calcium, fiber, and vitamins K, A and C.

Thai flavors influence this lettuce wrap in all the right ways. The recipe uses fish and plum sauces to give the chicken that succulent, melt-in-your-mouth flavor. Iceberg lettuce provides the perfect vessel for this blend of chicken and veggies by adding a delicate crunch. Skip the calories, carbs and sodium you would find in your go-to Thai takeout and try this wrap instead.

Call it Boston or Bibb — by either name, this lettuce is just as velvety soft and totally a comparable swap for a tortilla. With an entire cup of lettuce costing you just seven calories, there is plenty of room to pack these wraps full of other delicious ingredients while keeping them low-cal. The Neelys’ Smoky Corn Salsa is the star of this dish, featuring a colorful blend of corn, tomatoes, red onion and jalapeno.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Reinvented: Guacamole 5 Ways

Guacamole is definitely a top 10 crowd-pleaser, so we decided to mix it up and add four more ways to keep the party going.

5 Healthy Ways to Dress Your Hot Dog

Get creative and healthy ways to dress up your hot dog.

12 Ways to Eat Cherries

In addition to being sweet and juicy (or tart and mouthwatering, depending on the variety), cherries have a lot of health benefits as well. They’re rich in heart-healthy anthocyanins and potassium, plus sleep-promoting melatonin.

6 Ways to Celebrate Tomato Time

Plump and juicy tomatoes aren't just a summertime seduction, they've got nutrition credentials as well.

10 Healthy Ways to Use Watermelon

Get 10 healthy recipes featuring a summer favorite: watermelon.

Sweet & Savory Ways to Eat (and Drink!) Watermelon

Check out these sweet and savory ways to enjoy the quintessential summer fruit.

The Smartest Ways to Buy and Store Summer Produce

How you pick and store summer fruits can mean the difference between mealy disappointment and juicy perfection.

Potato Salad 2 Ways: What's Your Favorite?

Mayonnaise-based dressings or vinaigrettes, Yukon golds or sweet potatoes? The Kitchen co-hosts explore two ways to doctor up the classic potato salad.

7 Ways to Win at Potato Salad — Summer Soiree

When you're cooking a spread in the name of summer, you better bet a side of potato salad will make the cut.