I am a huge fan of leftovers. Throughout my childhood, my parents taught me the importance of minimizing waste. This was because they grew up in less than ideal circumstances, often going hungry due to not having enough food available. When they came to America, they were horrified by what they saw their fellow neighbors do with excess food: toss it in the trash. I recently ate at a Middle Eastern restaurant with my husband, and we were dazzled by the delicious variety of dips that came with our pita bread. Eating out is a huge challenge for our health goals because portions in America are ginormous! So we’ve tried to make it a habit to enjoy ourselves fully while eating out, but also not overdoing it. Instead of clearing all of the food that is in front of us at a restaurant, we choose to stop eating right when we no longer feel hungry and box everything up to enjoy later on. This single change in behavior has been so instrumental in helping me lose over 30 lbs and keep it off (for the most part) over the years.
So our dinner featured eggplant and caramelized onion dip, tzatziki, and hummus. I wanted to find a way to utilize these dips by breathing new life into them. So in the spirit of re-using leftovers, I made these chicken wraps using roasted chicken from Costco. Ready-made hummus, tzatziki, and baba ganoush would be perfectly suitable dips for this wrap. I roasted zucchinis, red peppers, eggplant, and caramelized onions for some freshness and flavor. Roasting is one of my favorite simple ways to prepare veggies. My friend gifted me a grill pan when he was getting ready to move out of the country. And I am happy to say that I have given his pan lots of love through the years. It can be a lot of work to start a fire in an outdoor grill, so a grill pan is a nice and easy substitute that also provides a similar flavor profile.
Honestly, this recipe is incredibly simple to put together since many ingredients are store bought. It is challenging to think of a good cooking tip…. I guess the tip that I have is related to sandwich architecture, about which I am a huge stickler. Don’t you hate sandwiches that become soggy and fall apart when you go to eat them? That is one of my biggest food pet peeves. To avoid these pitfalls, make sure that you DO NOT let dips or wet vegetables (e.g., tomato, cucumber, lettuce) touch the surface of the bread. Instead, let drier veggies (e.g., avocado, roasted eggplant), meat, and cheese (or some dry cheese spreads) sit at the base of the bread and neatly stack other ingredients on top of these. Place dips/wet ingredients in the middle of your sandwich and place drier ingredients at the top. This creates a barrier for the top and bottom of your bread and protects it from wet ingredients and allows your bread to stay intact/relatively dry.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
1 cup roasted chicken
2 tbsp hummus
1 tbsp tzatziki sauce
1 tbsp eggplant dip/baba ganoush
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red bell peppers
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 tsp garlic salt
½ onion, sliced
1 cup salad greens
optional: 1 avocado
Roast bell peppers whole in toaster oven on broil for 15-20 minutes, until peppers have softened and skin has black spots. When they are done, place into a large bowl and cover the bowl to allow steam to help loosen the skins. When bell peppers have cooled (5-10 minutes), remove skin and seeds from the inside. Slice and set aside for use.
Cut zucchini into ½ inch thick slices lengthwise. Cut eggplant into ½ inch slices lengthwise.
Heat pan on medium high. Spray pan with olive oil. Place zucchini onto pan evenly. Roast for 3-5 minutes each side, until brown grill marks have formed. Repeat for eggplant. Remove from heat when grill marks are golden brown and season with garlic salt.
Heat another pan on medium. Add olive oil and add onions. Saute until golden brown and caramelized, occasionally moving onions around ~5-10 minutes.
Once veggies are cooled, begin to assemble sandwich.
Place lavash bread on a clean flat surface length-wise. On the left or right side, begin stacking 2 slices of roasted eggplant and 2 slices of zucchini neatly. Then spread sauces on top of roasted veggies: hummus, tzatziki, and baba ganoush. Place roasted bell peppers on top of the sauces. Neatly stack a handful of shredded roasted chicken next to the stack of roasted veggies. Then, next to the chicken, neatly pile a small handful of salad greens. Optional: top salad greens with a few slices of avocado. Spread a thin strip of hummus on the other end of the lavash bread to act as glue for the roll. Begin rolling from the side that has veggies on it. Roll over the chicken and veggies, making sure to keep the roll tight. Roll until you reach the end with hummus, which will seal the roll and help it keep its shape.