Wrap up Something Different

The school lunchbox for children with celiac disease of any age, toddler to teen, is always a challenge. Kids cannot eat gluten but they still want sandwiches, cookies, cupcakes and all the lunchbox standards normally made with wheat flour.

Sarah takes sandwiches every day except when her lunchbox contains leftovers such a lasagna, spaghetti pie, chili, or pizza. Sandwiches go with soup or salad, fruit or raw veggies, in short, sandwiches go with everything.

She makes sandwiches from our homemade gluten free bread which holds together nicely with a wide variety of fillings. But sometimes she gets hungry for a different kind of sandwich, such as a wrap. Wraps are popular in fast food and casual restaurants and made with, of course, wheat flour wraps. I have tried the gluten free wraps on the market and find them very expensive and hard to prepare:  they dry out and break, and they wind up in pieces. That’s different all right, but not good.

I have been wracking my brain for ideas for wraps when I remembered the recipe for Sarah’s Spring Rolls in Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen. Eureka! Spring roll wraps! Why couldn’t I use them to wrap up traditional sandwich fillings such as turkey and Swiss cheese, ham and cheese, with lettuce and tomato?

I could and I did. Round spring roll wrappers are widely available these days, often in the Asian section of supermarkets. Be sure to read the ingredient labels; however, as some products labeled spring rolls may be made with wheat. You want spring roll wrappers made from rice flour (the main ingredient) with tapioca or other gluten-free flour.

packages of spring roll wrappers

And it is important to buy super-thin, rather than thick-sliced lunchmeats. These sandwich wraps can be made two days in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated. And rather than put mustard or mayo inside the wrap, you could pack a small spill-proof container of mustard, mayo, catsup, whatever condiment your kid likes for dipping the roll in.

turkey, lettuce, cheese, tomato mise en place

I use two spring rolls at a time, and they need to be dipped in lukewarm water to soften before you fill and roll them.

wrappers being soaked in water to soften

After the first couple you will find yourself a spring roll wrapping pro.

sides of spring roll wrapper folded over filling

And then you can go on to invent dozens of different sandwich fillings: tuna, egg, chicken or ham salad, Denver omelet (scrambled eggs, peppers, bacon), classic club (chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato), corned beef, Swiss cheese, minced dill pickles. The possibilities are numerous, but not limitless. Don’t try peanut butter and jelly.

finished turkey rolls, 1 cut to show inside

Turkey and Swiss Cheese Wrap

Yield: 4 Wraps

Turkey and Swiss Cheese Wrap

Ingredients

  • ¼ head iceberg or Romaine lettuce, cored, julienned
  • 16 paper-thin slices of turkey lunchmeat, each slice folded in third
  • 8 thin slices of Swiss cheese, cut in julienne strips
  • ½ ripe tomato diced, patted dry, optional
  • Mustard, as needed, optional
  • 8 (8-inch round) spring roll wrappers

Instructions

  1. Arrange the lettuce, tomato, and lunchmeat in batches of 4 slices, cheese in 4 equal batches on a tray or sheet of parchment paper.
  2. Fill a 12-inch skillet halfway with lukewarm water. Place a large cutting board in front.
  3. Immerse 2 spring roll wraps together in the water until they are just pliable, about 30 seconds. Lift with both hands at the top, let drip briefly, and then place the wrappers together on the cutting board.
  4. In the middle of the wrapper place horizontally 4 folded slices of turkey, ¼ of the cheese, ¼ of the tomatoes, if using, and lettuce, as needed on top. Drizzle with mustard if using.
  5. Now, as if you were making an envelope starting with the sides, fold the opposite sides (right and left) over the filling as far as they can reach. Fold up the bottom of the spring roll over the sides and over the filling as tightly as you can. Then roll tightly over the filling. Place seam side down on a sheet of parchment paper. Repeat until the meat and cheese is used and you have four spring rolls.
  6. You can cut diagonally or not (the wrap can be eaten easily without cutting). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  7. Variations: Substitute mayo for mustard. Omit tomatoes and substitute chopped sweet or dill pickles, patted dry. Substitute pre-shredded packaged cabbage for lettuce.
http://gffamilyfood.com/recipes/wrap-up-something-different/

Ham and Cheddar Cheese Wrap

Yield: 4 Wraps

Ham and Cheddar Cheese Wrap

Ingredients

  • ¼ head iceberg or Romaine lettuce, cored, julienned
  • 16 paper-thin slices ham lunchmeat, each slice folded in third
  • 8 thin slices of Cheddar cheese, cut in julienne strips
  • ½ ripe tomato diced, patted dry, optional
  • Mayonnaise, as needed, optional
  • 8 (8-inch round) spring roll wrappers

Instructions

  1. Arrange the lettuce, tomato, and lunchmeat in batches of 4 slices, cheese in 4 equal batches on a tray or sheet of parchment paper.
  2. Fill a 12-inch skillet halfway with lukewarm water. Place a large cutting board in front.
  3. Immerse 2 spring roll wraps together in the water until they are just pliable, about 30 seconds. Lift with both hands at the top, let drip briefly, and then place the wrappers together on the cutting board.
  4. In the middle of the wrapper place horizontally 4 folded slices of ham, ¼ of the cheese, ¼ of the tomatoes, if using, and lettuce, as needed on top. Drizzle with mayonnaise if using.
  5. Now, as if you were making an envelope starting with the sides, fold the opposite sides (right and left) over the filling as far as they can reach. Fold up the bottom of the spring roll over the sides and over the filling as tightly as you can. Then roll tightly over the filling. Place seam side down on a sheet of parchment paper. Repeat until the meat and cheese is used and you have four spring rolls.
  6. You can cut diagonally or not (the wrap can be eaten easily without cutting). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  7. Variations: Substitute mustard for mayonnaise. Omit tomatoes and substitute chopped sweet or dill pickles, patted dry. Substitute pre-shredded packaged cabbage for lettuce. Substitute cheese of choice for Cheddar.
http://gffamilyfood.com/recipes/wrap-up-something-different/

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