Recipe: How to make a great wrap! | barbara stroud

I am hooked on wraps right now. I’ve made so many different version, each as wonderful as the next. None of my wraps have included meat, but you certainly could!

Start by buying good tortilla’s. Read the ingredients. Many of the grocery store brands have horrible ingredients, (if you’re trying to be healthy) like one of the top three (listed by quantity) ingredients being Interesterified Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Palm Oil. What? Yep, if you can’t say it DON’T EAT IT!

I found some wraps at EarthFare the healthy grocery store near us Maria & Ricardo’s tortillas... they’re amazing. I’ve tried the flour tortilla and the spinach, both are fabulous. NO INTERESTEREFIED anything in these tortilla’s… organic, non GMO, etc. | barbara stroud

Step 1: I set out a tortilla on a piece of wax paper. Let it sit and come to room temperature while you prepare the ingredients.

Step 2: Spread your “base” (a bit off center, you want it to be more to one side), and add a little to the side of the tortilla to help hold it after you roll it.

Two options that I’ve tried are hummus and avocado (or guacamole)! Both are fabulous, they’re different, but oh so good!

Step 3: Add a slice of cheese (I have been using Havarti, sliced thin, and set out for a few minutes to be more pliable so it will bend when the wrap is rolled).

Step 4: Add some veggies. I like some crunch so I’ve used radishes and cucumber. But whatever you like would work perfectly here. I’ve also added sliced avocado, tomatoes, etc.

Step 5: Add greens. I’ve used arugula, bean sprouts and kale micro greens. All are fabulous! You could also use lettuce. Whatever you like!

Step 6: Optional: you can add some leftover chicken, turkey or whatever else you’ve got.

W O R D   O F   C A U T I O N . . .

Do not pack too much onto this tortilla or you won’t be able to roll it. Sounds like I might have done that, huh? Oh yeah. Fred made a wrap the other day, and it was hilarious. He stuck a knife through it to hold it together because there was so much in it, ha ha… wish I would have taken a photo of that!

To roll the tortilla, fold up a little at the bottom, (in photo above, fold up to cucumber slice at bottom. Then fold the left side over the pile of wonderful ingredients, try to roll it kind of tight so it doesn’t fall apart. Roll until the “glue” (hummus) has been rolled over. Now just tuck in the top portion of the wrap. Sometimes it’s easier to eat if you roll the wrap lightly in wax paper and put in fridge for a minute.

There is no wrong way to roll a wrap, I’ve Google’d it and read many different versions, use whatever is easiest for you. Some just roll it up, and tuck in the sides.

Owie! You’re going to love this!

What do you put in your wrap? Let me know! Catch you back here tomorrow!

A quick and easy butter bean salad, can you say healthy?!

Monza’s butter bean salad with shrimp… To. Die. For. Amazing! Image: Monza

Today I made a wonderful butter bean salad reminiscent of the one that Monza serves here in Charleston. Well, it wasn’t quite butter bean salad since I used fresh Lima beans from Whole Foods, but it was darn close. I’m not sure what their recipe is, but I can tell you we devoured these beans in no time flat, didn’t even give them time to chill! Next time I make these I will make it the night before! If you make it to Monza some time soon I highly suggest their butter bean salad. You can get it with just the olive oil and lemon, or with tuna or shrimp. Tasty!

Monza-ish Butter Bean/Lima Bean Salad – this recipe serves 2-3

1 container of fresh butter or lima beans

3-5 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled but not cut

1 wedge of lemon


Wash the beans, in a medium or large heavy saucepan, add the beans and cover with water (cover with about 2″ water). Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium. Stir occasionally. Cook about 1 hour or until done. Then drain.

In small heavy saucepan, add the olive oil, turn it on medium, add a clove or two of garlic that has been peeled but not minced. Cut a few X marks to let the juices out… add to hot oil, then turn on low until fragrant. After the garlic sits a few minutes in the oil, pull it out and discard or set aside for another use.

Squeeze a wedge of lemon into the slightly cooled oil (be careful, if oil is hot then it’s going to spit), stir briskly or whisk until blended. With the beans in a separate bowl, pour the olive oil mixture over top of the beans. Sprinkle a little salt. Let cool, then pop into the refrigerator (good luck, half were gone before they got to the fridge, and I’m not kidding!).

If by chance they get dry add a little extra olive oil before serving (if you used all the garlic infused olive oil, regular is fine, and if you don’t like garlic, skip that step). I can’t tell you if they’ll get dry since we gobbled them up…

Next time I’m going to try beans in a carton (like FIG brand) if I can find them, or another non BPA brand like Eden… that will quicken this process. I’ll report back if I can find a good brand and if it tastes this incredible! This is going to be tasty with salmon and tzatziki sauce…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Dinner tonight… CHANA MASALA (Indian dish), out of this world and EASY too!

Dinner at our friends house… 

We recently had dinner at our friends house… Chana Masala… Hmmm? What? Never heard of it… It’s a vegetarian Indian dish, the main star is chickpeas, and let me tell you… this is TASTY! I’ve since read many recipes for different versions, but I really liked that one so much I got the recipe from Alison. She said it was in the Post and Courier Newspaper years ago (5/28/03), she made a few changes and whatever she changed (their archives skip that period) was perfect… try it, it’s easy, healthy and delicious! When I was reading the Smitten Kitchen blog for her version of Chana Masala she made a good comment, she said the spices aren’t cheap, but go ahead and get them, they’re an investment. I don’t know that I would have spent so much on spices if I didn’t read that first. It made sense. You can make it many times with the number of spices we bought. Above all, it’s HEALTHY. So if you can splurge on the spices, do it! Here goes…

CHANA MASALA (recipe from the Post and Courier newspaper, Alison’s adaptation…)

Chop up one large onion and sauté it in olive oil, some recipes say to sauté until brown… I didn’t let mine get quite that far since it was still going to be cooking…

Now add 4 chopped garlic cloves and 1-2” piece grated fresh ginger, and the way to do that the quickest and easiest is to use a microplane tool, they’re awesome! Rachel Ray pointed that out, apparently the smaller garlic is chopped the better it is for you… well you can’t beat doing it this way, it’s more of a paste so you don’t get any big hunk of garlic.

Now toss in one box of Pomi chopped tomatoes and 1/3 box of Pomi tomato sauce.  (If you can’t find POMI, use canned, but canned tomatoes were one of the foods I featured to never eat because of the BPA, click HERE to read the post from 10/19/11…)

Stir in 2 tsp cumin seeds,   1 cinnamon stick,   3 whole green cardamons,  2 whole black cardamons,   2 bay leaves,   2 cloves,   salt to taste,       (I only had green cardamons and I used 5, it was fantastic)

and 1 chopped jalapeño (I left just some of the seeds for a little heat, for less heat remove membrane and seeds) and 1 tsp turmeric…

Add 2 cups water (or a little more),   2 cans chickpeas (or a brand in a carton like FIG), and 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro stems.

Bring to boil and then add 2 tsp coriander powder and 2 tsp Chana masala (or Garam masala seasoning).

Cook until sauce thickens (at least an hour) and serve over basmati.

The salad we had that night went perfectly with the Chana Masala… Quick and easy…


Baby lettuce with  salt, pepper, olive oil and rice wine vinegar. Fresh avocado added right before serving. You could toss baby carrots in Madras curry powder, salt, pepper and olive oil and roasted until tender and put on top of salad.

OK… and here ya go… this is what you end up with! This photo was snapped before we all sat down to enjoy this scrumptious dinner! Guess what’s on the menu this week?? You guessed right!

Here’s the recipe minus the photos and my comments in red…


Sauté 1 large chopped onion in olive oil.

Add 4 chopped garlic cloves and 1-2” piece grated fresh ginger

Add one box of Pomi chopped tomatoes and 1/3 box of Pomi tomato sauce.

Stir in 2 tsp cumin seeds,   1 cinnamon stick,   3 whole green cardamons,  

2 whole black cardamons,   2 bay leaves,   2 cloves,   salt to taste,       

1 chopped jalapeño…I removed some of the seeds to control heat.

1 tsp turmeric,   2 cups water,   2 cans (I like FIG brand in box) chickpeas, 

1/2 bunch chopped cilantro stems.

Bring to boil and then add 2 tsp coriander powder and 2 tsp Chana masala or Garam masala seasoning.

Cook until sauce thickens (at least an hour) and serve over basmati.

OKRA BINDI (I have yet to try this, but am looking forward to making it soon!)

Slice okra or use frozen and sauté with chopped onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric. This is good served alongside Chana Masala.

Give it a whirl, let me know how you like it! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Thanks to Alison Brewer for sharing her recipes…

Meatless Monday recipe… Penne with Spinach, Feta and Olives!


Here is a recipe that will make you flip. It’s so easy. It’s healthy. It’s QUICK and DELICIOUS. This is another good one from Cooking Light Magazine! If you need a meatless Monday meal, here it is! It’s great paired with a small salad… enjoy, it’s one of my favorites! Click HERE to go directly to the website so it’s quick and easy to print, or see below!

Penne with Spinach, Feta, and Olives


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 cups hot cooked penne (about 12 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese


  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pasta, spinach, olives, capers, and cheese; toss well.

Cooking Light
MAY 1998

I said it was easy, didn’t I? Can’t get any easier than that! Catch you back here tomorrow!

Meatless Monday… Giada’s Creamy Farfalle, with Cremini, Asparagus and Walnuts!


I made this a few years ago and it was outstanding! I just now remembered it while trying to come up with a meatless recipe that I know you would all love! Trust me on this, it’s a WINNER with a capital W! It’s quick, easy and the taste??? Out of this world!! Pair with a small salad and whoa, it’s friends-come-over-to-dinner worthy! This is one of the most popular Giada De Laurentiis recipes. Dang she’s good!

Below is the recipe, or click HERE for the link to the Food Network page where you can print the recipe!




1 pound farfalle pasta

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

1 cup mascarpone cheese

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and most of the juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and saute until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the farfalle. Stir in the mascarpone and nutmeg and toss until the cheese coats the pasta, adding the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to moisten. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnuts. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts. Serve.

Enjoy! Catch you back here tomorrow!