I recently noticed while looking through my recipe apps that I tend to save a lot of recipes involving tortillas. I credit that toward the versatility of tortillas and the fact that the kid in me still loves hand-held foods.
Most tortillas are made with either flour or corn. Corn tortillas originated in Mexico thousands of years ago and are made with masa harina mixed with water. Masa harina is made from corn soaked in a lime solution, dried, and then ground into a powder. Masa harina is not a whole grain, so some corn tortillas lack key nutrients. However, they’re typically lower in calories, fat, and sodium than flour tortillas. Look for corn tortillas made with whole grain corn to get the most nutritional benefit. If corn tortillas aren’t warm enough, they tend to crack, causing the good stuff to fall out. Run the tortillas under hot water then place on a plate covered with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds.
Flour tortillas are made with wheat flour, salt, baking powder and a fat, such as lard or shortening. It’s best to purchase whole grain flour tortillas, without hydrogenated oils (unhealthy fats) listed in the ingredient section. They are more pliable than corn tortillas, making them the more popular wrap. Use them for buffalo chicken wraps, pinwheels, thin crust pizzas, egg burritos and even dessert wraps!
Southwest Chicken Wraps
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, grilled
¼ cup light ranch dressing
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 ½ cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw blend
½ cup Mexican style blend finely shredded cheese
6 (10-inch) whole wheat flour tortillas
Toppings: chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado
While chicken is grilling, combine ranch dressing, lime juice and chili powder in a medium bowl. Fold in shredded cabbage and shredded cheese until evenly coated. When chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165F, remove from grill and rest for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Chop chicken into bite-size pieces. Evenly spoon chicken into center of tortillas and top with ¼ cup coleslaw mixture. Add additional toppings if desired. Fold in sides of tortilla, then roll up burrito style. Secure with toothpick to hold it together. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving without toppings): 310 calories, 10 grams fat, 560 milligrams sodium, 33 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 24 grams protein
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michelle dot com on Unsplash
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Smith is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Smith uses her experience as a registered dietitian nutritionist to deliver impactful information and cutting-edge programs to Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties and beyond.
This blog post originally appeared in the Pantagraph on May 18, 2022.