Basil Pesto Veggie Wrap Recipe - My Favorite Lunch

This Pesto Veggie Wrap is a great refreshing, light recipe for lunch or even dinner, especially appealing for a hot day. Healthy, and low in calories you could even eat two of these for dinner and would not be going overboard on calorie intake, as long as you've been practical about your other meals that day.  I love this wrap, but knew I had really created a winner when I served it to a bachelor friend of mine who is normally a meat lover.
He asked me for seconds after I served him the first. To give you an idea of his "bachelor" qualifications, I recently found a grocery store receipt on his kitchen counter itemized as follows: "scoop" chips, queso dip, Amstel Lite 12-pack, Haagen-Daz ice cream. And I can vouch that there is not much more in his refrigerator than that. Need I say more?

So here is the recipe, and you may notice that many of the same ingredients are used in my Caesar Salad with a Twist recipe.  I keep many of the same foods on hand all the time and look for ways to incorporate and re-create them into new meals.

Basil Pesto Veggie Wrap Ingredients:

(makes 2 wraps)
2 whole wheat wraps
Basil Pesto (see my Pesto Recipe)  - (approx 3 tbsp)
1 Roma tomato - chopped
1/2 to 1/3 avocado wedge sliced into 1/2" x1/8" pieces
Grated Parmesan Cheese - shake or sprinkle to your liking
 2 Tbsps. Lite Vinaigrette Dressing  (on each wrap)
Goat Cheese - hard to measure out, exactly - see photo and do it to your taste. (Approx 1 1/2 tbsp on each)

Spread the Pesto down the center of the wrap with a thin coat, about an 1/8" inch thick. Add the chopped tomatoes and avocado. Drizzle on the vinaigrette dressing and sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese. Crumble and add the goat cheese. Roll up the wrap and enjoy!

Go for the whole wheat tortilla for more protein and fiber - better than the overly processed white flour tortillas. You can check out the spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps as well and compare nutritional ingredients. but I found these to have the best combination of good ingredients with the lowest calories. The Ken's Lite salad dressing (you can try some different flavors in this, too)
Here's my Pesto Veggie Wrap before rolling it up.

Basil Pesto Vegetable Wrap with Goat Cheese
Okay, it may not look too impressive. but roll this baby up and take a bite! Trust me, it is light and very refreshing, great on a hot summer day. If you get a chance to try this out, please leave a comment and let me know what you think! Hope you enjoy it as much as my bachelor friend did.

A quick review of the health benefits of the main ingredients:

Avocado: First off, a reminder that the fats in avocado are good, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Compared to butter, 2 tablespoons of avocado has 50 calories, and the same amount of butter has 240 calories! Recent studies show that because carotenoids are fat-soluble, absorption of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—increases significantly when fresh avocado is added to salad.  Hence it make sense to combine them with tomatoes and dark green leafy vegetables. Avocados are high in Vitamin K (helps with bone health) and dietary fiber, and have 60% more potassium than bananas. They contain a long list of antioxidants, including alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein (a fat that helps moisturize the skin), all instrumental in supporting heart health. All these antioxidants  have anti-inflammatory properties which may help with the symptoms of arthritis, as well. Avocados are also rich in B vitamins that help with metabolism and energy.

Goat Cheese: A good source of calcium, protein, phosphorus, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and potassium. Studies have shown that calcium is not only good for strong bones but may help to  protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals, and prevent migraine headaches in those sufferers.  Calcium also prevents the bone loss that can occur as a result of menopause or certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Potassium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. And, once again, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is important for energy function. Goat cheese supplies low-cost, high-quality protein to the body.

Tomatoes: Perhaps the most important hand well known antioxidant in tomatoes is lycopene. Studies of the effects of lycopene in humans show it to be protective against a variety of cancers including colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. It is also good for your skin, with anti-aging properties more effective than Vitamin A (beta-carotene). They are also high in Vitamin C and fiber.
One thing to note is that cooked tomatoes yield more lycopene to the body than raw ones, and that lycopene is better absorbed by the body when in the presence of a healthy fat. Adding extra-virgin olive oil to your tomato sauce will increase your lycopene absorption.

As I have made this a habit, here is another flower photo from my yard.

 It's a shame you can't smell it, too. Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing, that's great!
    Keep it coming!