Weekday dinner preparation is a task that most people I support would gladly say goodbye to if they could. After a busy day, whether this be at work, being a working or stay at home parent, a carer or simply a very busy individual – I am yet to hear anyone say, “I simply love cooking dinner and cleaning up when I am low in energy after a busy day”. That goes for me also!! The response I hear about preparing dinner after such a day is never positive and, in many cases, is a cause of low mood and feelings of irritation. Is it any wonder uber eats and menu log are always busy?
I remember my dad always saying to me as a teenager “Organisation is the key to success Tan” and whilst I would never have admitted that he was right back then, I certainly agree with him now.
With that in mind, it is my advice from speaking with many clients over the years that weekday dinners need to be strategically planned in advance and they need to be quick to prepare and easy to clean up. The risk if you do not put this in place is that you make bad food choices that impact health, nutrients, weight, your wallet, potentially a good night’s sleep and self-respect. Why do I mention self-respect? Because it is easy to get disappointed with yourself when you keep making choices that you don’t want to make. Avoid this feeling – be prepared and make dinner simple.
Welcome to the “Protein & Low Carb Dinner Wrap”.
Firstly, I am never a fan of heavy carbohydrates being the main event of a plate, especially at dinner when this energy will never be used. If pasta, bread, potatoes, or rice take prime position on your dinner plate then with most adults it leads to weight gain, blood sugar imbalance and inadequate nutrients. Obviously for athletes who are carb loading or for fast growing children it is less of an issue however for the majority of us, a perfect plate will include mostly low carbohydrate salad and vegetables, a moderate serving of quality protein, some healthy fats and then a small portion of starchy carbohydrates.
For this reason, I am a fan of thin wraps, not thick pita bread type wraps but lavash, mountain bread wraps and I am a fan of Ancient Harvest Flaxseed Paleo Wraps which you can buy online from a number of organic food companies, health food stores or even some supermarkets. You can then make them crunchier and warmer by placing them in a sandwich press if you enjoy that. These paleo flaxseed wraps are a staple in our home. They must be heated up in the sandwich press though!
In my household, I am a Business owner, Practice Manager of a busy wellbeing clinic and a practicing Naturopath so I often get home around 7pm and my husband has a demanding management role in a corporate company and gets home late also. Our days are full and by the time we arrive home, unpack and get comfy – being able to relax is our most important focus.
We all have favourite salad options we prefer however I find the combination of grated carrot, thinly sliced cucumber, button mushrooms, red onion, red capsicum, cherry tomatoes, and salad leaves make a truly enjoyable taste experience. I always add avocado, a touch of mayonnaise, a small amount of grated sheep cheese and a good quality protein. This could be boiled eggs, chicken, tuna, red salmon, rissoles, felafel, baked tempeh, marinated tofu. You could also add left over savoury mince or any form of protein you enjoy. Adding protein is important for managing blood sugar levels and keeps you feel satisfied.
On some mornings, I take ten minutes to grate and cut up all of my salad filling so that I just lay everything on the wrap with speed and minimal of fuss. It is low calorie which is a good choice at dinner when managing weight and it is full of the plant kingdom meaning fibre, antioxidants, and important nutrients. Avocado is a “golden child” healthy fat source so why not spread that on your wrap also.
Having good protein options at your fingertips is also smart. I often make up batches of marinated and baked tempeh, curry rissoles, Thai chicken balls and left over chicken so that I can easily defrost in the morning for easy heating at dinner. I love the simplicity of steamed chicken however the options for all of us are endless.
For a vegan option, use vegan mayonnaise and vegan cheese of which there are many wonderful choices now.
You will find some wonderful protein filling options here:
Well, all of the ingredients have already been mentioned but here is the recipe for two people.
- 2 wraps
- 1 small or medium carrot, peeled and grated
- 6 button mushrooms, finely sliced
- 12 finely sliced pieces of cucumber
- Small handful of finely sliced red capsicum
- 1 heaped tablespoon of finely sliced red onion
- 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- ½ small avocado, mashed
- A few handfuls of salad leaves
- 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise (optional)
- 2 teaspoons of grated cheese (optional)
- Siracha sauce if you like it spicy (optional)
- Protein of your choice (approximately 70 grams cooked)
- Pepper for taste
As this recipe is for two people, distribute all ingredients evenly.
Place your wrap in the sandwich press and heat so more crispy or warm.
Spread avocado and mayonnaise over surface.
Add salad, protein, grated cheese, and seasonings.
Wrap and devour!!!!
Now spend a few minutes washing up and relax!