Monday, October 8, 2012

Pure Wraps and NomNomPaleo Tuna Salad

The sandwich.  Giving up bread is the one thing that seems to scare people I talk to away from giving a paleo style diet.  There are gluten free bread options out there, but they are usually highly processed, full of sugar and use alternative grain flours that can irritate one's gut as much as wheat flour.  So, they are a no go for me.

Around the blogosphere, I've seen pure wraps being used to bring back the sandwich or a wrap at least.  Of course, you can use lettuce to make wraps, but often I don't have lettuce around.  They are Whole 30 approved which means they are made with quality clean ingredients: Coconut Meat, Coconut Water, Himalayan Salt.  They have a very long shelf life.  I ordered some to try.

Sandwiches and wraps make me think of lunch time.  I'm an office worker, so I am able to bring in some foods to keep in the office refrigerator and can keep some food prep items in my office to help me stay paleo.  After a while, packing a cooler daily will become second nature.  On those days you don't want what you've packed for lunch or forgot your lunch all together, a quick tuna or chicken salad can come to your rescue.  I keep cans of tuna and chicken in my office drawer.  If you are just first trying to eat a paleo type diet, planning is imperative to your success.

For the sake of testing out the pure wraps, I decided to make this tuna salad from NomNomPaleo.  First, I chopped up half a jalepeno and the green onions.

I put my tuna in a bowl and added the chopped vegetables.  I strayed from the instructions at this point and went a head and squeezed my half avocado out of its skin into the bowl as well.  I sprinkled the salt and pepper and squeezed my lime juice on top of the avocado.  I mashed the avocado on the side of the bowl incorporating the salt, pepper and lime juice.  I didn't feel that it was crucial to make the guacamole in a separate bowl as everything was going to get mixed up in the end.

Once the avocado was mashed, I mixed everything together.  

I put down a layer of mixed greens on the pure wrap and put a generous dollop of the tuna salad on top. 

I folded up the wrap by folding up the bottom and then the sides.  I quickly took this picture as it didn't stay pretty without my hand holding it together.

Accessibility and Cost of Ingredients:  The expense of your tuna will be the quality you select.  I used starkist tuna as I knew it would be what everyone could get their hands on.  All of the ingredients except for the pure wraps are available at your "big box" grocery store.  The pure wraps are only available online in my area. 

A package of 4 pure wraps costs $4.99.  That's pretty steep in my book.  Pure wrap addresses the cost issue on its website by saying essentially that you pay for quality.  I understand that, but that fact, sadly doesn't change my food budget.

Preparation Time:  The tuna salad took about 15 minutes to put together.  

The Paleo Review:  

The Tuna Recipe:  Thumbs Up!  The jalapeno certainly adds a special kick to this tuna salad.  I'm glad that I had the lettuce in the wrap to mellow out the taste a bit.  If you don't like the heat from peppers, just don't add them.  Using avocado instead of mayo for a basic salad still tastes great!

Pure Wraps:  Thumbs Up!  When they first arrived, I tried tasting one by itself.  The pure wrap alone is completely unlike bread in that it did not, to me, taste good.  They are kind of rubbery.  Once I put the filling in, the wrap really just became a delivery vehicle for the salad.  It doesn't have a strong flavor at all.  I cannot speak to the curry flavored wrap they sell as I didn't buy any.  It was nice to eat a wrap that didn't instantly fall apart as my lettuce wraps do.  At 4.99/ package, they wont be a staple in my kitchen, but an occasional treat.    

Post Script and Emergency Lunch Preparation Tip:

What's great about tuna or chicken salad is that you really don't need any specific ingredients.  I had some chopped celery and shredded carrots I needed to use, so I mixed them in to some tuna with homemade mayo and made a quick wrap of it.  If you have room in your office or cube, bring some extra virgin olive oil and vinegar to keep to keep in your workspace.   You can use them to make a nice dressing to add to the tuna if you don't have avocado or mayo on hand.  If you can keep some deli mustard in your office refrigerator, even better!  

If you are an office or cube worker, you may want to get a bin or clear a drawer to bring in some kitchen basics so that if you ever need to prepare something fresh to eat, you can.  Here are some things I keep in my office:  vegetable peeler, small cutting board, small utility knife, olive oil, red wine vinegar, large plastic bowl (for salads), measuring cups/spoons, a can opener, and canned tuna and chicken.  On Mondays, I bring a bag of snack veggies (e.g., carrots, cucumbers, avocados, peppers) and a small container of homemade mayo to leave in my work refrigerator all week.  This way, there really are no excuses for me not to be able to fix some quick and healthy food.

If you don't work in an office or are on the road, as I sometimes am, Whole30 has some great suggestions for packing your paleo cooler here.

What do you keep at your workplace to help put together a healthy meal?