Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Black Bean, Guacamole and Chicken Wraps

This isn't so much a recipe or cooking so much as food assembly! This is one of my go-to meals when I'm too exhausted to cook or it's too hot out to cook. It's certainly not too hot out today but we finally had some "warmer" weather today so I was in the mood for something lighter. It's a pretty healthy wrap but is still rich enough to be satisfying.


2 large chicken breasts, slightly pounded
1 tablespoon olive oil
a pinch of kosher salt & black peper
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
3 cups green leaf or romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup diced red or sweet onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 large whole wheat wraps
1/2 - 3/4 cup hot salsa
* you may need 4-8 toothpicks

For the Guacamole

2 medium sized avocados, peeled, pit removed, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
the juice from 1/2 a lime

Serves 4

Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and then baste the grill pan with olive oil (or non-stick spray). Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side (depending on thickness).

While the chicken cooks, mash the avocado in a bowl with a fork or potato masher. Squeeze in the lime juice and add the minced garlic, cayenne, cumin, chili powder, and 1/4 tsps each of salt and pepper. Take the chicken off the grill and let cool while you chop your tomatoes, lettuce, onion, bell peppers, and cheese (if you haven't already). Slice chicken or cut into cubes. Stir a small handful of your chopped tomatoes into your guacamole.

Spread the a few tablespoons of guacamole around your wrap, leaving the outer 1 inch dry. Place small amounts (1 - 2 tablespoons of each) of beans, chicken, peppers, cheese, lettuce, onion and tomatoes in a straight line down the center of the wrap, except for an inch or two on each end. I emphasize "small" because I'm notorious for thinking I'm using only a little amount but often end up with a wrap that can't close itself. Less is more! Top the filling the center with salsa.

Turn the wrap so that the center filling runs from left to right (rather than up and down) and fold up each end. Hold the end folds with your fingers as you use your thumbs to lift up the part of the wrap closest to you up and start rolling. Do your best to keep the ends tucked in. When it's half rolled up, move your thumbs from the flaps to help you roll the rest up tightly. The wrap seam should end up plate side down. Put one hand on top of the wrap to steady, firmly and cut in half on a slight angle (angling the cut helps the filling to stay in a little better). Secure the bottom of the wrap with tooth picks if needed.

All text and photographs © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley