As I mentioned previously in this post, I signed up for a half-marathon in October and it’s my first 13.1 miles since having my sweet little girl (who is about to be two years old). Although I’ve continued to run 3 miles routinely since she was 12 weeks old, pure exhaustion from parenting has kept me from training for a half-marathon…until now. Because it’s been so long since my last 13.1 miles, I’m a crazy mix of nervousness, excitement, and fear.
Every time my body is faced with physical stress, whether training for long distances or journeying through pregnancy, I start to notice a gradual increase in my craving for protein. And for good reason. As a dietitian, I’ve listened to seminars and read articles regarding the body’s increased protein needs for endurance athletes. I know a healthy adult needs between 0.8-1 gram protein per kilogram of body weight in order to maintain their muscle stores, but the endurance athlete needs between 1.2-1.4 grams protein per kilogram of body weight. It’s ingrained in me to know this, but when it comes to my own life I tend to forget that in these times I am an endurance athlete and thus need to increase my protein intake. The cravings come and it finally dawns on me that I need to be more intentional about my diet.
The lunch that has kept me fueled for very long runs on top of chasing a busy toddler, cooking for my family and this blog, and everything in between is this amazing Protein Power Wrap. In my opinion, it is by far the ultimate wrap of all wraps ever made. Period.
This wrap has everything going for it: incredible flavor, nutritious, high-protein, easy to make, and super satisfying. The three main sources of protein come from chicken, quinoa, and edamame (which also doubles as the spread). Kale and red bell pepper are the super foods that make these wraps complete.
I’ve made my fair share of wraps for an on-the-go lunch and one of the most disappointing things about wraps is they have the tendency to become soggy. I can say with confidence, dear readers, that these wraps do not have sogginess issues (yay!). I ate one for lunch 24 hours after making it and it was perfect. The kale and red bell peppers were still crunchy and the flour tortilla was soft but not doughy.
Whether you need a satisfying and delicious meal for lunch or are trying to get enough protein in your diet, this wrap solves the problem. That being said, now it’s time to get your grocery list out and plan to make these wraps for lunch ASAP because you need this wrap in your life.
- For the edamame spread:
- 2 cups edamame, cooked (I buy frozen shelled edamame and cook it according to package directions)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 2 lemons, seeds discarded
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed and peeled
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the wrap ingredients:
- 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- 1½ cups tri-color quinoa, cooked
- 1 recipe edamame spread
- 4 handfuls kale leaves, washed and chopped
- 4 chicken tenderloin strips, cooked and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- Start by cooking quinoa according to package directions. Make sure and wash quinoa thoroughly before cooking. Approximately ½ cup dry quinoa should make 1½ cup cooked quinoa.
- While quinoa is cooking, cook chicken strips. In a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil and give the pan a whirl.
- Once the skillet is hot enough, add chicken using tongs or a fork and let sear for 5 minutes on one side. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- After 5 minutes or until chicken develops a nice brown color, turn over on the other side using a clean fork and sear for 3-5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked through (165 F internal temperature).
- Transfer onto a plate and set aside.
- To make the edamame spread, combine cooked edamame, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt and fresh basil to a blender or food processor and pulse to combine.
- Edamame spread should be clumpy but without large chunks of garlic or edamame present. If using a blender, you may have to scrape the sides using a spatula a few times to get the right consistency.
- Next, wash and cut kale leaves and red bell pepper slices using a knife.
- To assemble each wrap, lay down a tortilla and add toppings in the following order: ½ cup edamame spread, ¼-1/3 cup quinoa, 1 handful kale leaves, slices of 1 chicken tenderloin strip, and red bell pepper slices.
- Roll each wrap and eat immediately or if making ahead of time cover in aluminum foil and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
If you decide to make these protein power wraps, I would love to see your creation. Tag me @unrefinedrd on instagram so I can see!