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September 4, 2014 | 3 minute read

Go Meat-Free for Lunch

Following AICR’s advice to limit red meat and avoid processed meat can lower your risk of colorectal cancer. Opting for meatless meals a couple of times during the week is one way to eat more plant foods in order to boost health and still meet your daily protein needs.

People used to think that getting enough protein from a vegetarian meal required eating beans and whole grains together. That’s because each type of these plant foods supplies different amino acids.

But current studies show that as long as you get enough of each kind at some point during the day, you’ll meet your protein needs. Nuts and seeds supply protein as well, although their high amounts of healthy fat means they are also high in calories. But sprinkling a scant handful onto salads or soups, for example, will boost protein.

So mix up lunchtime stereotypes with some enticing combinations of plant foods. This recipe combines legumes (chickpeas) with nuts and grapes in a whole-grain tortilla for a wrap that makes a brown-bag lunch something to look forward to. You can replace the grapes with bell pepper strips (try fruity orange or yellow pepper), if you prefer.

Chickpea Wraps with Grapes and Walnuts

  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas

In large mixing bowl, gently mash chickpeas with potato masher just to break skins. Add all remaining ingredients except tortillas and gently combine.

On bottom half of tortilla, spoon 1/2 cup mixture in broad line. Fold left and right sides toward center until almost touching. Fold bottom edge toward center. Roll wrap firmly upwards. Place toothpick 2 inches from each end. Slice wrap diagonally and place cut side up on plate or platter. Repeat. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving (2 halves): 367 calories, 10 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 58 g carbohydrate,
15 g protein, 10 g dietary fiber, 425 mg sodium.

Try more delicious vegetarian recipes:

Enjoy either of these with a bean salad or other source of protein for a balanced meal.

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