Tortillas are basis kid-friendly recipes
Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Who would've thought that there could be such a versatile product for snacking as a plain flour tortilla? Not me, that's for sure. Until a couple of years ago, I didn't even give the product much thought.
Now that I think about it, when I was growing up in the early '70s, I'd never even seen a tortilla. The closest thing we got to Mexican food was the occasional "crunchy" tacos when Daddy was working the evening shift at Container or some Golden Flake bean dip from Dauphin's Grocery Store.
Having put away a few Saturday night meals at the local Mexican restaurant, I've really learned a lot about the Fiesta way of life. And because of those weekly visits "South of the Border", my son has grown to have a great affection for the plain flour tortilla.
But the whole point of all of this is to let you know that your children will, if they don't already, love the flour tortilla snack. You can put almost anything in them and make it a roll-up or wrap and make a happy snacker out of any picky eater.
Most tortillas found at the local grocery store have about 80 calories in them which make them a little less fattening that regular sandwich bread. That, coupled with the fact that you can "hide" some nutritious veggies inside, makes this a wonderful way to provide a snack to a hungry tummy.
My first experience using the tortillas came after a friend delivered a plate of goodies around the holidays to a place a used to work. Yep, my circle of current friends can blame all those Taco Roll-Ups I supply at gatherings on Cathy Weaver. That special delivery to the offices of Southern Pine changed my ideas about snacking forever.
This first recipe is my version of the one that Cathy shared. There are always a few uneven slices that happen at each end of the roll-up. These are the "scraps" that my son loves.
One package (10) flour tortillas
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 tbsp. sour cream
Chopped green onions (optional)
Mix cream cheese, sour cream and seasoning mix until well blended. Spread about 2 tbsp. of the mixture on a flour tortilla. Sprinkle with chopped onions, if desired. Roll up jelly-roll style. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. With a very sharp knife, cut rolls into three-quarter inch slices. Arrange slices on a platter and serve with your favorite salsa.
This next recipe will give you a chance to cut even more fat and sodium from the diet of your child. Use reduced-fat mayonnaise and cheese and buy only lean, no salt added meat. You can always substitute turkey or chicken cold-cuts for the ham. This one would even make a great snack to serve at your next party.
2 slices thinly sliced ham
2 slices cheese
2 lettuce leaves
2 tbsp. salad dressing/mayonnaise
2 flour tortillas
Places ham slices on a work surface with long sides slightly overlapping. Repeat with cheese and lettuce, making a separate stack for each ingredient. Beginning with the long ends, roll ham slices up. Place the stack of cheese and roll up around ham to create the second layer. Repeat with the lettuce leaves creating the third layer. Spread dressing/mayo onto tortilla. Place the lettuce roll-up near the bottom edge of the tortilla and roll up tightly. Cut into slices and place in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate portions until ready to serve.
I can't emphasize how versatile these little Mexican breads are at my house. They usually stay fresher longer (if they last more than a day) than bread. You can make a meal from them using just about any kind of spread and a little meat and some veggies or veggies alone.
The last recipe I'll share with you is one you may want to consider as a breakfast item. You could actually prepare them ahead of time and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and have a fast, delicious meal for your little one as they head out the door.
Folded Cinnamon Wrap
1 flour tortilla
One-half tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
Butter or margarine to taste
Spread butter or margarine on one side of tortilla. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Fold in half then in half again to form a triangular shape. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or toast in a hot oven for 2-3 minutes.
I hope that you will find these uses of the flour tortilla interesting and useful. I also urge you to fill these wonderful alternatives to bread with whatever suits your tastes. You'd be surprised how good something like shredded carrots and raisins can taste when wrapped in this wonderful flat bread.
If you have any ideas for recipes, please pass them along. You can leave a message for me at the offices of the newspaper or by email at email@example.com.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!