This quick and easy assemble chicken wrap is a great way to use leftover chicken and a satisfying way to increase your intake of heart-healthy vegetables. It’s also perfect for picnic and lunches.
Various research has shown that an adequate daily intake of vegetables (and fruits) can help prevent the development of chronic illnesses, including heart disease. This recipe makes good use of heart-healthy vegetables, which includes:
Carrots are rich in vitamins A, C and K, which are essential nutrients that are good to the heart. Vitamin A helps combat heart disease by preventing the harmful thickening of ventricular walls. Vitamin K prevents excessive bleeding and spontaneous blood clotting. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, helps prevent blood vessel damage and the hardening of arteries.
Research has shown that capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, helps lower blood pressure, reduces cholesterol levels and lowers the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form. Capsaicin also blocks the action of a gene that makes arteries contract, restricting the flow of blood to the heart and other organs.
Celery is an excellent food source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese. However, its potent antioxidant capacity stems from its high phenolic antioxidant content, which has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. This antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support helps fight oxidative stress and inflammation in the blood stream, which are critical in the development of cardio vascular diseases.
Rutabaga is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. One cup of this root vegetable gives you 53% of the recommended daily value. Vitamin C provides antioxidant and immune system-supporting functions that help ward off free radical damage in cells. Vitamin C is also essential in the production of collagen, which is vital in the maintenance of healthy blood vessels.
Spinach is an excellent source of antioxidants and soluble fiber, nutrients that help prevent heart disease. Spinach also helps lower homocysteine levels as it contains high amounts of folate. Homocysteine is an amino acid which you get from eating meat. High levels of this amino acid are associated with the development of heart and blood vessel disease.
- ¾ ounces chicken breast
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup low-calorie mayonnaise
- 2 whole chipotle peppers
- 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- ½ cup yellow onion, diced
- ½ cup rutabaga, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces spinach, cut into strips
- 2 12-inch whole-grain tortillas
- Preheat oven to 375°F or start grill. Roast or grill chicken breast for 10 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and dice chicken after cooling. You can also use rotisserie or leftover chicken if you have it.
- Puree the chipotle peppers, vinegar and mayonnaise in a blender. Then combine all ingredients in a large bowl, except spinach and tortillas.
- Put 2 ounces of spinach and half of the vegetable mixture in each tortilla and wrap.
- Cut each wrap in half. Serve.