Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Veggie Cream Cheese Swirls (Part 1 of Vegetable Base)

This is great for summer lunches - cold, refreshing, delicious and healthy!

Garden Vegetable Base

1 medium head of broccoli (cut into small pieces)
2 or 3 green onions (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (diced thinly)
1 red or yellow bell pepper (diced thinly)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
3 large carrots (peeled and shredded)
3 cooked or baked chicken breasts (either shredded or cut into small pieces) (sometimes I use leftover baked chicken from the night before or sometimes, to save time, I buy chicken breasts that have already been baked)
1 bunch of cilantro (washed and chopped)
1/4 teaspoon ground hot chile pepper or cayenne (again - I prefer spicy food so I will add more than 1/2 teaspoon - but only add according to your taste)
NOTE:  Many times I will substitue tender young zucchini or yellow squash for the celery or I will add whatever is in season from the garden at that time.

Prepare everything as directed above.  In a large stainless steel or glass bowl - Stir all ingredients together by hand using a wooden spoon.  Divide the "vegetable base" into 3 equal parts.  Use 1/3 of vegetable base for the recipe below.
Note to Vegetarians:  Simply omit the chicken breasts

"Garden Vegetable Base" before dividing into thirds

Veggie Cream Cheese Swirls

1/3 of "Garden Vegetable Base"
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer)
4 large soft tortilla shells/wraps (I use wheat not corn)
1 package cream cheese cut into 4 equal chunks (softened to room temperature)
fresh greens from the garden, washed and drained (spinach, kale, lettuce, broccoli raab or baby pak choi/bok choy - whatever you prefer)

Stir the shredded cheese in with 1/3 Vegetable Base (from above).  Take 1 tortilla wrap and spread 1/4 of the cream cheese all over 1 side of the tortilla making sure to get close to the edge.  Place some of the vegetable shredded cheese mixture on one half of the tortilla (as shown below) and then place some of your garden fresh greens on top (again - see picture below).  Starting at the filled end simply roll up the tortilla as tight as possible without ripping the shell.  Continue filling the remaining 3 tortilla shells in the same manner.  Now cut into 1 1/2 inch slices and enjoy!!

Filled tortilla shell is ready to be rolled.

  Final filled tortilla cut into Veggie Swirls and ready to eat

Also great if you make this ahead of time and chill for a few hours in the fridge (may be stored in fridge for no more than 48 hours as the wrap can start to get a little soggy after that length of time).

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