Do you (or did you) like chicken?
I did. It was my favourite.
It's been about 3 years since I last had any. When I decided to adopt a plant-based lifestyle the meat alternatives I opted for were beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy products like tofu. These are easily still the staples for me. I never paid attention to the mock-meat products made from textured vegetable protein.
... that is, until I first visited Robin in the Netherlands.
Robin was a full-time meat eater when we met in Thailand. What I really respected was how open-minded he was to the fact that I wouldn't eat meat. He asked inquisitive questions and in the following days really showed an interest in trying to eat less meat. As much as I appreciated the attempt, I thought it was because he fancied me so he was just showing off. It was easy to be plant-based in Asia - tofu and tempeh were plentiful!
I was curious to see how it would play out for him once he returned to Europe...
Fast forward to the present and he's still plant-based. I couldn't be more proud.
One of the reasons for this, I would say, is that he substituted meat products for mock-meats. The grocery stores offer many options: ground beef, chicken strips, meatballs, burger patties... impressive stuff.
Lately I've been playing around with them in recipes to see how they'd taste.
To make this short: it was eerie.
Eating the mock-chicken in this wrap felt so close to the real thing that I could barely bring myself to take another bite at times. But then again, I thought my tastebuds were so far removed from eating animal products that I wasn't a reliable person to be judging how closely it resembled real chicken.
... and then Robin tried it. He was confused. How could it not be chicken?
It tasted like it.
Was stringy like it.
Was chewy like it.
Was it a trick?
I've grown too accustomed to eating grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy products. I'll always prefer these whole food sources to plant-based mock-meats. Because to be honest: the mock stuff throws me off.
So then why write about it?
Why make a recipe on it?
Because this deserves a celebration.
One of the main reasons people don't adopt a plant-based lifestyle is the argument, "I like how it (meat, beef, chicken, etc.) tastes."
No arguing that.
Everyone is entitled to like what they like.
.. but now the argument seems less valid. You can make and enjoy a product that feels and tastes so much like chicken that there's no justification for needing to get it from an animal.
And the prices are comparable! Here in the Netherlands, anyway.
Even if the prices are a little more, depending on where you live, I think voting with your wallet is well worth it.
You're paying not only for the welfare of other living things, but also our planet and your health.
Kudos to the food engineers that make this stuff.
Now onto make these wraps!
Let's break it down into some simple steps:
Step 1: cut the veggies into thin strips - here I used red bell peppers, red onions, zucchini and eggplant.
Step 2: toss in oil and then add seasoning.
Step 3: roast in the oven.
Step 4: while the veggies roast, prepare the 'chicken' by cooking it on a pan with soy sauce and paprika powder.
Step 5: add spreads to the wrap - here I used this turmeric hummus and this muhammara recipe (roasted red bell pepper and walnut spread). You can use any hummus or spreads you like.
Step 6: add on the raw veggies - here I've added tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and chickpeas.
Step 7: add roasted veggies and mock chicken.
Step 8: top with spinach or your choice of greens.
Step 9: roll...
Step 10: ... eat!
Easy lunch. Easy dinner.
Added bonus: this recipe makes loads of roasted veggies.
Make it once and you have meals set for the next couple days.
Roasted Mediterranean Veggie 'Chicken' Wraps with Turmeric Hummus
▸ ▹ Vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 40 min
INGREDIENTS: Roasted Veggies
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1 cm strips
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1 cm strips
2 medium red bell peppers, sliced into 1 cm strips
1 red onion, sliced into 1 cm strips
1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tsp (5 g) garlic powder
1 tsp (5 g) onion powder
1 tsp (5 g) oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
INGREDIENTS: Mock Chicken
200 g mock chicken (textured vegetable protein)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable or olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 g) paprika powder
1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
INGREDIENTS: Wrap Fillings
4 whole grain wraps (GF if desired)
3/4 cup (185 g) roasted lemon & turmeric hummus (or other hummus)
1/2 cup (125 g) muhammara, or sub for another spread or sweet chili sauce (optional)
1/2 cup (80 g) cooked chickpeas (optional)
1 medium roma tomato, diced
1/4 long English cucumber, diced
12 green olives, diced
1 cup (30 g) spinach
Preheat the oven to 400 F (205C).
In a large bowl gently toss the vegetables in olive oil, then sprinkle on the spices and toss until evenly distributed. Place on a large roasting pan and cook for about 30 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Stir every 10 minutes to avoid burning and to ensure even cooking.
While the veggies roast, sauté the mock chicken with oil on a medium pan on high heat for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the soy sauce, paprika powder and cumin and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes. Taste test and add more soy sauce, spices, salt or pepper to your liking. Set aside.
Distribute the wrap filling ingredients evenly over the wraps. Add the desired amount of mock chicken and roasted veggies and roll the wraps. Grill or microwave the wraps if desired to heat, or enjoy as is.
add your own desired veggie fillings such as mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, or avocados.
change up the spices with the roasted veggies by trying dried rosemary, ground cumin, paprika powder, dried basil, or Italian seasoning.
vary the type of hummus - you can try roasted bell pepper, roasted garlic, avocado, basil, or beetroot hummus. The options are endless!
don’t have mock chicken? Substitute for plant-based falafels or enjoy them simply with hummus!
Speed-it-up: using store-bought hummus as opposed to the homemade variety will speed this recipe up.
Leftovers: you will likely have leftover roasted veggies left. These can be incorporated into future sandwiches, wraps, salads, or soups. Make this wrap again the next day and your meal will be ready in 5 minutes!
Storage: keep leftover roasted veggies in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Did You Try This Recipe?
Let me know how it went! Comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #pickuplimes