August 21, 2013

Thai Lime Tuna Wraps with @TastyBite

You guys, my four years of college life were a culinary whirlwind of self-discovery. My first year, I went to community college and lived at home. I'd be the first one home, I'd be hungry, so I would make dinner. That was when I first really started to learn to cook.

My second year, I lived in an independently-owned student housing apartment building (yeah, it was complicated). The apartment was gorgeous, and had a nice, if small, kitchen. But there was really no grocery store nearby that I could find, so I'd go home on the weekend to shop for supplies. As you can imagine, this meant stuff that traveled well, stuff that wouldn't spoil or melt in the car ride back, and stuff that would last me a good long time. In other words, a lot of prepackaged foods, and a lot of trips to CostCo. Me being me, I managed to get pretty creative with what I had, as I got bored very quickly with the selection. That's when I learned to listen to my instincts when it came to cooking.

My third and fourth years, I rented an attic much closer to school, within walking distance of a small, though serviceable, grocery store. But I had no kitchen, just a dorm room fridge, a microwave, a coffee maker, and a George Foreman grill that my aunt bought me. The only sink I had was in the bathroom, and I didn't have a whole lot of storage space. Staples for me at that time were tortillas, shredded cheese, boil-in-a-bag rice, and peanut butter. Easy Mac made it's obligatory appearance, as well as whatever else I felt like buying that week. Usually tuna, sometimes cold cuts, a lot of veggie burgers and veggie nuggets. Once I bought corn dogs. Really, anything that I could get some mileage out of, I'd try at least once. I learned a lot about what one could do with a tortilla, an electric grill, and a lot of creativity.

It was around that time that I first discovered Tasty Bite. And let me tell you, their all natural, vegetarian stews were a life saver. They didn't need to be refrigerated, they didn't need to be cooked, they were healthier than most of my other options, and they were a nice change of pace, flavor-wise. I'd make a bag of boil-in-a-bag brown rice, mix in one of their stews-- my favorite was the Kashmir Spinach-- and I'd have dinner for the week. So when Tasty Bite contacted me and asked if I wanted some free samples, I didn't have to think twice.
Of course, this unexpected windfall made me nostalgic for for some of my culinary masterpieces from my college days. I made wraps like this constantly. Rice and protein (usually tuna, sometimes chopped up veggie burgers, occasionally even chili) and whatever veg I had on hand (usually cannibalized from a campus convenience store salad. They were massive and cheap), mixed with a little salad dressing or bbq sauce and some shredded cheese, wrapped in a tortilla, and toasted either on a skillet or a George Foreman grill. I called them quesarritos, because they were a bit like quesadillas, and almost entirely unlike burritos (50 nerd points if you get that reference). 

For these, I used Tasty Bite's Thai Lime Rice. The rice itself is soft and flavorful, without being overpowering. And ready in 90 seconds. No boiling in a bag required. I mixed in a can of tuna. Instead of salad dressing, I added lime juice and a drizzle of oil (I used olive oil, but sesame oil would be really good too), just to keep things from getting dry. Then I found a salad in the fridge that I picked out some peppers, onions, and broccoli from. Just like old times, except it didn't come from the C-Store. *sad face* Then I toasted it until it was golden.

True to it's origins as college food, this wrap is a breeze to put together, taking about 10 minutes total, using basic ingredients, and it's a pretty satisfying meal. It's also very easy to eat one-handed during a study session. The Thai Lime Rice gives it a nice depth of flavor that you wouldn't otherwise get, giving it a subtly exotic taste. It's like gourmet dorm food. Oh yeah.

Thai Lime Tuna Wraps
Yield: 4 wraps

1 pkg. Thai Lime Rice
1 can tuna, well drained
Juice from one lime
Vegetables of your choice
Approx. 1 tbsp olive or sesame oil
4 tortillas (burrito size)

Heat the rice according to package directions. Mix the rice with tuna, vegetables, and lime juice. Add the oil (just enough to keep it moist). Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Wrap the filling in the tortillas, burrito style, and toast a few minutes on either side, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Recipe by Kim
Disclaimer: I was provided with free samples from Tasty Bite. I was under no obligation to review, and receive no further compensation for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.