Scrambled Egg w/ Peppers and Onions, Hash Brown & Bacon Breakfast Wrap

Back in the day, I used to occasionally order a McDonald’s Sausage Burrito before heading into work.  It was 300 calories worth of egg, sausage, peppers and cheese on a white tortilla. Now that’s the calories for 1 sandwich (which is awfully small might I add). So because of its size I would typically order 2, plus a side of hash browns. The sandwiches were “filling” in the moment, but 2 or so hours later I felt hungry again.
These days I create healthier alternatives to breakfast items at home (which I have also been known to eat as a lunch). The sandwiches can be eaten when prepared and/or even brought out with me on the go.  The greatest part is they’re filling, healthier and I know exactly what’s in it.
These wraps are made on Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas. The filling is made with ½ cup fat free egg substitute (Egg Beaters) tossed with diced onion and green pepper, 2/3 cup Simply Potatoes Diced Potatoes, and 1 ½ slices of bacon.  Topped off with sriracha for an added bit of spice/flavor.
The entire meal (both tortillas) are only 7 points plus. Not bad for a filling and delicious meal!

McDonald’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap

I was awarded a Klout perk to try the new McDonald’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap. I was interested in trying it because I’ve tried the Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken McWrap and found I quite enjoyed that one. I figured with “southwest” in the title, it was going to be spicy.
The McWraps come in both grilled and crispy (fried). I always opt for the grilled version because I just find that to be more satisfying. The grilled sandwich itself is described as “Grilled chicken breast with cilantro lime glaze, crunchy tortilla strips, fresh spring greens, sliced tomato, shredded cheddar jack cheese, and a spicy, creamy habanero ranch sauce — wrapped up in a soft, warm flour tortilla.” Upon ordering my McWrap I opted to order it without cheese and tortilla strips because it was just a personal preference.
Bringing my sandwich home I unwrapped it and was anticipating it to be a little spicy … after all McDonald’s slogan on their nutrition page for the sandwich says “add a little spice to your day.” Now, I’m not a wimp when it comes to spice – I can pretty much handle my own.  I took one bite and it was okay, but rather plain because the sauce wasn’t on that part. I took another bite and whoooooo-weeee! It was spicy. I took another bite and my mouth was on fire.  After taking a fourth bite my nose was running, my mouth was in a blaze (I felt like I could breathe fire), and I was just overall uncomfortable. McDonald’s calls this sandwich spicy? This sandwich takes that statement to a WHOLEnew level. In fact this should come with a warning because this is not for the faint of heart … nor is it for those who, like me, enjoy a pretty moderate level of spice in their food.  It was too spicy to be enjoyable, let alone palatable.
One day while out with my mother she mentioned something about the new McWrap.  She’s not a spice lover, so I told her to not even bother. I actually told her, I feel this sandwich could be fed to people on Fear Factor – except those folks would have to eat 5+ of these before their head blew off their shoulders from all the internal “steam”.
The grilled southwest McWrap as is without any substitutions is 520 calories or 14 points plus values.
The grilled southwest McWrap as I ordered it without cheese and tortilla strips is 430 calories or 11 points plus values.
If you wanted to order it without cheese but with the tortilla strips it would be 470 calories or 12 points plus values.
I can’t say I’d ever order this again … in fact, I’ll stay as far away from it as I can.
Have you given the new Southwest McWrap a shot? If so, how’d it fare on your taste buds?

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Homemade Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches

Chicken shawarma sandwiches are one of my favorite Lebanese dishes. I enjoy them so much that I purchase the shawarma seasoning at my local Lebanese store and make them at home. Although my shawarma sandwiches are slightly different than a shawarma you’d get at a restaurant.
Incase you’re not familiar with shawarma it’s an Arabic dish that consists of either chicken, lamb, beef, turkey or veal that has been seasoned with spices and grilled or “roasted” on a spit. If cooked on a rotating spit, the meat is trimmed off and added to your sandwich. I’ve had shawarma that way while in NYC, but back at home I’ve always had it grilled or cooked on a hot top. The sandwiches are usually encased in pita bread.
Shawarma can be served up in a number of ways – really depending on where you get the sandwich from.  It can be served with tabbouleh, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, tahini, hummus, pickled turnips, pickle, garlic mayonnaise, hot sauce, etc.
Making the dish at home, I clean and cut up my chicken into small chunks. I then make my shawarma seasoning, which is mixed with water.  The directions call to marinate the meat and grill up after marinating, but I pour the marinade over the chicken, add in tomato, garlic and onion and I bake it off in the oven for roughly 30-40 minutes.  After it’s cooled for about 5 minutes, I add in a few tablespoons of hummus to help thicken the “sauce”.  I serve the chicken, tomato and onion mixture on pita bread, with lettuce, red onion, and tabbouleh.
It’s completely delicious, filling and it’s a nice ode to a classic sandwich.  The whole sandwich pictured is only 9 points plus values. Worth it? You betcha!
Do you make your own version of a classic sandwich at home?

Ole Mexican Xtreme Wellness! High Fiber Low Carb Tortilla Wraps

I picked up a pack of the Ole Mexican Xtreme Wellness! High Fiber Low Carb Tortilla Wrapsfrom one of my local grocery stores because I’m always in the market for a tortilla that’s point friendly. I’ve tried the Joseph’s brand and enjoy those and have tried the Trader Joe’s variety, but the Ole Mexican brand has to be the largest tortilla (diameter wise) for the least amount of calories/points.
The tortillas are simply a wheat tortilla that’s higher in fiber and low in carbs. They’re pretty soft and stay pretty soft in the package.  I’ve made turkey wraps and pastrami wraps on them and I’ve even used them as side to a salad to help scoop up some of the lettuce. They’re also great to use to make egg & bacon or egg & sausage wraps for breakfast.  I enjoy the taste of these, it’s not an overwhelming wheat flavor – but I do find these tortillas are satisfying but they’re not as filling as other tortillas I’ve tried.
Each tortilla is 90 calories, which is 1 points plus value, whereas two tortillas are 3 points plus each. They can be relatively pricey depending on your store, but the 2 local stores that carry them, sell them for right under the $5 price tag – which I admit is expensive. I can pick up the Joseph’s tortillas for under $2.
What is your favorite brand of tortillas on the market?

Chicken Philly Cheese “Steaks”

I make homemade steak and cheese often, but I was in the mood for a different twist on a classic.  I threw out the idea of chicken philly cheese steaks and my boyfriend was on board as long as the meat was sans cheese.  That’s a doable request, plus it’s the way I prefer my homemade sandwiches, so off and prepping we went.
These turned out quite delicious and were enjoyed for a couple days.  I wrapped my sandwich up in a large pita bread from a local Lebanese bakery in town.  I tend to prefer my wraps that way because one of my all time favorite sandwiches is a steak and cheese salad – which is a steak and cheese, on top of a bed of salad, rolled up into a pita.
My large bread was 4 points plus values, my slice of fat free American was 1 points plus values, and my meat mixture was 3 points plus values (I weigh out the meat per ounces and then sprinkle over the onions, peppers and mushrooms).  I layered my chicken over a bed of salad and then topped with some reduced sugar ketchup.
I cooked the vegetables in the microwave with seasonings to get the consistency I was looking for.  I cook my onions and peppers together and cook the mushrooms in their own container (because in my family, mushrooms aren’t a favorite by all).
Here’s how I made the chicken philly “steaks”:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, trimmed of fat, sliced into strips
  • 1 large red and green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 small package sliced mushroom
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon, Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon, McCormick Steak Seasoning
Toss chicken with minced garlic and McCormick steak seasoning, a splash of pepper and salt.
Spritz a pan with non-stick cooking spray and drizzle in 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Heat on medium high until pan is hot.  Add in raw chicken and cook on one side then turn over to cook evenly on the other.
Add sliced peppers and onions to a microwave safe bowl. Add in a sprinkle of black pepper, salt and half of the Mrs. Dash seasoning and drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of water.  Cover with a loose microwave safe cover and cook for 3 minutes, stirring when done. Place back into the microwave for an additional 2 minutes until onions and peppers are soft but still holds shape.
Add mushrooms to a microwave safe bowl; add in a sprinkle of black pepper, salt and half of the Mrs. Dash seasoning and 2 tablespoons of water.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring when done, returning back to the microwave until mushrooms are softened.
When vegetables are done, drain excess water from bowls and toss vegetables with the cooked chicken.
Assemble sandwiches – weighing out your portion of chicken (sans vegetables).  Add in veggies after measuring out ounces of protein.
Please adjust your points plus values for the dish based on the ounces of chicken you are eating, as well as the bread of choice and your choice of cheese!

Homemade Steak & Cheese Pita Wraps

One of my Friday (or Saturday) night favorites pre-Weight Watchers was a steak and cheese with salad pita wrap from a local Lebanese restaurant. My uncle used to man the grill, so he always made sure they were on point with their deliciousness.  The sandwich came with steak and cheese, topped with tossed salad and the restaurants Lebanese dressing – it was then rolled up in the double layer of pita bread. It was undoubtedly delicious and completely filled with fat and unnecessary calories – especially to consume after 9pm at night (sometimes around midnight…)  We won’t even get into the side of steak fries I’d pick up to go ALONG with the sandwich.
I’ve decided that giving up some of my favorite foods just is not in the books for me.  BUT making them at home, in a healthier alternative totally IS in the books for me!  If I can make a dish at home – replicating a dish I enjoyed pre-Weight Watchers I do that as much as I can because it keeps me honest with my journey and it also allows me insight into what exactly I am consuming.
My local grocery store sells shaved steak. I typically pick up a couple packs when they go on sale (under $4/lb) and we make homemade steak and cheese (cheese on the side that is).  The meat is for the most part, relatively lean, but since there is some fat present (it typically renders off while cooking) I apply the points plus values of a t-bone sirloin to my serving of meat.
To cook the meat I spritz a little cooking spray in the bottom of the pan and the meat and then simply season it with a little black pepper and a pinch of salt.  The minimal seasoning is truly all you need because you want the natural flavor of the meat to shine through.
Typically, at home we always add peppers and onions to the meat mixture to bring in some moisture and an added level of flavoring.  The vegetables can be cooked stovetop OR they can be steamed in the microwave. Both ways work wonderfully. My vegetables I season – I like to add Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb to it with some black pepper and a pinch of salt.  When the vegetables are done, I add them in with the meat.  If you’re a mushroom fan I would suggest adding mushrooms to the vegetable mixture – it gives it a great flavor.  Since my boyfriend doesn’t like mushrooms if I want them, I cook them separately.
My sandwich consisted of 3 ounces of beef, 1 slice of fat free American cheese, large fresh pita bread and a handful of tossed salad.  The whole wrap was 12 points plus and TOTALLY worth it.  I’m a ketchup girl with steak sandwiches, so I added a little ketchup to my sandwich before rolling it shut.
Who knew one could make a guilt driven delightful sandwich at home for no guilt and added taste? This girl did!
What is one of your favorite dishes to make at home in homage of a dish you previously enjoyed?

McDonald’s Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap

I received a Klout perk to try out the new Premium McWrap’s which are available at McDonald’s.  Before being invited into the perk I had heard about the McWrap’s because they had pretty decent Weight Watchers Points Plus values associated with them (the grilled variety at least).  Granted, when making things at home you can make them for less (points) but I admit when going out to eat sometimes finding point friendly foods can be a pain in the keester.
Prior to the McWrap’s I used to order the grilled chicken sandwich, without mayo.  It’s nice to know there is now a new option, which is a lot tastier in my opinion that I can now choose from.
According to McDonald’s the Sweet Chili Chicken wrap is: The unique mix of juicy, grilled chicken breast filet, crisp cucumber slices, spring greens, shredded lettuce, all drizzled with sweet chili and creamy garlic sauce, wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
The fact that there are actual VEGETABLES in a McDonald’s food item purely excites me!  Between the vegetables, the grilled chicken and the delicious blend of sauce (Sweet chili with a creamy garlic sauce – which reminds me of ranch) is just a straight up homerun.  The sandwich was delicious (granted it took me 2 trips to actually GET the correct sandwich – originally they assumed my grilled request meant crispy).  The grilled variety, as is, without substitutions is 9 points plus and PURE deliciousness.  It’s actually quite massive and VERY filling for something you’d get at McDonald’s.
There are 2 other varieties available – both of which come in grilled or crispy (fried) varieties.  The other two flavor choices are a Premium McWrap Chicken & Bacon and a Premium McWrap Chicken & Ranch.  I have not tried either of these varieties but I typically wouldn’t order either of those anyway because I’m more of a sweet chili fan on chicken sandwiches.
Nonetheless – great new addition, McDonald’s!  And bravo for it being relatively health conscious!
Have you tried any of the new McDonald’s Premium McWraps?  If so, which one is your favorite?