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Wrapped In Brain (not really)

Not going to lie, I'm not very well, but right now I've got a moment of spoon, I hope, and I wanted to post something before that goes by again. Here we go.

For those into TV (ahaha), you may know that Speedy's Cafe, lately prominently featured in a certain detective series, held a twitter contest. You were supposed to submit your suggestions for their new themed wrap. I'm afraid the winning entry wasn't quite to my taste - meat, poultry, cheese are all a tad problematic for me, now and then. ^^" Mostly the cheese.

Needless to say that my creation didn't even make it into the closer selection - which I had anticipated, really, so no bad feelings. ;) However, I'd like to prove that it's neither that costly nor takes that long to make, if you know how to. In fact, I had almost all ingredients at home, and I'm not set up to buy luxury food (okay, the blueberries... but blueberries are my favourite OTL). Unless you live in central Tokyo, but that's a different story.
If you buy all of these ingredients from scratch, they'll last you for a good number of servings. Don't get ideas though, this won't do if you invite that little uncle with the mightily hairy feet. Tell me in case he still has the number of that dragon pal, will ye? Ta.

If you use storebought wraps, this won't take longer than 15-20 min to prepare, 10 if you've had a little practise already, 2 if you prepare all ingredients in the morning and simply assemble and re-heat the wraps when you need them. 30 if you keep getting distracted by guinea pigs who claim their lettuce back. You're warned.

- vegetarian
- dairy-free
- I think it's gluten-free, but please do correct me if I'm wrong

Ingredients (makes 2-3 detectives wraps):

☆ 2-3 tortilla wraps (I made buckwheat pancakes instead, milk substituted with water)
☆ 4-9 leaves of Romaine lettuce (2-3 per wrap, depending on size)

☆ for the chickpea sauce (1-2 tbsp per wrap):
     ~ handful of chickpeas (see recipe)
     ~ tbsp of olive oil
     ~ 1 clove of garlic
     ~ 1/2 a tsp of cumin
     ~ pinch of chili powder

☆ for the tamagoyaki (about 3 slices per wrap):
     ~ 2 eggs
     ~ 1.5 tbsp of sugar
     ~ pinch of salt
     ~ wee leetle bit of pepper
     ~ 1/2 tsp of soy sauce

☆ 2 walnuts, opened and broken into little pieces
☆ 1-2 tbsp of cranberry sauce (or jam)
☆ appr. 5-7 blueberries per wrap

You may want to prepare the tamagoyaki first. Here's a more elaborate instruction, but you can just as well mix all ingredients and make scrambled egg out of them. Just make sure to get nicely sweet lumps of cooked egg that either fit into a wrap, or that you can cut up without producing eggish confetti. Easy as that.
Prepare this in the morning, keeps well in a fridge all day - make sure the kids don't steal it though (that includes me).
If you don't like sweet eggs, just go for ordinary, salty, scrambled egg. Salt keeps the brain going

For the chickpeas, heat some olive oil. I used the same little frying pan I had had for the eggs first, saves you time. When the oil is hot, half the clove of garlic and let it roast in the oil for a moment, throw the garlic out once it turns black (which usually happens just when you're not looking, so that someone nosy can remark the "awful burnt smell").
Turn down the heat and add the cumin, after a moment the chili, and then the chickpeas. Cook with a little water, I used about half a teacup full because I only had a handful of chickpeas, too. You don't need a lot for two wraps. I thickened the sauce with a bit of buckwheat flour, but you can use wheat. Buckwheat is a tad healthier, and gluten-free, but also comes with a strong flavour of its own. If that's okay with you - you have the cumin to balance it out - I say go for it.

A word on chickpeas:
The easiest and chickest method is to buy them canned. Pop 'em inna pan, pot, or potty, done they are. If you use them a lot though, buying dry chickpeas will save you a lot of money, as such a bagful lasts ages. A little more inconvenient as they have to soak in water (and I've read about a tsp of baking soda here and there, but it works without, too) for a full night at least, and should be cooked well after that. On the other hand, you can always just take out the amount you need and store the rest for years, which wouldn't work with the can.
Depending on the recipe, there's sometimes a call for dry chickpeas, sometimes for canned. Here's the weight conversion:
1 part of DRY chickpeas becomes 2 - 2.5 the amount when cooked.

That was easy, right? :)

Here's my assembled wrap for all assembled sleuths:

☆ buckwheat pancake, for protein (BRAINZ~~! =D)
☆ Romaine lettuce, because Eisberg lettuce (which looks like a brain inside) has little to no nutritional value
☆ chickpeas, for protein and energy
☆ olive oil and garlic for the heart - and if it's that of a child
☆ strong spices to get over the smoking habit (not mine XD)
☆ tamagoyaki, for a tiny sugar rush and mo-ar protein (which also helps the hair grow *snorfles*)
☆ cranberry sauce, for some red liquid and oh DEAR are they fruity
☆ blueberries, as they're highest in those little helpers that stop you from aging (The Sleuth doesn't age~)
☆ walnuts, as they're also very healthy and look like tiny brains

I used a lot of things that might sound clashing, but once you bite it, you understand how it works - quite like a deduction.
Of course, there's the brain and health thing. Body needs to function. But there's also childlike joy and mischief, a bit of colourful fruitiness that's both sweet and biting, often careless.
The foreign influences and spices just need to be there, as the good sleuth is a creature of broad mind, ideally far-travelled to enhance their studies. Mostly a little extreme here and there, and never afraid of a good new adventure.
All in all, you'll get an eccentric package unlikely to be forgotten easily, and it'll with all that protein it's going to keep you filled at least half a day - or however long it takes you to solve your puzzles.

Last but not least, if you'll excuse the public dissection of perfectly good food - The Wrap On The Slab:

I think the case has been solved to my satisfaction.

  • Current Mood: exhausted no spoons left
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Well, this certainly looks delicious to me, I'd love to try it!! I'm sure the only reason this wasn't at least a finalist was because it was simply too unique, intricate, and subtle for the *normal* people running the contest. XD
It also looks stunning! So colorful.

Of course, as you say, this will not be at all easy to make here. You always manage to make me hungry with things so far out of my reach ;_;
Enjoy a bite for me!
Haha, thank you. XD;; But yeah, I was pretty sure that this was too "eccentric" (hate the word, but can't come up with something better right here and now). On the other hand, to me, that's what the character is all about. He's just been changed from a consulting- to an insulting detective here. =P So it's okay if most people don't like the wrap, that's in character. *lol*

I'm so sorry!! ;_; I still hope that some day we can share all the goodness.

Currently I'm enjoying the withdrawal symptoms from having run out of blueberries again. =P (which happens all the time)
That looks amazing. I know of a restaurant in Athens Georgia called "the Grit" that caters to vegan tastes. The only thing that they might have a problem with is the availability of blueberries.

I'm not sure about this Speedy Cafe place but I got cynical that your wrap was just too healthy for a restaurant. Do they cater to a truly healthy menu or is it just lip service like you see with McD's etc ?
I'm not strictly said living the vegan or vegetarian way, but I always appreciate a recipe that can be rendered to each taste, it's just more practical when you want to cook for all sorts of people (lots of food allergies included, too).

But yeah, they have to see what they can do, and as Speedy's is located in London, which is certainly not a cheap place, I can understand when some of these things aren't that easy to do. They know way better how to manage a café than me, right? ^^"
I've never been closer to London than Heathrow's, taking a forced break during one of my intercontinentals. XD;; But I can imagine that it's almost as pricey as Tokyo, though hopefully not as difficult concerning the placement of stores. So, really, no bad feelings at all. I found it rather amusing to write up this tl;dr post of my own, and have it for myself to share for free.
Mm, maybe I should have another look and place some edits, in case my post sounds unintentionally aggressive somewhere... do you think it does? O_o

They're not McD's for sure! *lol* I've heard a lot of good things about Speedy's, not to mention that the geek in me just HAS to love that place, and I'd definitely check them out should I ever get the chance.
Hmmm no I don't think it sounded aggressive at all. You made many points of winkies and statements of no hard feelings in there to be sure I think. But I'm a blunt person and not really a good judge from what I'm told.

My cynicism is from living in the US where healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food and restaurants that say they have healthy items have like 2 out of a menu of 30 heart cloggers. It wasn't from anything I read here.

I love recipes like this where seemingly uncooperative tastes are combined like say adding sweet fruit to salty foods. I think those are just sublime. So much flavor comes out with those combos. I mean seriously have you tried salty caramel, yummm. And for me if you add nuts to something it's bliss.

Can you not eat cheese? One of my favorite recipes is chicken meatballs made with Italian spices (oregano or basil is fine) feta cheese or blue cheese and walnuts. I was just thinking with blueberries added in they would be even better. I <3 blueberries toooo.

edited due to poor typing skills

Edited at 2012-03-07 07:40 pm (UTC)
Aha! It's lunchtime so this is perfect :=)

Mmm - soy sauce is not necessarily gluten free (has wheat in it - don't ask me why. i think that the naturally brewed type is usually more or less gluten free but anyone who is really sensitive to gluten should check).

Tamari should be gluten free but can also have wheat in it. Again it is best to check.

lovely stuff though - I do like your food posts :=)

A certain lady with a handbag has reached me, thank you. She is slightly scary!
I hope I didn't make you too hungry. XD;;

Oh dear! I didn't know that. :( Will edit that immediately! It's true, apparently some soy sauces contain wheat. Duh... I guess that in case I should cook for friends who are sensitive, I'll get something from an organic store. They usually have a lot of gluten-free stuff.

Hahaha, don't worry, that lady is actually very sweet inside. Though she has made a point in making sure that I won't devour all the sweet(s) inside a certain box at once, before her departure. ;P

Ugh, same here, but I don't eat out a lot. It's not that common here anyway, and where I had to move now is way below standards anyway. Junk food at best. Yuck. Yet I still find the prices outrageous, so that's another reason not to go.

I think sweet and salty goes together very well. Fruit has been added to savory dishes for ages, fried meat for example, but still people pull a face when the ingredients get exchanged a little. XD Quite funny.
No, I haven't tried salty caramel, but I add a little salt to almost every sweet dish I make. You won't taste it later, but it boosts the overall flavour, I think.
Nuts go well with everything! ^^

I hate cheese. XD;; I've never liked it. There are a few cheeses that are quite nice, and I used to love cream cheese, but finding stuff that's tasty these days - hard. Not to mention the lactose intolerance which wouldn't be too bad for hard, old cheese, but will definitely be a problem for soft, creamy cheese, unless I take my lactase pills (= fuss *lol*). Also, I have an awfully sensitive nose, and anything with a strong smell gets either washed or disposed of. XD