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Collegiette Eats: Tropical Swiss Chard Wraps

Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you. 

Breakfast

Yesterday morning, I finally perfected banana “nice” cream. Who says you can’t have ice cream for breakfast – especially if it’s just made from bananas? It’s a childhood dream come true! 

After viewing a bunch of luscious instagrams of banana ice cream, I realized that I could get a creamier consistency if I blended the frozen banana for longer and in a batch made from more than just one banana. So, I blended together two frozen bananas for about 45 seconds to a minute, stopping to scrape down the sides and stir as needed. I also added a tablespoon of PB2 (powdered peanut butter) and a few sprinkles of cinnamon to the mix. When it was done, I scooped it into a plastic wine glass, because what else is a collegiette supposed to do when all the dishes are dirty? I topped it with a little more cinnamon, and after the first few glorious bites, I ended up adding a spoonful of peanut butter as well. 

Look at how thick and creamy it looks! If you didn’t know better, you might even mistake it for real fro-yo or ice cream. The taste will fool you, too. The creaminess reminded me a little bit of Edy’s Slow Churned ice cream, which is what my parents always buy at home. I was amazed by how delicious of a breakfast this was – the cinnamon-and-peanut-butter combo was spot-on. I didn’t even miss my oatmeal. 

Lunch

I knew I was going to have a super-rushed lunch break yesterday because I had back-to-back group meetings, so on Tuesday night I prepared an overnight oat parfait that I could grab and take on the go for yesterday’s lunch. Like the last time I made this, the jar was filled with layers of overnight oats, Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and strawberry chia seed jam. I also brought a Tupperware container of mixed berries, orange segments and grapefruit segments to enjoy on the side. 

Between ice cream for breakfast and this for lunch, it was like I was eating dessert all day. But really, I was filling up on protein (peanut butter and Greek yogurt), healthy fats (peanut butter and chia seeds), fiber (oats and fruit) and vitamins and antioxidants (more fruit). That’s the beauty of healthy sweets! 

Dinner

For dinner, I made Swiss chard wraps. I’ve seen Swiss chard leaves used as a roll-up for all kinds of fillings, so I decided to experiment with two of my own creations, which were both tropical-inspired. One wrap was filled with pineapple salsa from Whole Foods, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes and a fried egg. I’ve seen fried egg mixed with tropical coleslaw at a Cuban-inspired restaurant in Ann Arbor (Frita Batidos), so I decided to try it. My yolk didn’t turn out as runny as I would have liked, but it was still a tasty combo. I liked the other wrap a little more though, which was filled with pineapple salsa, mashed avocado, mango slices and grilled shrimp. Read about how I make grilled shrimp here – it’s so easy. Instead of the basil and garlic seasoning that I used in that post, I used fresh cilantro and a few squirts of lime juice to go with the tropical vibe. The shrimp tasted so fresh and juicy, and it mixed so well with the mango and avocado. On one of the warmest days of this dreadful, never-ending winter, I really felt like I was living it up in paradise while eating these wraps. 

Since they are large and sturdy, Swiss chard leaves make for a perfect healthy alternative to bread and tortillas. Just layer your ingredients in the middle and then wrap it up like a burrito or a sushi roll. Experiment with whatever fillings you like. I’ve seen standard turkey and hummus wraps and more wild ones like banana and peanut butter and vegan taco versions. You have the freedom to go crazy – just make sure to share your creation in a comment below! 

Sammie is a student at the University of Michigan where she is pursuing a BBA. A foodie since birth, she enjoys cooking, eating, smelling, looking at, photographing, reading about, and playing with any and all types of food. Her idolization of culinary delights is complemented by her active spirit- she enjoys running, swimming, barre classes, and even spontaneous bursts of interpretative dance if the mood strikes her. She has completed two triathlons and a half-marathon and plans to tackle more races in the future. She also dreams of traveling the globe, saving the world, and marrying James and/or Dave Franco. 
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