Wrapping It All Up!

Wraps are everywhere! They can be served hot or cold, sweet or savory. They can be casual or elegant and made to convey any type of cuisine. In fact, try to find a cuisine that does not include them! Soft tortillas, rice paper, edible plant leaves, pasta sheets, barely leavened breads (such as pita, lavash, or naan), seaweed, and even tofu skins can be used to 'transport' food.

First of all, remember that any traditional sandwich can be turned into a wrap. Simply choose your fillings, select your wrapper, and either roll or fold! For example, a hot barbecued tofu sandwich usually served on a bun can be made into a wrap. Just chop the tofu; roll it into a pita, lavash, or vegetable wrapper; and top with some barbecue sauce and a small amount of vegan coleslaw. Desserts can be made portable by creating a 'cone' with a tortilla, fruit wrap, or rice paper and filling it with chopped fruit, vegan yogurt, and a sprinkling of nuts and carob chips.

Keep in mind that wraps are not limited to acting as 'containers.' They can provide flavor and moisture as well. Banana, bamboo, lotus, grape, romaine, and cabbage leaves add a bit of flavor to fillings and can help to keep in moisture when wraps are steamed or baked. Crispy leaves, such as large spinach leaves, young chard leaves, and red cabbage leaves, provide color and texture to cold wraps.

Now, let's explore some popular options for wraps!


Dough is probably one of the most common wraps and holds ingredients as they are cooked or eaten.

  • Tortillas can be used for hot wraps, such as enchiladas, quesadillas, or burritos. They also work for cold wraps, such as fresh veggie tacos. Tortillas can be used as is, steamed, or fried.
  • Roll or fold ingredients into rice paper. Then, steam or refrigerate before eating.
  • For a bit of fusion dough wrapping, use pita bread, chapati or naan, lavash, or 6-inch pizza rounds.


Yuba, or tofu skin, makes a great soy-based wrap. Soymilk is heated to provide a pliable skin that is skimmed from the heated milk's surface and then dried. Yuba can be used to wrap hot or cold foods, and it works well with gluten-free menu items.

Most Asian markets stock yuba or have a supplier who can get it for you. If you have the patience, you can make your own yuba, but it is time consuming.


Compared to using other wrappers, working with edible rice paper does take a few extra steps:

  1. Prepare a clean surface for working with your rice paper. Fill a bowl with warm water. Dip each piece of rice paper into water for approximately 5-8 seconds, just until the rice paper is moistened.
  2. Lay rice paper flat and individually on the clean surface. Allow to sit for approximately 30 seconds to soak up the water. Don't let the rice paper sit beyond the moistened stage since it will become too soft to work with. For this reason, you'll want to dip only a few pieces of rice paper at a time so they don't become mushy.
  3. Place a thin layer of filling on the section closest to you. Roll the rice paper away from you, wrapping as tightly as you desire.
  4. Serve your rice paper roll immediately, steam it, or refrigerate it to serve later.

Like yuba, edible rice paper works well with gluten-free menu items.


Wraps do not always need to be edible. Parchment paper and aluminum foil can be used to roll ingredients for one-hand eating!

For example, try a 'pizza cone.' Place a 6-inch baked pizza crust on a circle of parchment paper or foil large enough to entirely wrap the cone. Shape the paper and the crust into a tight cone. Add a savory marinara sauce, chopped vegetables, soy crumbles (such as vegan bacon, sausage, or ground round), and shredded vegan cheese into the cone. Completely wrap and prop in a deepsided pan. Bake (with foil) or microwave or bake (with parchment) until heated. Serve hot or cold.


Mix and match the wrappers, dressings, and fillings from the lists below.


  • 8-inch flour, whole-wheat, tomato, spinach, or blue corn tortillas
  • 8-inch lengths of lavash
  • 6-inch pita bread
  • 6-inch baked pizza crusts
  • 8-inch nori (dried seaweed), laver, dulse, or sea lettuce
  • 8-inch sheets of edible rice papers
  • 8-inch lengths of yuba
  • Large, cleaned romaine leaves
  • Large, tender, cleaned green cabbage leaves

Where to Get Unique Wrappers

  • Tumaro's Gourmet Tortillas www.tumaros.com offers traditional flour tortillas, flavored tortillas, and soy-based tortillas. The soy-based tortillas are available in flavors and with added flaxseed. Tumaro's makes packages for food service, convenient when prepping in volume.
  • Origami Foods www.origamifoods.com produces flavored wraps that are all fruit- or vegetable-based, with no gluten or added sugar.
    • Their fruit wraps include fruit rolls, which can be eaten as a snack or used as a wrap for a dessert.
    • Fruit straws can be used as an edible straw to flavor soy, rice, or almond milk.
    • Fruit cones and snack sacks can be filled (rather than rolled) with dessert ingredients, including chopped fresh, frozen, or dried fruit; nut butters; granola; and chocolate or carob chips.
      • For a really decadent dessert, whip hazelnut butter with veggie cream cheese and coat a fruit cone. Add chopped fresh or frozen strawberries, blackberries, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips, and serve!
    • Origami's vegetable wraps and snack sacks are offered as an alternate or addition to traditional nori sushi wrappers. Use them to add color and texture to a plate of veggie sushi or to an appetizer platter of wrapped finger foods.
  • Maine Coast Sea Vegetables www.seaveg.com sells several organic varieties of sea vegetables, including some that can be used as wraps, such as dulse, kelp, sea lettuce, and laver. Each sea vegetable has its own color, flavor, and texture.

    On the days that wraps are not on the menu, sea veggies can be chopped and added to soups, salads, salad dressings, pastas, grains, and stews for flavor and texture.


  • Vegan cream cheese, flavored with dried herb blends; chopped scallions, bell peppers, chilies, or olives; or salsa
  • Vegan sour cream, flavored with spinach or beet purée, chopped pimentos, minced olives, salsa, or hummus
  • Vegan mayonnaise, flavored with chopped pickles, pickle relish, olives, capers, minced carrots, minced cucumbers, tomato paste, or vegetable purées
  • Salad dressings, such as vegan ranch, Thousand Island, Dijon, vinaigrette, etc.
  • Hummus
  • Mashed or puréed beans, flavored with fresh or dried herb blends; chopped white, red, or yellow onions; garlic; or nutritional yeast


  • Diced smoked tofu, mixed with minced green and red bell peppers
  • Diced Tofurky, mixed with nutritional yeast, chopped tomatoes, and sweet onions
  • Diced extra firm tofu, mixed with barbecue sauce and tossed with vegan coleslaw
  • Diced extra firm tofu, mixed with nutritional yeast, sliced almonds, diced apples, celery, and grapes
  • Seasoned veggie ground round, mixed with salsa
  • Diced vegan soy bacon strips, shredded romaine, and chopped tomatoes
  • Diced veggie deli slices, shredded vegan cheese, diced tomatoes, and shredded fresh spinach
  • Cooked, chilled white beans; diced or shredded vegan mozzarella or seasoned, crumbled extra firm tofu; and sliced black olives
  • Cooked, chilled black beans, seasoned with cumin and tossed with diced green and red peppers, sweet onions, and a small amount of chopped vegan bacon bits
  • Flavored rice or grains - such as Spanish rice or rice pilaf, barley, quinoa, or amaranth - tossed with chopped seasonal vegetables
  • Vegan cream cheese, mixed with chopped carrots, onions, radishes, and parsley and seasoned with a small amount of chopped nori, dulse, or tamari


Mix and match the wrappers, dressings, and fillings from the lists below.


  • 8-inch flour, whole-wheat, multi-grain, or flavored tortillas (Check with your supplier since we have seen blueberry- and strawberry-flavored tortillas.)
  • 8-inch lengths of lavash
  • 6-inch pita bread
  • 6-inch baked pizza crusts
  • 8-inch fruit wraps or Origami snack sacks
  • 8-inch vegan crêpes
  • 8-inch sheets of edible rice papers
  • 8-inch lengths of yuba
  • 8-inch cooked vegan pancakes


  • Vegan sour cream or cream cheese, flavored with fresh or thawed frozen strawberries, blueberries, and/or raspberries; minced mangos; or crushed pineapple
  • Nut butters, used on their own or whipped with vegan sour cream or cream cheese
  • Whipped silken tofu, sweetened with maple syrup, melted chocolate or carob chips, or frozen orange juice concentrate

Wrapping on the Bar!

Consider setting up a wraps bar by placing different types of wrap ingredients on your existing salad bar. In addition to your usual salad bar items, include some of the following:

  • Ethnic ingredients, such as salsas, raita made with plain soy yogurt, and chutneys
  • Shredded vegan cheese
  • Hummus
  • Several types of cooked beans flavored with different spice blends
  • Chopped nuts, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds


  • Chopped fresh or frozen mixed fruit and dried fruit, combined with nuts or shredded coconut
  • Apple, cherry, or blueberry pie filling
  • Fresh apple slices, tossed with a small amount of apricot or peach nectar and seasoned with cinnamon
  • Fruit sorbet or frozen vegan dessert
  • Sliced strawberries and diced mangos, tossed with shredded coconut
  • Sliced bananas, tossed with orange juice and mixed with fresh or frozen berries and either vegan chocolate or carob chips
  • Vegan yogurt
  • A sprinkling of nuts and either vegan chocolate or carob chips


  1. Select your wrappers. Place them flat on sheet pans or individual serving dishes.
  2. Coat wraps with selected dressing.
  3. Top wraps with selected filling.
  4. Roll or fold wrap so that filling is secure.
  5. For hot wraps, bake in a 375-degree oven for 5 minutes. Serve, or wrap with waxed paper, parchment paper, or foil until ready to serve.
  6. For cold wraps, refrigerate or chill for at least an hour. Serve, or wrap with waxed paper, parchment paper, or foil until ready to serve.