Review – Mission Chicken Caesar Wrap Kit

I am in school four days a week, and two of those days, I don’t get in the door until around 5 o’clock – if traffic is good.  By then, I’m exhausted, the kids are starving, and we’re keeping Jim out of the kitchen by order of the local fire department.  Nothing is on the table for dinner.

I’m always on the lookout for things that will help get a semi-homemade meal on the table in record time.  If I can feed my hungry crew in less than 30 minutes without calling Domino’s, I’m a happy mom.

On a recent trip to the local ShopRite, while browsing taco essentials, I found the Mission Chicken Caesar Wrap Kit.  The kit comes with 12 flour tortillas, Caesar dressing, and Caesar seasoning.  According to the box, I just needed to add 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken, and dinner would be served.

These could not have been easier to make.  To save myself some time, I bought the thinly cut chicken breasts, that you could use for chicken cutlets.  This made the actual chicken cooking time only about five minutes.  After cooking, you add the seasoning packet and 1/4 cup of water, and let the mixture boil.  That happened in under five minutes.  I seriously hadn’t even had time to clean my lettuce by the time the chicken was cooked!

I warmed the tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and in literally under 15 minutes, dinner was on the table!  The kids opted for ranch dressing on their wraps, while Jim and I used the Caesar dressing included with the kit.

As for taste, they were quite yummy.  I was tempted to add some shredded cheese, like you might find on a Caesar salad, but the seasoning packet contains Parmesan cheese, so you really don’t need it.  We found the seasoning to be spot on, and really, to save yourself some fat and calories, you could probably have left off the dressing entirely and still had a really nice Caesar flavor.

The kit cost about $3 in the store, and we added, obviously, the chicken for around $4.  The lettuce was about $2, but I only used a few leaves and have plenty left for a salad for another day.  The kit makes 12 wraps, but we realistically got 8 with the recommended amount of chicken.  I probably could have stretched the chicken out a little more, but if nothing else, we saved the calories on the extra tortilla.

I would absolutely buy these again, but I do have to think of a side dish that works well with these.  If you think in terms of restaurant chicken wraps, they usually come with chips or fries, which kind of blows the whole healthy eating kick.  Definitely something to work on.

What Good Came From Gastric Bypass Surgery?

I’ve posted quite a bit about some of the negatives and side effects resulting from my gastric bypass.  I’ve even mentioned the downside of weight regain – which I struggle with on a minute by minute basis.  But there are benefits that far outweigh – for me, anyway – the risks I undertook.

When I decided to have surgery, I had just watched my father fight – and lose – his last battle with diabetes.  I sat in a room with my dad’s brothers and sisters, who came from various parts of the country to be with us in hospice, and realized that we were all diabetic.  As my dad slept fitfully on one of his last days, his youngest brother by his side, all I could think was that I hope and pray my young cousins never have to sit like this and watch their father die from this horrible disease.

And then it struck me that I never wanted my children to sit and watch me.

After losing the first 50 pounds, my blood sugars became normal.  Not only did I no longer have a need to test seven times daily, I also stopped needing medicine.  My blood pressure, which really was in the medium to high normal range, is now low normal – unless it’s the night before a chemistry exam.

I didn’t know how much the excess weight slowed me down, and honestly, I thought I was a damn mobile big girl.  But when I lost 100 pounds, and realized I could get down on the floor and not have to crawl to the sofa to lean on it to get up, it was an epiphany.  I volunteered more at school, after backing off when Brighid was in elementary school.  I went in one afternoon to read to her class, and one of the boys told her I was the fattest mom ever.  He was an expert, having a pretty enormous mother himself, but it occurred to me I might be an embarassment to my kids, so I didn’t go back to school to volunteer.

I also didn’t put myself out there for things – like applying for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel.  But then I lost weight and found courage.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did.

I didn’t know my quality of life was as poor as it was until it got better.  And it did.

So, yep, there have been a lot of pitfalls in my journey through gastric bypass.  But the days when I’m flying high make every small stumble worth it.