Flat Bread from Trader Joe’s Lavash

Trader Joe's Lavash Flat Bread
Are you right, or am I mistaken? Good, cheap carbs are good for us.

Most famous cheap carb is probably the Ramen noodle packet. While “beloved” may seem like a stretch, college students can rely on Ramen noodles for their daily needs for many years. I was certainly one of them. It was my sophomore year and I don’t think I could have gone a single day without eating Ramen or pizza leftovers from Papa John’s. The fact that the 10-packs were $10 at your local grocery shop was a huge help. Sometimes I would eat two boxes, while other nights I would mix frozen vegetables and make my own chicken. The Ramen is… I don’t know why I didn’t starve to death. My grandmother sent me a Ramen cookbook after I became truly and truly sick from them. I was unaware of all the uses Ramen could have, including stir-fries and noodle-based meals. Even pizza (which used the noodles as a base) was possible. This kept me coming back to them through college, until I was able to afford better starchy foods like cheese and shells.

But, I do love carbs. I’m a meat-loving vegetarian, so I can’t imagine being a true vegetarian. WaaayToo much and Dr. Atkins would be too busy slicing bagels from my hands all the time. I like Ramen noodles, so the more carbs I can use, the better.

That is why I love Trader Joe’s Lavash so much. It’s quite simple, it’s a rectangular of baked dough that measures 9.5×13 inches. It’s versatile stuff and there is a lot of it, just like the packaging says. Sandy and I first used it to make a thin crust basil pesto pizza crust. It was so good that we have used it as a pizza crust several times since. It becomes crispy and crackly when it is baked. The edges and corners will get browned and curled up. It’s a good idea to bake it for pizza, as it can become a little soggy from sauces and other toppings. However, it recovers well if you give it enough time. This is not the only use for the lavash. It was great for making breakfast wraps. Sandy has taken it to work several times, using it as a tortilla with rice and beans. There are six of them in the package for only $2.19 so it’s a great value. Also, you have plenty to play with. They would be great cut and baked as a pita chips, or even buttered and sugared and cinnamoned. Then cut into strips and baked for dessert. You could also make garlic breadsticks from them in a similar fashion.

The lavash itself is quite flexible. Bread is best kept in the fridge to prolong its shelf life. The last two-week-old half sheet remnant was still soft and floury. I just finished it. It could be bent in almost any way I wanted and it didn’t crack or break. It can still rip in a straight line, if you ask. Overall, I have to admit that I was impressed.

Sandy rates it a 4.5 overall. “Mmm… carbs… it’s great and it works. There’s not much to add,” she said. Given that I crave a lavash-crust pizza at least once a week, it’s not surprising that I feel the same way. I wish it had more flavor (like some sesame seeds or poppy seed mixed in, which is quite common in Middle Eastern countries where this recipe was originated), but it’s simplicity lends itself to being used in a variety of ways to make it your own. It sounds like a 4.5 to my ears.

The bottom line: 9 of 10 Golden Spoons