Shrimp Summer Rolls

Summer rolls are spring rolls’ much healthier cousin. Spring rolls are fried in oil; summer rolls are fresh. And while spring rolls are filled with a mixed vegetable and cabbage, summer rolls contain bright, fresh vegetables, herbs, and lean protein — in this case, shrimp. So on hot, end-of-the-summer days, summer rolls are the perfect choice: they’re packed with fragrant, in-season vegetables, offer lean protein, and best of all: don’t involve cooking!

Ingredients:

Rice Paper (found in Asian section of grocery store)
Shrimp, precooked, split in half lengthwise
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 head butter lettuce, washed and separated
1 cup mung bean sprouts
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup basil, chopped
½ cup mint, chopped
¼ cup peanuts

Peanut-Hoisin Dipping Sauce (same as from Chicken Lettuce Cups)
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup hoisin
1 minced shallot
1 T soy sauce
2 T lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil

Method:

To make the sauce, heat sesame oil over a small skillet. Add minced shallot; saute for 1-2 minutes. Add peanut butter, hoisin, and soy sauce; stir. Bring to a boil; let cool and add lime juice.

To assemble the spring rolls, prepare a clean working space: arrange carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, cilantro, basil, and mint in small bowls. Keep shrimp over ice to keep it cool.

Fill a lipped plate or large bowl with water; add rice paper sheet and let soften for about 30 seconds.

Remove from water and lay flat on work surface. Place four shrimp halves (color-side down) on bottom third of rice paper. Lay cucumber and carrot sticks on either side of shrimp; layer lettuce, cilantro, basil, mint, mung bean sprouts, and peanut on top.

Fold bottom of rice paper over filling, fold in the ends, and roll into a tight wrap.Continue with the rest of the ingredients, placing finished rolls in refrigerator as you work.

Serve with peanut-hoisin dipping sauce.

Why Should You Eat This?

Similar to the Chicken Lettuce Cups, these are another low-carb version of a wrap. Each rice paper sheet has just 20 calories, and their taste is virtually non-existent, which allows the bright flavors to take center stage (using a tortilla, for example, would add around 200 calories — plus it would completely transform the flavor!). Essentially, summer rolls are handheld salads — a good option for lunch, dinner, or an on-the-go snack.

Shrimp are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, making the crustacean a good alternative for those who don’t like fish. Foods high in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) have been found to protect against cognitive decline. A study published in the Archives of Neurology found that those with the highest blood levels of DHA were at a 47% decreased risk of developing dementia than those with the lowest levels; according to the Zutphen Elderly Study, this correlation is linear. Omega-3s have also been found to boost mood, reduce depression, and boost heart health.

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