Tropical Summer Rolls with Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

fullsizeoutput_7d3fThinking back to last summer, my mom and I shared the prepared summer rolls from Whole Foods on a weekly basis. I think we were sold on that tangy peanut dipping sauce (which I would put on just about anything), but when it came to the rolls themselves, the pre-made ones don’t always cut it. We would usually end up taking the veggies out of the rice paper wrapper which tended to get rubbery and tough. So I figured, why not make them myself?

With mango, jicama, avocado, and a colorful array of veggies, these summer rolls are just what I’ve been craving! A little sweet, a little spicy, and satisfyingly crunchy, these are just as fun to eat as they are to make.

Often, summer rolls get mistaken for their fried cousin, spring rolls – which are heavenly. Yet, in this July heat, and in an attempt not to eat fried food (mainly out of fear I’ll return to my cheese-on-a-stick days), I think these rolls hold a candle to their crispier counterpart.

While this is a vegetarian dish, you can easily add cooked shrimp or chicken to these when you roll them. However, these are surprisingly filling for having only fruits and veggies in the middle!

For the dipping sauce, rather than use peanut butter, I opted for almond butter because it is a little better for you (lower sodium, rich in vitamin E, iron, magnesium etc.) and also because you can build a more complex flavor profile from it. Adding a little spice, fresh cilantro, and citrus make the sauce flavor-packed and the perfect pairing with these rolls.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package of pre-cut jicama (can purchase at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bunch of rainbow or green chard
  • 12 oz package of rice paper wrappers

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp Goujang chili paste

Makes: 6 servings (6 rolls)

calories per serving: 215 cal (with sauce included)

Preparation:

  1. Beginning with the dipping sauce, take 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro and mince completely. Add the cilantro to a medium-size bowl.
  2. Now add the almond butter, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, and chili paste to the bowl. Whisk the ingredients until well-incorporated.
  3. Add in the water 1 tbsp. at a time to ensure you get the right consistency. Once the consistency is to your liking, store the sauce in the fridge while you work on the rolls.
  4. Prep a large bowl of warm water for the rice paper wrappers and set this near your work station.
  5. Taking your chard, rinse the leaves and pat dry. Use a paring knife to remove the stem from each leaf. This should give you two pieces from each stem to use in the rolls.
  6. Next, julienne the carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, jicama, and mango. Lay these out on a plate so that you can easily access each when preparing the rolls.
  7. Slice the avocado into thin slices and set this near the rest of the veggies as well.
  8. Dunk each rice paper wrapper for 5-10 seconds in the water and lay flat on either a plate or cutting board.
  9. Take one of the pieces of lettuce and lay it lengthwise on the wrapper.
  10. Place the julienned vegetables in the center of the lettuce on the wrapper and place 1-2 avocado slices on top, leaving enough space on each side to fold in.
  11. Fold in the edges perpendicular to the vegetables first. Then, taking one of the opposite ends, fold it to cover the vegetables and roll tightly and quickly.

These require a little finessing to get the trick of, and you’ll likely have a first pancake situation, but you’ll get the hang of it by the second or third! Not to mention, you’ll have eaten them all before you have time to dwell on whether or not they look pretty!

Hope y’all make this recipe soon and enjoy a lovely weekend!

xo,

Grace

 

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