When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Colourful rice paper wraps with cashew-lime dipping sauce

My summertime lunch staple is usually some kind of veggie-laden salad with protein:  spinach salad with hard-boiled eggs, mixed greens with avocado and leftover grilled chicken or fish, colourful quinoa salad, black bean salad.  Every now and then, though, I get a desire for something a little different than the usual (though I still want it to be easy, fresh, and delicious, and of course, gluten and dairy-free).  These rice paper wraps do the trick nicely.  Made with grilled chicken, baby spinach, sweet red pepper, and mango, and served with a flavourful cashew-lime dipping sauce, the vibrant wraps look lovely and make a very healthy and satisfying midday meal.

Colourful Rice Paper Wraps with Cashew-Lime Dipping Sauce  (serves 2)

For the wraps:

6 round sheets of rice paper (available in the international foods section of the grocery store)
a shallow pan of warm water
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced into long, thin strips
a large handful of baby spinach leaves
1 sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 ripe mango, peeled and cut ito thin strips

For the dipping sauce
(This recipe is based on a very similar one in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre.)

3 tbsp cashew butter (you could also use peanut or almond butter)
the juice of one lime, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
1 tsp agave nectar
1 small clove of garlic, crushed

To make the dipping sauce, whisk all six ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until smooth.  Divide sauce into two small serving bowls and set aside.

To make the wraps, begin by laying a clean, dampened dish towel on your work surface with the shallow pan of water beside it.  Place one of the rice paper rounds into the pan of water and let it sit for approximately ten seconds, or until the paper is soft and pliable.  Carefully remove the rice paper from the water and lay it flat on the dampened dish towel.  Place several strips of grilled chicken, a small bunch of baby spinach leaves, and several strips of each of the sweet red pepper and mango in the center of the rice paper.  Fold the bottom of the rice paper up and over the filling, then fold each side of the rice paper in to the middle and roll the whole thing up tightly.  Place finished roll on a plate and cover it with another clean, dampened dish towel to keep it moist.  Repeat this process for the remaining rice paper rounds and fillings, until you have six completed rolls.

To serve the wraps, remove the dampened dish towel, cut each wrap in half cross-wise, and arrange the halves on two plates with a small bowl of dipping sauce on each one.


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