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Happy St. Patrick's Day and happy almost spring!
Have I ever told you about my mega obsession with spring rolls? It's there. Every time we go out to eat Vietnamese or Thai food (or pretty much any restaurant that offers spring rolls), I ask for them. I am always sad once my portion of the spring rolls has run out, and as a result, I am known to have intentionally made a full meal of them.
I've even done homemade Spring Rolls once or twice, and I must say it's a fun process, but it can also be time consuming and frustrating. For those of you who, like me, are having trouble getting the rice wrappers, oh, I don't know … collapse on themselves, bowls of spring rolls are the next best option! Plus, they're designed to be a starter, so you don't have to worry about running out of Spring roll before you're ready.
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? I'm always a big advocate of a balanced diet, but I love the idea of re-committing and focusing on nutrition over the course of the month. Many of us need a little extra inspiration to maintain a conscious effort to eat nutritious meals, and in the same vein, many of us have food intolerances that we may or may not be aware of.
Continuing on the theme of National Nutrition Month, I designed these Spring Roll Bowls to be healthy using a variety of fresh seasonal vegetables, as well as allergy-free (minus shrimp if you're allergic to shellfish). Instead of making a peanut sauce to drizzle over the bowls, I created a sunflower butter sauce using SunButter's organic sunflower butter.
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Made entirely from sunflower seeds, protein-packed butter works wonders for all kinds of allergy-free recipes, including raw or baked treats (remember the Maple Walnut Vegan Fudge I showed you a few months ago using SunButter? My mouth is still it makes water when you think about it), sauces, dressings, etc.
This sauce is perfect for those who are intolerant or allergic to peanuts (or any of the top 8 food allergens, including nuts, soy and wheat, etc.), those who follow a Paleo or Whole30 lifestyle, and for those like me who love delicious food and try to keep it on the nutritional end of the spectrum. Plus, sunflower butter offers more nutritional benefits than most other nut butters, including 1/3 less saturated fat and more vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, and iron.
What about the sunflower butter sauce for dipping / sprinkling / spoon feeding? Absolutely addictive! I've already used it to drizzle on a lot of rice and vegetable dishes as well as Thai turkey lettuce wrappers, and I'd be lying if I didn't eat it straight from the spoon once or twelve times. Bottom line: I recommend this sauce basically for any of your sauce needs.
Options for recipe adaptations:
- Make it paleo: Cook cauliflower rice instead of brown rice
- Go vegan / vegetarian: Skip the shrimp and add tofu or beans of your choice
- Use cooked chicken instead of shrimp, or leave vegan bowls
- Use rice noodles instead of brown rice for a bowl of noodles
- I like to quickly pickle my cucumbers by soaking the cucumber slices in rice vinegar with a hint of sugar before adding them to the bowl – pickling enhances the flavor of the bowl! If you have time, I always recommend doing the quick pickle.
- Add delicious ingredients like mango, pickled ginger, bean sprouts, microgreens, etc.
And that's a wrap! Or should we say it's a bowl!
Spring Roll Bowls with Sunflower Butter Sauce
Preparation time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 35 minutes.
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
1 head butter leaf lettuce
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 pound cooked shrimp
1-1 / 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1-1 / 2 cups Carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 large cucumber, thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados sliced
1 4 oz container of alfalfa sprouts
4 4 sprigs fresh mint sliced
SUNFLOWER BUTTER SAUCE
1/2 cup SunButter Organic Sunflower Butter
1/2 cup whole canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons liquid amino acids
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
Add all the ingredients for the sunflower butter sauce to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready for use.
Cook the rice according to the package directions. Layer 4 bowls of butter lettuce, cooked brown rice, shrimp, grated cabbage, grated carrot, cucumber slices, and avocado. Top with fresh mint or basil and desired amount of sunflower butter sauce. Serve and enjoy!