Eat to Run: Basil Rolls

This light, protein-rich appetizer is as fun to make as it is to eat
Staff Writer

WHAT DOCTORS EAT by Tasneem Bhatia, MD, and The Editors of Prevention

If you want a multicourse meal without the multicourse calories, kick off your dinner with this light, healthy appetizer. It packs a walloping 28 grams of protein with only 268 calories, and also supplies your body with a bounty of vitamins and minerals. For the most nutrients, use kale as your leafy green. Kale is full of vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and antioxidants. Plus, the five grams of fiber per serving will help you feel fuller. 

This recipe is also great for recovery. Basil not only tastes great, but is also a potent anti-inflammatory that can help your body heal after workouts.

Basil Rolls
Recipe by Tasneem Bhatia, MD
Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups dark leafy greens (such as romaine, spinach or kale), chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 round rice paper (spring roll) wrappers (8-inch diameter)
  • 24 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1. Preheat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil, and heat it until it smokes. Add the chicken and stir-fry until nearly cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the shrimp and continue stir-frying until the shrimp turns pink, 2 to 3 minutes more. Let it cool slightly, then chop the shrimp into bite-sized pieces. Place the cooked chicken and shrimp in a medium bowl and set aside. 

2. Toss the greens, mint and cilantro in a large bowl.

3. Fill a pie plate with warm water. Working with one wrapper at a time, dip one side of the wrapper in the water for 30 seconds, then the other side. The wrapper will be pliable, but still firm. (If the wrapper is very soft, either the water is too warm or you kept the wrapper in the water for too long.)

4. Transfer the wrapper to a flat surface. Starting about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the wrapper, spread 1/3 cup of greens horizontally across the wrapper. Place about 1/8 cup of the chicken and 2 shrimp on top of the greens. Top with 3 basil leaves. 

5. Fold the bottom of the wrapper up over the greens, tightening as you fold. Then fold in the sides, and continue rolling up from the bottom. Set the completed wrapper on a plate, and cover it with plastic wrap.

6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 with remaining 7 wrappers.

7. Whisk together the soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Slice the rolls in half on the diagonal and divide them among 4 plates. Serve with the sauce for dipping. 

Nutrition per serving (2 rolls)
268 calories
28 grams protein
26 grams carbs
1 gram fiber
6 grams fat
1 gram saturated fat
1,246 milligrams sodium

Reprinted from WHAT DOCTORS EAT by Tasneem Bhatia, MD and The Editors of Prevention. Copyright (c) 2013 by Rodale, Inc. By permission of Rodale, Inc. Available wherever books are sold.  


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