Try Making Summer Rolls!

By Debbie Koenig

When I go out for Thai or Vietnamese food, I never miss a chance to order summer rolls (also known as salad rolls, which suggests why they’re Weight Watchers–friendly). Soft rice paper wrapped around crunchy fresh vegetables and lean protein, with a tangy-sweet-spicy dipping sauce? That meets all my irresistibility standards.

But — psst — I’ll let you in on a little secret: I make them at home even more often than I order them in a restaurant. Summer rolls really are that easy. And in the July/August issue of Weight Watchers Magazine, I walk you through the process, step-by-step. With three recipes! You can choose from Fresh Summer Rolls with Sweet-and-Spicy Dipping Sauce (3 SmartPoints® value/serving), Moroccan Chicken Summer Rolls with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce (4 SmartPoints value/serving), and Fresh Fruit Summer Rolls with Honey-Lime Dipping Sauce (2 SmartPoints value/serving).

While developing those recipes, I came up with some extra tips that didn’t fit into the article:

  • When chopping ingredients, keep in mind that you’ll be biting through them — anything that resists too much could pull the roll apart. Cut into thin slices or batons, shred, or dice.
  • If you’re using whole lettuce leaves, streamline the assembly by compiling filling packets before soaking the rice papers. Reserve whatever decorative ingredients you’ll be laying down first, then arrange everything else into neat little lettuce cups.
  • Rice paper tears easily. Don’t overfill your rolls.
  • If you’re assembling in advance, don’t place completed rolls too close together or the wrappers will stick to each other. Keep them covered with a damp towel, inside an airtight container.
  • Once you discover how easy summer rolls are to assemble, you’ll find yourself wanting to wrap everything. The good news: As long as you chop bulky or heavy items into small pieces, you kinda can — at least, anything that you might put into a salad. Just be sure to surround juicy or saucy foods with a lettuce leaf, or the liquid might seep through and make the rice paper fall apart. These ideas will get you started. Your total SmartPoints value will depend on what you choose:
    Spinach leaves, shredded cabbage, sprouts, edamame, narrow asparagus, thinly sliced mushrooms, shaved radishes or beets, celery, zucchini, or jicama sticks, diced plum tomato, sliced avocado, peas, pea shoots, scallions, shaved red onion, chiles
  2. HERBS
    Dill, tarragon, chervil, parsley
  3. FRUIT
    Cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, thinly sliced apple, pear, peaches, plums, berries, papaya sticks, pomegranate arils, pitted cherries, grapes, and grapefruit or tangerine sections
    Salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab, canned beans, seitan, thinly sliced steak, roast beef, roast pork, ham, turkey, chicken sausage, turkey bacon, egg
  5. ETC.
    Quinoa, soba noodles, cellophane noodles, vermicelli pasta, brown rice, sesame, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds, chopped nuts, cooked vegetables, caramelized onions

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