Since moving to the city I’ve felt utterly nature deprived. It’s not that there aren’t parks and walking trails, it’s just that they are so manicured and full of people. There aren’t many wild places left, and that to me is what real nature is all about. Places where animals are allowed to roam free and trees can grow wherever they want. Where you can fish and hunt and set up camp and no one is there to tell you no. In Canada there are still many places like this, though you have to make a journey to find them. Yesterday we made it to a little nook in the woods, and while not totally wild it was still a closer cry to the calling in my heart that aches to just walk through trees and feel the sun on my face, unfiltered from city towers and highway smog.
There were buffalo rolling in dust piles and a coyote with a pheasant in it’s mouth. And of course there was a picnic, because no outing is complete without a nice meal in the grass. These shrimp and avocado lettuce wraps were the star of the show. They out do a sandwich any day and leave you feeling nourished but not weighed down. It’s so nice to just disconnect, even for one day a week. To just walk and breathe and witness the beauty all around us. The rest of the week can be for hustling and connecting but just one day devoted to simplicity is worth more than a whole week of busyness.
The almond satay sauce for these is super versatile and makes an amazing salad dressing or sauce for rice noodles or grilled chicken. You could also substitute the shrimp in this recipe for chicken or other seafood, they are mighty adaptable and make a great healthy lunch.
- 20 medium sized shrimp
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 lime or 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 head iceberg or butter lettuce
- 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- handful cilantro
- 1 inch piece ginger, chopped
- 2 Tbs almond butter
- 1/2 C coconut milk
- 1 Tbs fish sauce
- 1 thai red chili, minced
- juice of 1 lime or 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 date, chopped
- handful cilantro, chopped
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a skillet or large frying pan with olive oil, add garlic and stir until fragrant.
- Dry off the shrimp as much as possible before placing in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side and finish with juice from one lime. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
- Carefully remove lettuce leaves and lay out on a platter. Place a few slices of pepper, avocado, red onion and a sprinkle of cilantro on each one.
- Place 2-3 shrimp on each lettuce leaf and when you're ready to roll them notice the direction of the curve at the base of the lettuce and roll with it (you can choose to tuck the ends in or not)
- Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve alongside the lettuce rolls and save any extra for other uses.