Mango, Avocado & Shrimp Spring Rolls with a Peanut Dipping Sauce

Mango Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping SauceIf you’ve been a longtime reader of P&I (I’m talking Day 1, Ride-or-Die reader), you may remember this recipe. I shared it when my blog was still a baby and, as with all early posts, it wasn’t my–errr–finest work. The photography was awful, but the recipe was also in need of tweaking.  Mango Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Guys. I’m SO EXCITED to share this recipe makeover! The shrimp is prepared in a better way, and the sauce is uh-mazing. It’s inspired by The Minimalist Baker’s Cashew Dressing (LOVE that blog if you haven’t check it out) and it brings the flavors of the rolls together perfectly.

Mango Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Mango, Avocado & Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Yield: 8

Mango, Avocado & Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp (I like to buy fresh but you can make this with frozen shrimp, too)
  • 8 rice paper rounds (sometimes labled "spring roll skin")*
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large mango (or 2 smaller ones)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts
  • Fresh cilantro to taste (optional)
  • Peanut Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/4 c peanut butter**
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp grated ginger

Instructions

  1. Prepare the ingredients. Remove the skin from the mango and cut into thin strips. Cut the avocado in half, remove pit and cut into thin pieces. Peel the cucumber; cut it in half lengthwise; remove the seeds with a spoon; cut in half again and thinly slice. Wash the carrots and remove ends; you can chop into thin pieces or use a peeler to create thin ribbons (my preferred method). Chop the romaine into strips. I like to take a handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chop them, and then mix it in with the romaine (this is optional). Peel a small piece of ginger and use a fine grater to mince.
  2. Peel, clean and cook the shrimp. My preferred way to cook shrimp is to sauté them. Heat a little olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper, cooking for about 2 mins each side or until opaque and just starting to slightly brown. Once the shrimp are cooked, butterfly them with your knife, cutting them all the way through in half.
  3. Prepare the peanut sauce. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. If the consistency is too thick (see notes), drizzle in a little more sesame oil.
  4. Assemble the rolls. Fill a shallow pan or dish with warm water. Take a rice paper roll and submerge it in the water, keeping your hands on it so that you can feel when it starts to soften and become pliable (about 15 seconds, depending on how warm the water is). As soon as this happens, remove it from the water and lay it flat on a cutting board. Add your toppings to the bottom, center portion of the rice paper--a little bit of everything you've prepared. To roll, wrap one long side around the filling, fold in the two short ends, and then wrap the remaining long end over to seal (think of a burrito roll). This takes practice and your first few rolls might look ... special. Don't worry, they'll still taste delicious! Practice makes perfect. :)

Notes

*You can buy large rice paper rounds or small ones. In this post, I've used the smaller ones (plenty big for a single roll). If it's your first time making spring rolls, you might want to go with the big ones. The excess rice paper will make rolling easier and the spring rolls will feel less delicate as you assemble. **I use a runny (oily) peanut butter. If you use a thicker peanut butter brand, you might need to increase the amount of sesame oil you use to achieve the right consistency.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2016/04/10/mango-avocado-shrimp-spring-rolls/
Mango Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping SauceMango Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

For a little trip down memory lane, check out some of the pictures from the original post four years ago. Lighting? What’s that? And are those beer shot glasses in which I’m “artistically” displaying my sauces?? Good lord.signature

A Brutally Honest Update on My Boston Marathon Experience

IMG_1837This is a hard post to write. I’m a bit ashamed at how I’ve been feeling lately, and this post certainly doesn’t paint me in the best light. But please read it all the way through because if I start out sounding like a selfish asshole, by the end you’ll find me to at least be a self-aware selfish asshole …?

A big part of me doesn’t even want to publish this because I know the stress and negativity of the last few weeks will be completely forgotten the moment race day arrives and all that’ll remain in my memory is the positive parts of the experience. But as pessimistic and selfish as this post is going to make me out to be, I’d feel phony if I painted this out to be sunshine and roses. I’ve cried more in the past three weeks than I have in the last three years. I’ve wasted a ridiculous number of hours stewing in regret. And, as embarrassing as this is to admit, I’ve even tried to back out of this commitment. I frantically typed an email to the team organizer, tears brimming the edges of my eyes, all but begging her to give my bib to someone else.

And it has nothing to do with the running.

That brief knee injury aside, I’ve been amazed at how naturally my body has adapted to the long distances. My 21-mile run the other weekend didn’t even feel challenging. Um WHAT?! Tackling 26.2 miles honestly feels so doable to me right now that I don’t have an ounce of worry or apprehension about race day. It’s going to be fun!

So why am I stress-eating, battling constant anxiety and calling my mom in tears every other day?

The fundraising. (On the surface, anyway.)

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so utterly defeated and overwhelmed. I knew it would be a challenge to raise $7,500, but what I didn’t anticipate was how crawl-out-of-my-skin uncomfortable fundraising would make me feel. To say asking people for money and support is out of my comfort zone is a pathetic understatement. I feel annoying. I feel like I’m pestering people. Everything feels so forced. I’m not exaggerating when I say it physically exhausts me to even just send an email soliciting donations. It’s like it conflicts with my core nature and who I am as a person but … WTF? It’s for charity! Why do I feel like I’m doing something wrong??!

I am so caught off guard at how negatively this whole fundraising mission has affected the way I feel. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I let the fundraising stress become so all-consuming that I was finding it hard to feel excited for next Monday–all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait for it to all be over.

GET A FUCKING GRIP, GIRL.

It is a fact that I am prone to dramatic downward spirals of negative thinking. I go 0 to The World Is Ending real quick. A little leak of negativity into my mind and suddenly every single pessimistic scenario is playing out rapid-fire. All very unnecessary. I know this is be true about myself and I’m aware that by controlling these negative thoughts, I can control how I’m feeling.

I’m also aware of how negative thought patterns like this tend to become all-consuming to the point where my worldview becomes myopic and selfishness becomes a default. Everything feels like it’s happening to me and I start seeing the negative in everything. Basically, I become a huge dick. I mean read this post! “I feel this way,” “I feel that way,” I, I, me, me … Girlfriend, you’re running for a charity as a guide. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

Learning to control my negative thinking and become a happier, more optimistic and grateful person is something I’ve been constantly working on since struggling with depression in college. And I’ve come so far! I’ve realized though that the stress of this fundraising challenge has triggered a bit of reverting to old ways.

Thank God for that realization.

I’m not looking at this marathon as a physical challenge anymore. It’s 100% mental/emotional. Can I stop the negativity? Can I focus on the positive and, through optimistic thoughts and gratitude, start to feel better about the whole experience–the way I should be feeling? I think the answer is “yes.” I’ve started to be proactive about this and am making my attitude adjustment my number-one priority going into race day. Daily meditation has been huge (I’ve been using the Headspace app–highly recommend it). Yoga has been helping, too, with its constant reminder to live in the moment and be present. Writing has always been therapeutic to me so I’ve been keeping a daily journal as well in which I write down only positive updates. I’ve officially slowed the downward spiral of my mind and am, day by day, getting my head back on straight with this whole marathon experience.

If you’re rolling your eyes at the last paragraph … I know. It sounds cheesy and even a bit melodramatic but what a shame it’d be if I let myself ruin this amazing experience! The marathon is serving an important purpose: It’s reminding me that I need to make mental health a priority–at times even before physical health. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m banging out 21-mile runs with unwarranted ease yet falling apart at the seams in tears at the smallest fundraising task. I think it’s the Universe trying to get my attention and put me in check.

Another eye-roll-worthy sentence. I know, I know. I believe in that shit though! And I really am seeing personal growth come from this meltdown. It’s gotten me to meditate regularly–something I’ve wanted to start doing for years–and it’s given me a whole new appreciation for the world of fundraising. I will no longer brush off invitations to donate to a vague Facebook friend’s raffle or attend a charity event. Now that I know what it’s like to be the one responsible for hitting a certain monetary goal, I will do everything I possibly can to help. You need someone to teach a charity fitness class for your school fundraiser? I’m your girl. Looking to fill the last seat of your charity comedy show? I’ll be there. You need to buy your Girl Scout cookies? Dammit, twist my arm, I’ll take 10 boxes of Thin Mints. (Oh the altruism!)

I have until the end of May to reach my fundraising goal so my focus right now is just to enjoy marathon weekend, stay positive and not even think about the money until afterwards. It’s really not as big of a deal as I’ve been making it out to be. I’m hosting a charity ride at Recycle this Saturday that I’m really excited about, and after that, it’s out of mind until after the race. And when I do bring it back to mind, I’m going to focus on the good that will be done with the money I raise, not on the hardship of raising it. In other words I’ll, ya know, stop being a self-consumed shitbag. 😉

———

Phewwwf what a blog post! Sorry for the emotional dump, but writing this was cathartic–I’m glad I did. And it’s good you know how I’ve been feeling behind the highlight reel of social media because I’ve honestly felt a twinge of phoniness and inauthenticity with every woo-hoo-look-at-me-crushing-my-long-run-everything-is-perfect Instagram I post. Yeah the runs have been great, but then I go home and have a meltdown, eating everything in our kitchen while curled in the fetal position weeping and texting Joe cryptic, melodramatic messages imploring him to leave work early.

That last part was an exaggeration. Maybe.

Before I end this post, I can’t reiterate enough that these negative feelings are in no way a reflection of Team With A Vision. God no. TWAV has been amazing–everyone involved has been so kind, their mission is amazing, and being chosen to run as a guide is an absolute honor. 

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! I look forward to sharing positive, excitement-filled updates with you as I enter into marathon week!! 🙂

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20-Minute BOSU Interval Workout

20-min-bosu-interval-workout-1Hopefully no one remembers when I excitedly announced I’d be posting BOSU workouts to the blog starting in Fall (of 2015) …

I’m the worst.

But let’s just focus on how exciting it is to add a new piece of equipment into the mix! I love using the BOSU ball for balance work, and hopefully you do, too because I’ll be posting more and more routines with it (in addition to all the usual stuff!).

20-Minute BOSU Interval Workout


Equipment I Used:

The focus of this workout is lower body, but there are lots of compound exercises that’ll hit your upper body and core as well. Set an interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of five exercises four times20-Minute BOSU Interval Workout - this one will focus on your lower body but uses compound exercises that engage the upper body and core as well

BOSU Squat Jumps with Pulses at Bottom | Pulse, pulse, jump; pulse, pulse, jump. Start in a low squat position on the BOSU, feet about hips width apart. In this lowest squat, pulse twice (up an inch, down an inch, up an inch, down an inch) while your legs work to stabilize you on the ball. After your second pulse, take it to a jump squat, pressing through the feet as you jump upward, and then landing softly back on the ball, fluidly sinking right back down into the low squat position. If you don’t feel comfortable jumping on the BOSU ball, just do a regular squat (pulse, pulse, squat). 

BOSU Torso Twist in Lunge (right) | Start in a low lunge position with front foot on the BOSU ball and a weight (dumbbell or med ball work) held in both hands, arm extended out in front of you at chest height. From this starting position, twist your torso over the front leg (if right foot is forward, twist to the right), keeping arms straight as you do. You want your whole upper half moving as one unit on this—imagine your waist is a wet towel that you’re wringing out as you twist. Twist back to center.

BOSU Torso Twist in Lunge (left)

BOSU Squat Hop Burpees | Start in a plank position with your hands on the BOSU ball. From here, hop your feet forward to the floor, releasing your hands so that you land in a low, wide squat position. Staying low, hop both feet up and onto the BOSU ball. Pause there for three seconds, stabilizing in your low squat. Then quickly reverse the sequence, hoping off the BOSU to a wide floor squat and then jumping the feet back as you land in high plank.

Everything should be done quickly except for the pause in a squat on the BOSU. Plank, quick hop floor squat, quick hop BOSU squat and hooooold, quick hop floor squat, quick hop plank, quick hop floor squat, and so on…

BOSU Truck Driver (flip the BOSU) | Flip the BOSU ball over so that the rounded part is on the floor. Start by standing on the overturned BOSU, squatting down, weight in your heels, hips down and back, core engaged and chest open. Hold a dumbbell on its ends, palms facing in towards each other, and extend arms straight in front of you at chest height. You’re going to maintain this position the entire duration of the exercise. From here, you’re just going to rotate the weight in your hands, tipping one end up and then the other, as if your hands were on a steering wheel. Try not to bend the arms or let them drop below chest height as you rotate them back and forth. 20-Minute BOSU Interval Workout - this one will focus on your lower body but uses compound exercises that engage the upper body and core as well

WEARING | Tank c/o Lucy (sold out but similar HERE) // Terez leggings / (use code nicole25 for 25% off any purchase) // Bra c/o Lululemon // Nike Flex Supreme TR 3 sneakers

What are your favorite BOSU ball exercises? Let me know and I’ll incorporate them into a future workout!

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