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The crunch and zest of walnuts on an entrée salad adds variety and texture along with wholesome goodness; while most nuts contain monounsaturated fats, walnuts are unique in that they contain primarily ALA, the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, a polyunsaturated fat.  In addition, an ounce of walnuts provides 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and various antioxidants (13.126 mmol/gram).
Serves 4.


• 1/2 cup chopped California walnuts
• 6 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
• 1/2 cup prepared fat-free Asian style salad dressing, plus 3 tablespoons
• 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 16 shrimp)  
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
• 3/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced, (about 8-10)
• 1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
• 3/4 cups bean sprouts
• 1 carrot, peeled and cut into julienne strips, or grated
• 1/3 cup chopped cilantro                   
• 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
• 1 head butter lettuce
• 4 cups mixed Asian greens, i.e. mizuna, tat soi, red mustard, napa cabbage
• cilantro leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a sheet pan & toast until lightly browned, about 5 -7 minutes.  Cool.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add vermicelli rice noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain well, cool slightly, and toss with 1/2 cup dressing. Chill noodles.

Season shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Thread shrimp on short bamboo skewers, allowing 2 per skewer. Coat a large nonstick skillet with canola cooking spray and place over medium high heat. Sear shrimp in pan until pink, about 3 minutes per side.  Brush shrimp with 2 tablespoons dressing. Set aside to cool.

Toss chilled rice noodles with 1/2 of the walnuts, bell pepper, green onions, cucumber, bean sprouts, carrot, cilantro, and ginger.

Wash butter lettuce & divide between 4 plates. Toss Asian greens with remaining tablespoon of dressing & arrange in butter lettuce cups. Place rice noodles next to greens. Arrange 2 skewers of shrimp on each salad. Sprinkle remaining walnuts overall. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Per serving: 449 calories, 27g protein, 28g carbohydrates, 5g dietary fiber, 26g total fat, 4g saturated fat, mg cholesterol, 2316mg sodium, 1.5g omega-3, 5.8g omega-6
% Calories:  52% fat, 24% carbohydrate

Recipe courtesy of the California Walnut Board

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