“I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Change up your dinner or appetizer routine with these steamed potstickers filled with heart-healthy walnuts, creamy avocado, and fresh shrimp.
Let’s talk about heart health. Working at a hospital, I spend a lot of my time discussing “heart-healthy” diets and find that most of my patients still think that low fat = healthy. While fruits and vegetables are ESSENTIAL for a healthy diet, fat deserves some of the limelight as well – that is, mono- and polyunsaturated fats (kiss those trans fats goodbye). Healthy fat sources are essential for our bodies. Not only do they provide energy for our cells, but they also work to decrease inflammation and support our immune systems – all of which work together to keep us healthy and prevent chronic diseases. So what does this have to do with potstickers? These potstickers feature two excellent sources of healthy fat: walnuts and avocado.
First up walnuts! Walnuts have been strongly supported by research to help reduce inflammation and lower LDL cholesterol levels. These cardiovascular benefits are due to the high level of omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts as well as their high potassium, calcium, and magnesium content. Omega-3’s are essential not just for cardiovascular health but also for brain functioning. Because our bodies can’t produce omega-3 fats on their own, it’s essential we get them through our diet. While fish is an excellent source of these fats, nuts, and in particular walnuts, are also a great source. Just 1 ounce of walnuts has 2.5 grams of essential plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)!
Besides being a source of healthy fat, walnuts also contain protein and fiber, which work to keep you full and can even aide with weight loss. For each 1 ounce serving of walnuts you get 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Plus walnuts are so easy to incorporate into any meal of the day including snacks! Add them to your morning oatmeal or yogurt, sprinkle some on a salad, or make a walnut-crusted filet of fish or chicken breast. You can’t go wrong – especially if you add them to your potstickers 😉
The avocado is like walnut’s creamier cousin. While walnuts fall in the polyunsaturated fat category, avocados are a monounsaturated fat and are also key for a healthy diet. Monounsaturated fats not only help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, but they have also been shown to help boost HDL “good” cholesterol. Besides promoting heart health, monounsaturated fats have been shown to help with blood sugar control, which is especially important in anyone with pre- or Type 2 diabetes. Avocados also get to boast a good amount of fiber as well as high levels of potassium. Not to mention they are so deliciously creamy!
Okay, enough nutrition for one post, on to the food! Wonton wrappers (which are usually found in the produce section of the grocery store, next to the tofu) are stuffed with diced shrimp, avocado, walnuts, and green onions. Place in a steaming basket for about 5 minutes then dig in! I served mine with a simple ginger soy sauce, but feel free to try other Asian-inspired sauces such as a teriyaki or hoisin. This recipe serves 2 as a meal (we also had a small side salad to up the veggie intake) or 4-6 people as an appetizer.
Steamed Shrimp Potstickers with Walnuts and Avocado
- ¼ pound uncooked shrimp peeled and de-veined
- ½ an avocado
- ½ cup walnuts
- 14 wonton wrappers
- 1 scallion finely chopped
- 2.5 tbs Soy sauce
- 1.2 tbs Vinegar
- 1 tsp red chili sauce
- 1/2 tsp Ginger
- 1 tsp Garlic
- 1 tsp brown sugar or honey
- Rinse and dry shrimp then cut into small pieces. Roughly chop walnuts and slice avocado into small squares. In bowl, carefully stir together the nuts, shrimp, avocado, and scallions.
- Place 1 wonton wrapper on a clean surface and place about 1 heaping tsp-worth of mixture onto the center. Dip your fingertips in some warm water and lightly moisten the edges of the wonton. Fold wonton in half and press edges together to seal. Place in steamer and repeat with remaining wontons.
- Fill a wok or large skillet about a ¼ of the way up with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Place steamer on top of skillet or wok and let cook for 5 minutes (you’ll know they’re done when the skins are opaque). Carefully remove steamer from wok/skillet and place potstickers on a serving plate.
- While potstickers are steaming, prepare dipping sauce by whisking together all sauce ingredients, making sure to taste and adjust as you go.