Well hello again, I have missed you terribly! A lot has happened in the last couple weeks. After my last post Soba Noodles with Tofu, Broccoli & Carrots, I left for vacation to the beautiful Kings Canyon. The area we visited is located in the eastern sierra’s located between Mammoth and Bishop just off the 395 called Rock Creek Lake. It’s gorgeous up there with clean air, nice temperatures and nature all around. How does it get any better than that? You can see many of my pictures here. In that time, the 4th of July also came and went. I extreme cleaned the house, you know the unclutter, going behind closed doors and rearranging the furniture kind…feels good to be done with that! I did all those things I have put off doing while focusing my energy on this blog the last year. Speaking of which, The Simple Veganista also turned 1 on July 1st. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I really wanted to do a special post for this occasion but it just didn’t happen so it was a quiet celebration. When I first started this blog I had no idea where things would go but thanks to everyone who has a love for clean vegan food…this blog has done remarkably well in that short amount of time and I thank you all for following along with my passion. I intend to keep it going as long as it stays fun for me. I love all the aspects of being here…from testing and preparing the food, taking pictures, editing, writing (a few of these I’d like to improve on), sharing, getting feedback from everyone. It’s truly fun for me and I’m so happy to be a part of your lives and hope you get lots of inspiration for clean, healthy eating habits along the way. And remember, that’s all it is…creating NEW habits and making them healthy habits! Cheers to another year of creating those healthy habits that stick!
So without further ado…let’s eat!
Summer, spring or salad rolls, known as Goi Cuon in Vietnamese, are fresh, versatile and so easy to put together. You can use all kinds of vegetables to suit your taste…make them simple with just a few ingredients like the first picture or add more for a variation and rainbow effect like the picture above. I love these rolls and you can be sure that this is the first of many I will like to try out and share. The recipe today is a very basic, all around summer roll. Nothing complicated, everything should be readily available and easy to find. For a great tutorial on rolling a closed end roll like the image just above (they were cut in half) go here: How to Roll Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls – A Photo Tutorial
You can find rice paper in the Asian section of your grocery store. There are different shapes and sizes so if you’re new to this be sure to experiment with a few to see what works best for you.
I have included two different dipping sauces because some of you may be allergic to nuts. One will be a peanut or almond butter based dipping sauce and the other will be rice vinegar based. A sauce for everyone here. Both are excellent. I love my peanut sauce but was very pleased with the vinegar based sauce I adapted from Martha Stewart. Even though I’m not much of a vinegar lover…it was delicious!
Summer rolls are commonly filled with a few herbs like mint, cilantro and/or Thai basil. Feel free to use one or a combination. I find in these rolls that they all taste great together. If you can’t find Thai basil, regular basil will be just as good! I especially love the basil with the peanut dipping sauce…the flavors pair so well.
Next you can choose from a variety of greens to add to your rolls. Use one or a combination if you like. Depending on what style roll I’m making, I may use two types of greens.
Lastly, choose your veggies and cut them into thin strips by hand or using a julienne tool. These are just a few of the veggies you can use. Try adding avocado, green onions, bean sprouts, etc. Many recipes for these rolls also use rice noodles, and you can too, but I prefer a roll full of veggies instead having one or two extra if needed. I can eat two or three of these and be completely satisfied for a few hours.
Adding in some sliced tofu is an option. I do like to add it to my rolls when not using the peanut sauce as it adds some protein to the meal.
SUMMER ROLLS + TWO DIPPING SAUCES
Ingredients (2 – 3 servings)
- 6 rice papers (preferably the circular sheets)
- 2-3 medium carrots, cut into match sticks or 1/4 inch sticks
- 1/2 cucumber, cut into match sticks or 1/4 inch sticks
- 1/2 bell pepper (yellow, red and/or orange), thinly sliced
- 1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced
- greens of choice: leafy lettuce, pea shoots, spring salad mix or micro greens
- radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
- 8 oz. organic tofu (firm or extra firm), sliced (optional)
- mint, small handful of leaves
- cilantro, small bunch of sprigs
- basil, small handful leaves
Sweet Chili Sauce (2 servings)
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- juice of 1 lime
Peanut Sauce (2 servings)
- 3 heaping tablespoons peanut or almond butter
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon warm water
- 1 – 2 tablespoon rice vinegar, optional
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
Mix your dipping sauce together first, let set so the flavors can mingle. It will taste much different after a few minutes. Taste for flavor before serving.
This summer roll direction will be for the open end roll as shown above. For the closed end roll please see the tutorial here.
Fill a large shallow bowl 1/2 way with warm water…a large pie dish works great for the circular rice sheets which is what this recipe will use. Making one roll at a time, dip the rice sheet into the water making sure to get both sides and all edges, no need to let it soak until completely soft. Lay on a flat surface and fold in half, the rounded side will be the top and the flat side the bottom. The paper will still seem a bit stiff but will keep absorbing the water and soften as you layer your veggies. In the center, layer your ingredients…greens, herbs, tofu and veggies. Fold the end corner over the layer of veggies, give a nice tuck and roll.
Serve with choice of dipping sauce.