Blog, featured, Soul food, Uncategorized, vegan, vetyogi, Well-being

Food with love: Vietnamese Spring Rolls (vegan and gluten-free)

In the mood for something healthy, fresh, crunchy and quick to make? These Vietnamese Rolls are ideal for helping you to get some of your 5 a day, and you can use whatever you fancy (or whatever you happen to have in the fridge). I often take these to work for lunch, and I find myself really looking forward to them. I can’t pretend my way is very traditional, but to be honest as long as they taste good, I just use whatever I have in at that time.

In this recipe I have used carrot, cucumber, lettuce, and yellow pepper/capsicum, plus I always use rice noodles. They are what I had to hand the other night when I was making them. However, in the past I have also used avocado, tofu done a variety of ways (if I have it in), cabbage instead of lettuce, some herbs- basil leaves/mint (depending), red/green peppers, etc. You can pretty much use whatever veggies you want!

If I have the time and inclination, I will make my own peanut dipping sauce, and not only is it tasty, but it adds some protein to this dish. However, last time I made them I was pretty tired and didn’t have the ingredients I needed, so I just used a delightful bottle of pre-made sweet chilli dipping sauce instead! You can be as creative or as lazy as you like…

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Ingredients (Makes 8-10 rolls depending)

  • Rice paper wraps (1 per roll)
  • Rice noodles (thin)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 red/orange/yellow pepper/capsicum
  • Chunk of cucumber approx 5-6cm long
  • Lettuce (whatever variety you fancy)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Dipping sauce (for those of us too lazy/tired to make our own!)

Method

  1. Put the rice noodles to soak in a bowl of water. I use hot water out of the kettle because it’s quick, easy, and they won’t be cooked in this dish. It only takes a few minutes.
  2. Chop the lettuce up
  3. Slice the carrot, cucumber and pepper into thin batons (julienne). Also cut up the avocado into strips if you’re using it.
  4. Submerge your rice paper wrap in water briefly (I’ve found warm water works the best for me). They really only need a quick dip in the water as they continue to soften as you load them. I find them easier to roll on a big chopping board.
  5. Place your fillings (rice noodles/veggies, etc) inside the wrap, taking care not to over fill. I find putting them a bit above centre helps me to wrap them better.
  6. Roll the top of the wrap over the fillings, tucking them in with the sides of the wrap, and then keep rolling until you have your completed roll.
  7. Repeat the process as many times as you need until you have the number you want, or you’ve used all of the fillings.
  8. Either make a dipping sauce (chilli, vinegar-based, soy, peanut, etc), or if you’ve had a really busy day like I’ve often had- cheat and use one of the excellent ones on offer out of a bottle!

And there you have it: chop, rinse, roll, repeat! Enjoy!

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