Okay, okay so I might not be the best “sushi maker” or form the tightest wraps or rolls but sometimes taste can overcome poor presentation/appearance, right? Let’s at least hope so. Even I can admit that ginger root is rather ugly but it sure does taste good. Same with okra or split pea soup.
But as the old adage goes, practice makes perfect.
Spending so much time on the road with Dustin right now leaves me very little time to get my groove on in the kitchen. Because of this, every time I go home to visit my family, the kitchen is the only place I want to be. I can hear you now, “Who would ever want to spend more time in the kitchen?”
Me. It’s what I do. It’s what I love.
I love playing with or recreating recipes. Trying. Failing. And trying again. I love experimenting with foods that I have never tried or maybe never even heard of before. I love introducing new foods to people, helping them see that healthy can be tasty too.
This past weekend, I was determined to pull out my nonexistant sushi making skills and make either veggie sushi rolls, using this recipe from my Forks Over Knives cookbook, or some kind of fresh spring roll.
Dustin and I always order spring rolls when we see they are offered in the ‘non-fried’ variety at restaurants, so it was these that I really wanted to recreate.
The plan was to take either recipe to my sister-in-laws birthday dinner party on Saturday night but that didn’t quite work out. After searching for rice paper at three different grocery stores, I should have known all along that Whole Foods was the place to go to gather the ingredients for my recipe (which I finally found on Sunday, the day after the party, rather than Friday).
This spring roll recipe, or my own variation of, was not only fun to make, but also easily adjustable for my family’s preferences:
“I don’t like the avocado.”
“It needs more spice.”
“Too much peanut butter.”
“Not enough peanut butter.”
And each roll was made differently to satisfy the requests! The following recipe is what we determined to be the best.
Warning: these were so tasty that they never even made it to the dinner table. Rolling and eating worked just perfectly for us.
Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Peanut Butter Sauce
Recipe adapted from Foodista
- 1 Head Butter Leaf Lettuce
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Jicima
- 1 Bag Shredded Carrots (or shred your own)
- 4 Scallions (Shredded/Julienned)
- 12 Rice Paper Sheets (or more depending on how many you want to make) – I found mine at Whole Foods. Publix nor Kroger carried them
- Dried Basil (to taste) … fresh would be even better
- Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)
Note: we added Sriracha to a few of the wraps to give them a little more spice.
Peanut Butter Sauce
Recipe adapted from Splendor in the Raw
- 1/2 Cup Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter
- 1/4 cup Toasted Sesame Oil (I subbed olive oil here and it worked fine)
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice (Lime worked too)
- 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
- 1/2 cup water
Note: the original recipe also calls for 1 tbsp of chipotle peppers but we used red pepper flakes instead since that’s what we had on hand!
- Prepare peanut butter sauce first. Add all ingredients to bowl or blender and mix until evenly combined.
- Julienne pepper, jicama, scallions and carrots (if not pre shredded) into 2 inch long strips.
- Fill round pie pan/shallow plate with warm water. Dip one rice paper in the water, soaking both sides. Lay on a flat flour towel cloth. Allow to dry for about ten seconds before using.
- Lift/peel rice paper off of cloth.
- Place half of one de-ribbed piece of butter leaf lettuce in the center of the wrap.
- Top lettuce with a spoonful of peanut butter sauce, spread evenly.
- Add basil and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Add a layer of each vegetable.
- Starting at one end. fold the edge towards the middle. Repeat with the parallel side. Rotate the spring roll by 90 degrees and roll from one end to the next (Note: I did not follow this last step. In fact, I don’t think I even read it. I just started rolling. Maybe that’s why my rolls were a little messy!)
- Cut each roll diagonally and place facing up on a serving plate.
Easy does it! A tasty appetizer, lunch, dinner or anytime snack!
If you try them, let me know. I’d love to hear about your wrap rolling success or tips you might have to improve mine!
Also, my new site is planned to go live this weekend! Same site address but entirely new look. I’m so excited!
I hope you have a wonderful evening!