Good is the enemy of great.
~ Jim Collins
Well I think it’s finally here! Something that looks like summer…
Here in Vancouver the weather has finally turned for the better. It looks like the sun may stick around. This is just in time for a weekend away with my work mates as we head out for our annual retreat in a land far far away (the BC interior 3 hours outside of town here). This time we’ll be hidden away, tucked in the mountains, with access to a clean lake and hiking trails.
It will be lovely to get away. We’ll be working, of course, but amongst the fresh country air and the stillness of the mountains.
We’ll also be completely cut off from internet access with no phones either. Just us. That is a rare thing these days, and truthfully, I am a little excited! Time to turn it off, tune it in, and really ‘be here now’.
Creativity dies in an undisciplined environment.
~ Jim Collins
Today I want to share a long time favorite for me. Rolling rice wraps is as familiar to me as almost anything, and it is one of those fall backs I count on when I need to lighten up, and prepare good easy ‘grab and go’ food that I can pack and eat easily.
If you’ve never rolled rice paper before – prepare to have fun, and be surprised at how easy it is to make healthy vegetables disappear quickly right before your eyes!
I usually eat these with a thick tasty nut-based sauce, either a peanut sauce, or an asian inspired tahini sauce – but any sauce works – even plain soy sauce in a pinch.
Today I’ll share with you a recent recipe for Almond Butter ‘Peanut’ Sauce I tried from Natalia Rose’s Raw Food Detox book which was so good I had to share it with you all right away.
So let’s get rolling!
Less greasy fried spring rolls means less irritated troubled tummies. Less heavily dressed packaged prepared food means lighter, leaner fill ups. Less cooked, salted veggies means more raw vibrant goodness, and more fun ways to prepare them means you’ll always use them all up.
More fun ways to eat vegetables means more likelihood it will happen. More easy prep beforehand means easy healthy snacking in mere seconds. More on the road finger food means less greasy messy containers – so eating and clean up are simple.
Easy Rice Paper Veggie Rolls:
- (1) package Rice Paper Wraps for Spring rolls (available at most stores in the Asian food section)
- (3-4) medium to large carrots (unpeeled if organic)
- (4-6) cups washed hardy greens (spinach, lettuce, arugula, pea greens)
- (1) red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
- (1) bunch green onion tops
- (1) avocado (optional, only include if eating right away)
- (1) cup almond butter, raw (I am sure roasted would be delicious too)
- (2) tbsp freshly chopped ginger
- (1/2) cup water (to thin)
- (4) tbsp fresh lemon juice
- (1/4) cup maple syrup
- (3) tbsp Bragg or soy sauce
- (2) tbsp toasted sesame oil
- (2) cloves garlic
- (1/2) fresh jalapeno chile
Ready to roll?
Start by washing and prepping all of your veggies. Wash your greens, and leave them whole in a bowl and set aside. Grate your carrots and set aside in a separate bowl. Continue with the rest of the veggies, making sure to keep them all separate either in bowls or on a large platter or cutting board.
Next, prepare the sauce. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend on high until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate (taste it first and you’ll be amazed at how good it is).
To make the wraps, prepare a clean work surface on a counter top or a large cutting board. Get a large mixing bowl and fill it with hot tap water.Take 2 of the rice paper wraps and immerse them in the bowl of hot water (make sure they are separated). Allow to soak for 30 seconds, or until completely soft to the touch (don’t leave them in for too long!). Remove one from the bowl and lay flat on the work space. Remove the second from the bowl and lay on top of the first, overlapping the two by about a 1/3 – 1/2 (see the photo).
Next, spread a line of carrots down the middle, leaving a little space at the ends for tucking in the edges. Next, add the greens – don’t be shy on the amounts as the veggies will condense nicely once rolled. In fact, you will be shocked at how much raw goodness you can cram in each of these bad boys. The veggies always seem to disappear just as I get going
Follow the greens with a few strips of red pepper, green onion, and avocado if using.
At this point, you can decide whether to add a line of sauce to the inside of the rolls or not. I have tried them both ways and both are great, however, I do like the way they keep without the sauce and I always eat them with plenty of sauce on the side anyways!
Once you are all set on the veggies, start with one end of the roll and roll up, pulling the piled veggies into the roll with your hands to condense. Once you have the veggies tucked in nicely, turn in the side of the rice paper to form the ends of the roll.
Continue the rolling until the end – the wet rice paper will seal it all up inside as it dries. Place finished rolls on a clean plate until all done. You will find as they dry they are sealed little rolls of healthy perfection.
Continue this until all of your rolls are done (when your veggies are all gone). Don’t worry about running out of a vegetable – the more I make these the more I am reminded they taste great with any combination. You can really experiment with these!
Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.
No mess, no fuss. Just good, healthy deliciousness. Serve with sauce on the side for either dipping, or with a spoon to grace each upcoming bite.
For packing takeaways, roll up with the sauce inside and eat cleanly
I find these are the perfect answer when I get a little what I call ‘salad fatigue’. They keep quite nicely for a day or two in the fridge and are wonderful to come home to when you need a quick bit to eat that won’t zap you of your energy.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I hope you’ll get rolling too. I started years ago, and it’s been a favorite in the kitchen ever since. It is cheap (a pack of these wraps cost less than $3) and a great way to use up veggies from the fridge.
Once you get the hang of the rolling, you’ll want to keep doing it again and again!
- Have you ever made your own rice paper rolls?
- If so, what are your favorite ingredients to put in them?
The variations are endless, and I’d love to hear your ideas!
Thanks for reading folks and for all of your comments and suggestions – in the next week I’ll be sharing a few more yummy classics, a little something for breakfast with quinoa and a gorgeous way to enjoy simple cauliflower.
If I am slow to respond it’s because I am off to bond with my work mates. We’ll be breathing the fresh air and having some serious fun too I suspect.
Have a wonderful weekend all!
Yours in Less,