Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thai Fresh Rolls

Fresh rolls are a vegans best friend.  They are easy to make, filling, a breeze to take on the go, and incredibly versatile! They never get boring!  If you are looking for something that is fresh but still filling try taking a break from your normal salad and try a Thai Fresh Roll instead.  For this recipe, I've used lots of colorful produce to infuse the flavors of summer and my garden.  We've got beets (root and tops), zucchini, cilantro, carrots,  and crisp romaine.  The veggies give the roll freshness and crunch and the rice noodles give it a little something extra to bite into and enjoy as a textural contrast. You could always add tofu, tempeh or chickenless strips for a more meaty texture. I love these rolls and will keep posting my greatest creations!  You can also check out my Sprouted Mung Bean Wrap post, too!
Once you've done your first wrap, it gets easier and easier to make these and you'll find that a plateful of fresh rolls can be made in about a half hour from prep to plate. A basic julienne for your root veggies, a chiffonade for the lettuces, and a quick chop for the herbs.  If you don't like cilantro or don't have any on hand, then try using basil or mint.  Both go well with my  Spicy Peanut Dressing and  both offer a bold flavor punch with each bite.

Here we go:

1 red beet, julienned
1 bunch beet tops, chiffonade
5 romaine leaves, chiffonade
2 carrots, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned (if it's organic, go ahead and leave the skin on)
1 zucchini, julienned
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped (if they are from your garden go ahead and add the flowers)
8 rice wrappers
About 1/3 package rice noodles

* to chiffonade, take your leaves and stack them so they face the same direction.  Roll them like a cigar, then slice them horizontally to the stem to create ribbons/shreds.

1. Prepare your filling by washing and prepping your produce as pictured.  The rice wrapper will need to be filled quickly once you have softened it so it's  important to have your filling prepared and easy to reach.
2. Cook your rice noodles according to the package.  This usually requires you to cover your noodles in boiling water and allowing them to soften anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.  It depends on the type of noodles you have on hand and will vary since this recipe works with a variety of rice noodles.  You could even used cooked soba or ramen noodles if you like, just as long as they are cooled. Mung bean noodles are also awesome for recipe, too!
3.  Prepare a dish/plate that is large enough for the rice wrapper to be placed on and is deep enough to hold a bit of water.  Place warm water in the dish. (I like to keep a bowl of hot water nearby to add to the plate to keep the temperature of the water warm.  It cools quickly).  Take a rice wrapper and submerge it in the dish.  Make sure it is completely under the water and that is evenly covered so the wrap softens evenly.  Leave until it has softened completely.  This will take about 40 to 60 seconds.
4.  Gently remove softened rice wrapper and allow excess water to drip off.  Quickly place on a flat surface (such as a cutting board).  Make sure to lay your wrapper flat because any folds will stick together and cause tearing.
5.  To the middle of the wrapper, add your filling.  Just like a burrito. Then fold over two sides, at the top and bottom of your filling.  We want to roll vertically along the same line as the julienned vegetables.  Then take one side and roll over your filling , tucking the wrapper under the filling then continuing to roll.  See picture.
6. Repeat for all 8 wraps.  Depending on how full the wraps are, you might not use all 8 wraps. That's okay.  Just have fun with it and use what you have.  One word of advice, wraps that are too full will break and tear easily so keep them about the size of a big egg roll.
Serve with my Spicy Peanut Dipping sauce or with a sweet chili sauce.  Remember, you can put any combination of filling in these guys so play around and have fun!
I've plated mine with fried rice for a complete dinner.  Enjoy!
Thank you for stopping by the Venturing Vegan blog!  If you enjoyed this blog or know someone who might, please feel free to share.  All recipes are free and made with love and the hope that a peaceful, plant-based planet is in our future!  Check back for more delicious recipes or follow Venturing Vegan on instagram and facebook for daily doses of plant-based inspiration.  Have a wonderful veggie inspired day!

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