I’m pleased to have the delightful Mary, from Mary Makes Dinner, here to share a great Meatless Monday meal. Check out these great ideas for yummy spring rolls:
One of my favorite things to do lately is to cook up a whole mess of food over the weekend, then enjoy lazy meals for the rest of the week. Depending on what I get in my weekly CSA box (a farm share of seasonal veggies) I’ll roast up root veggies, pickle carrots and radishes, or rinse and chop greens. A weekly protein is also in order. I’ll fry up a whole bunch of marinated tofu or make a pot of beans to beef up my meals all week long.
What do I make with all of my lovely components? Rice or noodles bowls, burritos, tacos, and salads are often on the menu. Sometimes spring rolls appear. I keep a pack of dried spring roll wrappers in my pantry for such moments of culinary inspiration. They rehydrate quickly in a dish of cold water, making them easier to prep than rice or noodles. They are light and tasty, perfect for a hot afternoon or a fresh food craving. You can stuff them with salad, tofu, veggies, or whatever else is on hand. For something that looks so impressive, spring rolls are stupid easy.
Start by soaking the dried spring roll wrapper in water. It should only take a few minutes (at most) for it to soften up. Spread the wrapper out on a flat surface, then blot it dry. Soaking up excess water will make the wrapper easier to handle, and will keep the flavors inside bold and bright.
Now pick a few delicious things to stuff inside your spring roll. Leftovers and simply prepped fresh ingredients are perfect for this.
Here are a few ideas:
– Start with something hearty, like roasted eggplant or sweet potato, marinated tofu, seitan, or tempeh. If you are a meat-eater, shrimp, chicken, or pork also work well
– Add some fresh, crunchy elements, like: bell peppers, cucumber, lettuce, sprouts, zuchinni, blanched broccoli
– Incorporate a few ingredients with really strong, bold flavors, like: fresh mango, pickled banh mi style veggies, sliced citrus, or green herbs (such as basil, cilantro, or dill)
– Include some condiments. Guacamole is surprisingly good, as is fresh, sliced avocado. Some other choices are: sriracha, spicy mayo, wasabi, sambal sauce, chutney, or plain greek yogurt.
Load up all of your goodies in a small pile toward the lower third of the wrapper. Make sure they are all facing the same direction (horizontally, for the win). Fold the sides in toward the center, then fold the botom up. Tuck the ingredients inside gently, keeping things snug, but being careful not to rip the wrapper. Roll that little baby up like a teeny-tiny burrito.
If you are packing the spring rolls up to eat later, leave them whole, and pack them between layers of wax paper. (Hint. Hint. Brilliant lunch idea. Am I right?) If you are serving them right away, slice them in half, then set them up with the insides showing, all pretty-like. Pair them with something yummy for dipping. Soy sauce or tamari(gluten-free) works well, but feel free to experiment with other things you like. Sweet and sour sauce, perhaps?
Here are some fun combinations to get you started:
- Lemongrass tofu and Vietnamese pickled veggies
- Ginger garlic tofu with avocado, cucumber, teriyaki sauce, and cold sesame noodles
- Tikka masala tofu with chutney, crispy rice noodles, and cilantro
- Harissa marinated tofu with tabouli, cherry tomato, and roasted eggplant
- Miso glazed tofu with avocado, grapefruit, and crispy kale chips