Food for Thought

Posts Tagged ‘veggies

It has been clear to me for some time that every authority on the subject seems to feel we should eat more vegetables…actually, many authorities say MOSTLY vegetables, which is completely radical to the way many of us eat.  When Michael Pollan wrote in The New York Times that we should, “Eat Food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants,” I knew that only the first of his three commandments was one I could easily follow.  About a year ago, my husband and I acknowledged we don’t really eat vegetables every day, because I can’t count the beans in Hormel chili in a can that I bake with cream cheese and eat with chips and shredded cheddar. I also decided that since that second part, about not eating too much food, would seriously interfere with my #1 preoccupation in life, I should find some recipes that wouldn’t make me feel guilty about going in for that second plate.  Enter, spring rolls.

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I had spring rolls at a local Vietnamese restaurant about a year ago and fell in love with them, but assumed they would be one of those things I couldn’t easily make at home.  I saw the “Take Home Chef” make them a few months later and I couldn’t believe how wrong I was.   I made some with garlic chicken, cilantro, and lots of veggies.  It was so easy.  You can make them a million different ways.  You could use a peanut sauce, ginger dressing, chili sauce, and whatever veggies you want.  Obviously, they’d be great without meat as well. I consulted the internet for ideas when I made mine, so check out a few different recipes.

Here’s what I used for mine:

1 large cucumber, cut into matchsticks

3 large carrots, cut into matchsticks

1 bunch cilantro

1 package bean sprouts

1 pound chicken breasts (marinated in the chili garlic sauce, cooked, and cut into strips)

1 cup Huy Fong’s chili garlic sauce (or any marinade you want!  I have a ginger salad dressing that would be great as well.)

1 package rice paper wraps (check the ethnic aisle in the grocery store)

All you need to know:  Have all the fillings ready to go.  Fill a large bowl with warm water.  Soak 1 wrapper for about 20 seconds in the water, or until it softens.  They get thinner the longer you leave them in, so you will quickly figure out how you like them.  It’s a little easier to fold them if they aren’t too thin, but you may prefer them that way.  Use your hands to take the wrapper out.

I’m a much better visual learner, so check out this 2 minute video to see the rolling up process in action before you try it.  Youtube:  how to roll spring rolls

Basically, you put the spring roll wrapper on a flat surface.  Add some of your ingredients in the middle.  You can see I put a few sticks of each vegetable and a tablespoon or so of chicken.  Fold the two sides over the middle, then roll it up like how you would fold a burrito. It’s really easy once you’ve tried a couple.

In the video, they used different plates.  I used the same platter over and over, so I kept a towel nearby to wipe off water in between making each roll.

They’re really great.  As with anything, the first 1 or 2 may fall apart or your water may not be hot enough, but once you know how to do it, you’ll be set to make them whenever you want.

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