I’ve been on a bit of a roll at the local Farmer’s Market lately. It’s one of my favourite ways to spend the weekend. I mean, what’s not to love? There’s music, homemade items from soups to soaps, fresh summer peaches to fragrant pakoras, not to mention arts and crafts like recycled old t-shirt bag making. What I love most is a program called the ‘POP’ – or the ‘Power of Produce‘ club at our local market here in Coquitlam. It’s is a fun opportunity for children to engage in the local food system through conversations directly with farmers, games and demonstrations and exposure to new fruits and vegetables. When participating in these educational activities and a ‘Two-Bite Challenge’, POP Club kiddos receive a $2 token to spend at the market, allowing them to make their own shopping decisions at the market! The last two years, I have had the pleasure of organizing a food cooking demonstration in collaboration with POP. One of my favourite recipe’s was the salad roll.
There’s something powerful about getting little ones involved in the food preparation. Engagement cultivates curiosity and participation farms a certain kind of open-mindedness to give new foods a chance. It also begins to teach the fundamental life skill of cooking at a young age! Most of all, it’s loads of fun.
The basics of this recipe are simple: vegetables of all colours – julienned, sautéed tofu strips, fresh herbs and green lettuce to wrap it all in, then tucked into a rice wrap with a side of dip. Easy, simple, grab them to-go on a summer picnic, or enjoy them with dinner as a side or appetizer.
Vegetable Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
MAKES: 10 Rolls
PREPARATION TIME: 45 MINUTES.
EQUIPMENT: Large Plate, Measuring Spoons, Small Mixing Bowl, Cutting Board, Knife, Spoon, Non-Stick Pan, Spatula, Stove
- 10 Spring Roll Rice Paper Wrappers
- 1 Large Carrot, Julienned
- 1 Large Cucumber, Julienned
- 1 Large Red Pepper, Julienned
- 1 Avocado, Sliced
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Purple Cabbage
- A handful of Fresh Cilantro, Mint or Thai Basil
- 10 Large Green Lettuce Leaves (Romaine or Butter)
- 1 Package of Pressed Tofu (340g), Sliced thinly
- 1 Tsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- Optional: 1 ounce Cooked Rice Noodles / Vermicelli
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup All Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar or Lime
- 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1 clove Garlic, Mashed
- 1 Teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce (optional)
- 2 Tablespoon water
- Sprinkle salt onto pressed tofu and set aside.
- Prepare the sauce: In a small mixing bowl or ramekin, mix all ingredients together and set aside for later.
- Cook tofu in a lightly oiled non-stick pan until golden and stir while cooking (approximately 5 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the rice wrapper: Pour warm water into a large and slightly curved plate. Note: plate should be larger than the diameter of the rice paper wrapper.
- To make the rolls, first dip the rice wrapper into the water for 10 seconds. Once all areas of the rice wrapper are wet, they will soften. You want the wrapper to be soft, yet still slightly firm and pliable. Immediately remove from the water and place onto a flat work surface such as a large plastic or ceramic cutting board.
- Place fresh herbs in a horizontal row, slightly below the middle of the rice wrapper.
- Holding a large green lettuce leaf in your hand, fold in half so it is about 1/2 the size of the diameter of the rice roll.
- Place a few of each of the vegetables and tofu horizontally along the stem of the lettuce: julienned carrots, cucumber, red pepper, avocado, cabbage, tofu and noodles. Tightly roll up the sides of the lettuce leaves to wrap everything within the leaves.
- Place the lettuce-wrapped vegetables and tofu atop the row of herbs on the rice wrapper whilst holding the wrap together.
- Roll everything up tightly by pulling the two sides of the rice wrapper and pulling up the bottom of the roll. Then using your hands to roll and tuck the filling in as you go (like making a burrito!).
- Serve on a plate, cut in half with sauce on the side. Or individually wrap in plastic wrap or for an environmentally-friendlier version – reusable beeswax cloth wrap such as Abeego or Bee’s Wrap! Store up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
Per Serving (1 Rolls and approximately 1 Tablespoon of Sauce) without vermicelli noodles
Calories: 177 kcal
Fat: 9.5 g
Carbohydrates: 16.9 g
Fiber: 2.7 g
(Net Carbohydrate: 14.2 g)
Protein: 9.1 g
A source of:
1 Vegetables and Fruit Servings and 1/2 Serving of Meat and Alternatives from Canada’s Food Guide