Healthy Recipe: Spring Rolls
By keeping a healthy body weight, you are less likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, gallstones, osteoarthritis, breathing problems and sleep apnea. To maintain a healthy weight, we encourage you to eat a healthy diet by incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to “eat the rainbow” with foods that come in a variety of colors, like those of the rainbow, to help fight cancer.
These fresh spring rolls are very versatile. You can add the fresh vegetables outlined below or add in a few of your favorites. You can also substitute tofu for any lean protein, such as shrimp, fish or chicken.
Ingredients for Spring Rolls
1 recipe for Baked Tofu (sesame ginger- see notes) cut into strips
1 recipe for Thai Peanut Sauce
8–10 Rice paper wrappers (10 inches in diameter) or see notes
1 head green leaf lettuce (or red leaf)
1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips (or sub grated radishes)
1 1/2 cups finely shredded purple cabbage
1 ½ cups shredded carrots (or use matchstick)
½ an English cucumber, thinly sliced into long strips – leave peels on
¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, torn (or regular basil)
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn (or cilantro, but mint is best!)
Ingredients for Baked Tofu
16 ounces tofu- organic, firm or extra firm, non-GMO
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce– or gluten-free Braggs Liquid amino acids (tamari will be too salty)
1 tablespoon miso (or sub 1 more tablespoon soy sauce)
3–4 slices thin slices ginger- peels ok
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
1–3 teaspoons chili paste (all optional)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Ingredients for Thai Peanut Sauce
6 thin slices ginger- cut across the grain, about the size of a quarter. (No need to peel)
2 fat cloves garlic
1/2 cup peanut butter (or sub almond butter!)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (roughly 1 large orange)
1/3 cup lime juice (2 small limes)
1/4 cup soy sauce or GF Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (Note: Tamari will turn this unpleasantly dark)
1/3 cup honey, palm sugar or agave, more to taste
6 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 –2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or a squirt of sriracha sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
Instructions for Preparing Spring Rolls
- If using Baked Tofu, prepare that first (instructions below)
- Prepare Thai Peanut Sauce by placing all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste. Adjust sweetness, salt and cayenne to your liking.
- Prep all your filling ingredients. Cut the veggies, gather the herbs and prepare a rolling area.
- Fill a large bowl (large enough to dip rice paper) with lukewarm water and place it behind your rolling area.
- Wet the counter in front of you.
- Do a “tester” roll. Dip the rice paper in the water. If using “thin” rice paper (package should say) just a quick dip is all you need. Otherwise, dip for 5-15 seconds. Pull when slightly pliable (not too soft) and place it on the wet counter or towel. If rice paper still feels overly stiff, dip your hand in the water bowl and wet the rice paper a little, it will soften up.
- Place a 1/4 leaf of lettuce down first in the front center of the rice paper (to prevent shredded veggies from poking out of rice paper) leaving 2-3 inches of space on the sides.
- Top the leaf with shredded veggies, tofu and torn herbs. Then firmly wrap up, tucking in the sides as you go. Place seam side down on a wet cutting board, cover with a damp paper towel.
- Fill more or less to your preference. Roll each spring roll one at a time. The more you do this, the easier it will get.
Instructions for Baked Tofu
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Blot the block of tofu with paper towels. Press the tofu gently to release some liquid, blotting as you go.
- Cut tofu into pieces (strips, cubes, squares or fillets) about 3/4 -1 inch thick.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Blend ingredients (except sesame seeds) together in a blender until smooth, pour over tofu, coating all sides well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 35-45 minutes, and for extra crispy broil for a few minutes.
Credit: Feasting at Home