Spring Rolls


I have had spring rolls on my list for some time. I had imagined that the process was rather difficult; however, the difficulties were half the fun. By roll ten, the spring rolls begin to take proper form. The recipe causes a sticky situation with a blast of fresh flavors. From crunch to crisp, there is an abundant of reasons to try these spring rolls at the next gathering.

Daikon, mooli, or white radish is a mild-flavored, large, white East Asian radish with a wide variety of culinary uses. Despite often being associated with Japan, it was originally cultivated in continental Asia. In Japanese cuisine, many types of pickles are made with daikon, including takuan and bettarazuke. Daikon is also frequently used grated and mixed into ponzu–a soy sauce and citrus juice condiment. Simmered dishes such as oden are popular. Daikon is very low in food energy. A 100-gram serving contains only 18 Calories, but it provides 27 percent of the RDA for vitamin C.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Rice paper rolls can be found in the Asian department of your supermarket. Ask for help if you can’t find them; they are essential to the whole process.springrolls2
  2. The carrots, cabbage, cucumber and daikon provide a nice crunch and refreshing taste to the rolls.
  3. Tofu can be used for vegan or vegetarian rolls and chicken can be used for more protein packed rolls.
  4. I nixed the green onion just because I did not have it on hand.
  5. The mint leaves and basil would provide freshness to your palate.
  6. The peanut butter will stay clumping in the dipping sauce no matter how fast or much you whisk.
  7. I made the mistake of microwaving my peanut butter and it made the
    sauce seize.
  8. Make the sauce ahead of time allowing the flavors to combine.
  9. Use coconut aminos for a Paleo or gluten free diet.
  10. Wetting the rice paper is essential. It makes the paper flexible, but be careful because it becomes sticky.
  11. Add an equal amount of each ingredient. I suggest adding more filling than you anticipate because an equal volume of rice paper to filling makes a tasty dish.
  12. Trial and error are the staple way to make a spring roll. My first few rolls were
    rather wonky.
  13. Do not be afraid of stretching the rice paper; it will not break.
  14. Fold the spring rolls burrito style–tucking in the sides to keep the filling from falling out.
  15. These rolls need to be eaten immediately. They will be sticky so keep napkins handy.
  16. I had plenty of rice paper left over to make these spring rolls again and again. Keep them sealed and dry for use later.

Now, a taste or Asian cuisine can be enjoyed at home. These tasty spring rolls provide a new twist on appetizers for friends and family. I love the refreshing crunch and vegetable loaded bites. Enjoy the dipping sauce in full force; enjoy the crisp flavors; enjoy a spring in your step and roll.

Leave a comment with your favorite Asian dishes. Follow my Pinterest. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.


Pineapple Fried Quinoa


Vegan, vegetarian, or just full out flavor love?! The pineapple fried quinoa is a meal for all.  With a blast of flavor and healthier ingredients, it is a great combination for any family dynamic.  The rich, sweet flavors of the soy sauce (tamari) and maple syrup create real depth in the dish.  The fresh kale, shitake mushrooms, onions and pineapple give it a nutritional variety and color blast. The most surprising fact is the additional flavors the tahini and pineapple juice dressing provides the dish.  It creates a well-rounded nutty flavor with an acidic bite.  The nutritional yeast adds some nutrients to the dish and makes the quinoa fluffier.  Quinoa is a great substitution to rice and other grains because it contains more protein than other whole grains, which is necessary in diets like veganism and vegetarianism. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. This dish can be made vegan by following it exactly.
  2. In place of tamari, I used soy sauce because they are equivalent in taste the difference is that tamari is a vegan version.
  3. Four cups of quinoa is 1¼ cup dry quinoa.
  4. I used about ½ tbsp more soy sauce to give it more flavor.pineapple-fried-quinoa06
  5. I nixed the mint from the garnish and the dressing.  I felt that the dish was already fresh enough.  If using mint, remember less is more because it is so potent.
  6. I replaced the dried jalapeno with chili powder.  You can use any spice that will give it the kick you desire.
  7. I used chicken broth because it is what I had on hand, but vegetable broth works for both vegans and vegetarians.
  8. I cooked the quinoa and sautéed the tofu, onion, mushroom mixture separately.
  9. After the tofu is cooked remove it until the dish is complete.
  10.  Add all the ingredients to the pot of cooked quinoa and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.  You just want to mix everything and heat up the chopped pineapple.  Don’t over cook it.
  11. Then, add the tofu and dressing. Mix it well.
  12. There is no need for fancy plating unless you want to impress someone and you think the taste alone won’t blow them away.

I made this dish for a potluck with friends, and it was a real winner-winner not so chicken dinner.  It is a bombshell of flavor and nutrients that was simpler to make than it sounds.  Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients and give it a try.  You cannot go wrong with this dish, and it’ll blow your vegan family tongues out of the water.  Who knew vegans could have such fun flavors!

Leave a comment with your suggestions and other vegan recipes you’d like me to try.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

P.S. Pictures are thanks to the original blogger.