The biggest thing that I've been working on with the clean up of our diet is adding more raw elements to our meals. I made some of these summer rolls (minus the tofu) for the neighborhood block party last month with a spicy peanut sauce, and when I was at Price Chopper the other day I picked up another bag of rice sticks, I knew it was time to make a meal of it and post some tips.
These can really be done with whatever you like, but here's what you're looking at in the photos as the filling:
The key for me is the paper for rolling. Having a standard order of ingredients helps, as well. I use room temperature water, and only soak these until they are pliable. I then put the wrapper down on a clean dish towel and start filling. I start with the herbs, then the noodles, and finally the vegetables and top with the tofu. The idea is that the herbs and the tofu sort of sandwich the fillings, making it easier to roll. I first fold in the sides, then start rolling the filling up. If it doesn't look like the ends will stick, you can wet your finger and use that to moisten the finishing flap. Set aside and keep rolling!
I got about 16 rolls out of a mixing bowl of vegetables and the noodles. I wound up with a ziplock bag of vegetables left over, which went in our black-eyed pea falafel wraps last night for dinner (based on Crescent Dragonwagon's New South Falafel from The Passionate Vegetarian).
These are great with a peanut sauce, or with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar and chili paste. I had leftover miso marinade, and we loved it so much that I made a jar to keep in the refrigerator for using with the leftovers. These will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but note that the rice paper will start to disintegrate a bit. We had these for dinner on Saturday, luck on Sunday, and polished off the last ones yesterday as a snack.
You can, of course, put shrimp in these, as well as grilled vegetables or whatever else you want or happen to have around. I have skipped the noodles before and used only vegetables, as well. I'm sure that substituting some marinated, grilled, thinly sliced portobello strips would sub in well for Thai beef salad. (Yes, I'll do that in my next summer roll post).
If you follow us at Two Fat Sisters, you probably already know that I've been working on cleaning up our diet a bit in an effort to shave off some pounds I've gained. Today, I should be writing, but it's been awhile since I've been in the kitchen, so I decided to make some barbecue sauce for this week, as well as to make some vegan Italian sausage. I've also got a loaf of chicken style seitan in the oven right now, as that freezes great and I can spend two + hours making it today so when I'm busy I can just thaw and go. If you decide to make this recipe, note that it never takes a full cup of water in the dough for me. I add water until I have a moist, kneadable dough.
My BBQ sauce is loosely based on the recipe in Barnard's 21 Day Kick Start to Weight Loss.
Makes about 3.5 cups
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
14 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
6 ounce can of tomato paste
Juice of one lemon
2 Tablespoons Molasses
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup
1/4 cup mustard (prepared--I used stone ground)
1 teaspoon bittersweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon or so of hot smoked paprika
pinch of crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons tamari
1-2 Tablespoons of cider vinegar
In a saucepan, sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add all other ingredients and use an immersion blender to puree. Cook for five minutes or so and taste for saltiness and heat. You can also add more vinegar if desired. I recycled my empty molasses jar for the fridge, and two other one cup jars are going in the freezer.
I have a couple of ears of corn in the fridge that we need to eat, so I cooked a bag of navy beans in the pressure cooker. I set aside 1/2 a cup of the cooked beans for the sausage, and took two cups of the beans and stirred in barbecue sauce. Those will be baked off later this week for our BBQ dinner of corn, beans, and some sort of protein (I haven't decided between soy curls, tofu, tempeh, seitan, or a chickpea cutlet yet). The rest of the beans were split between two ziplock bags and put in the freezer for future use.
I had cooked some chickpeas earlier this week and bagged those up for the freezer, too, leaving out a can's worth for either hummus or cutlets (see above).
Makes 4 sausages (recipe based on Isa's Italian Feast Sausages)
In a bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups of vital wheat gluten + 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
In a blender or large mixing cup (if you have an immersion blender), put:
1 cup filtered water
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon fennel
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of smoked sweet paprika
1 Tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1 Tablespoon of "no-chicken" broth powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 cup drained cooked navy beans
Blend until smooth (see above). Stir into the dry mixture with clean hands and work the dough until you can easily divide it into four even pieces (I weighed mine). Cut four sheets of foil, place the sausage on the edge of the foil and roll it up, twisting the ends like a tootsie-roll. Steam for 40-45 minutes.
These freeze well and can be sliced and browned as "coins" or ground and used like you would ground sausage. The texture is softer than actual meat sausage, but the flavor is quite good. I often serve these with polenta and sautéed greens.
This is so not my creation, but when you can get fresh corn and avocado and it is hot outside, this stuff hits the spot. It's loaded with vegetables, and I don't even bother blanching the corn. So, this is vegan, raw, and gluten free. Get the basic recipe here.
I highly recommend putting smoked paprika on top (that's the red stuff in the photo). I made a pan of vegan Golden Cornbread to go on the side. To veganize Aunt Jemima's recipe, I simply use 1 Tablespoon flax meal in 4 Tablespoons of hot water in place of the egg, olive oil in place of the butter, and unsweetened almond or coconut milk (with about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar added) in for the milk. I also swapped out the AP flour with white whole wheat.
I'm going to be spending some time over at our companion site, Two Fat Sisters. I decided after going in for a check up last week that I need to trim off a few pounds and that I tend to focus a bit to much on the "ish" in "Veganish" lately. I'll pop in here as I go, but you might want to follow me over there if you're interested in my version of Neal Barnard's 21 Day Kickstart.
Angel lives in Camden, Arkansas where she writes stuff and sometimes sends it out to other people to read. She used to grade papers, but not anymore. Check out her main site to see what she's up to lately.