summer rolls 1

It’s a family tradition to order thai food from the local spot near my brother and sister-in-law’s house whenever we all gather for a last-minute dinner. Because there’s 7 of us plus one adorable toddler putting together the order is usually  a long and overly-complex process. Amidst the chaos, summer rolls always make the cut. Everyone loves the little packets of crisp, fresh veggies!

Until recently it did not occur to me to try making them at home. I’m so glad I did because I was able to enjoy them minutes after they were finished, and also added a few of my favorite ingredients to the mix. These Thai-style summer rolls are bursting with fresh vegetables and herbs. Enjoy them as a refreshing appetizer, or with the addition of protein packed quinoa and/or tofu, even as a light summer entrée.

summer rolls 2

I chose to use brown rice wrappers over the more traditional white rice version in order to enhance the healthfulness of the rolls. Once you mas­ter the rice paper tech­nique, any com­bi­na­tion of fresh ingredients becomes an imme­di­ate and delicious warm weather meal.  Try finely chopped cabbage instead of quinoa,  crisp aspara­gus spears in lieu of tofu, and peanuts instead of cashews for garnish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup of sprouts (of your choice)summer rolls veggies
  • 1 bell pepper
  • cilantro
  • finely chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cup of black or red quinoa
  • 2 limes
  • rice paper wrappers

Wash and dry your veggies. Slice into thin matchsticks of as close to uniform size as you can. Prepare an assembly line with all your ingredients.

Soak 1 rice-paper round in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels.

Arrange veggies in the middle of soaked rice paper, spoon 1 tablespoon of cooked quinoa over top, garnish with a bit of cilantro, cashews, and a squeeze of lime juice. Then fold in sides and roll into a tight cylinder.  Transfer to a plate and continue on with the rest until you’ve used up your filling.

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste or red pepper flakes