OK, so I’m still wearing my knee-length puffy down coat most days, but the snow has completely gone in our hood. So Winter 2013-14, you’re officially dead to me!
In anticipation of wearing way fewer clothes a few weeks from now, I decided to make the healthy summer rolls in vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier‘s Thrive Energy Cookbook. They combine cooling cucumber; tangy mango and papaya; and sweet, crunchy carrots; with fresh mint, basil and cilantro. They come with a mango, lime and mint dipping sauce that you’ll just want to drink from the bowl.
My son and I made the summer rolls together, with a couple of deviations from the recipe. Instead of kelp noodles, we used Thai rice noodles, because that’s what we had in the cupboard. Rice noodles make the ingredients in the middle less likely to slip out; kelp noodles are healthier. Your choice! And we found that with these summer rolls already being quite fruity, we did not need the dipping sauce to be so sweet, so we added a couple dashes of Sriracha hot sauce to give it more bite.
The recipe for these rolls is below–it says they serve 2-3, but we had a lot of leftovers, and my 18-year-old eats like a grizzly coming out of hibernation, so I’d say serves 4.
You can compare our handiwork below with BB’s in the photos that accompany his recipe. By the way, I’ve annotated his recipes with a few notes based on our attempt.
In partnership with Penguin Canada, I’m giving away three copies of Thrive Energy Cookbook to Open Kitchen subscribers.
It is the perfect gateway book to plant-based eating, with recipes such as Blood Orange and Ginger Citrus Tart, Chocolate Chip French Vanilla Smoothie, and Yellow Peanut Curry Rice Bowl guaranteed to get you all excited and vegan-curious.
To win a copy, subscribe to Open Kitchen on the home page, then leave a comment below answering the following question:
What dishes or drinks would you most like to see in Open Kitchen this summer?
A winner will be chosen using a random-selection app. The closing date for entries is 7 May 2014, at midnight.
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Summer Rolls with Mango, Lime & Mint Dipping Sauce
Simple, light, refreshing, and packed with minerals, this take on spring rolls is a summer favorite.
Serves 2 to 3/Makes 6 to 8 rolls (*or more!)
6 to 8 rice paper wrappers (8 inches/20 cm or larger)
2 cups (500 mL) peeled and julienned mango
2 cups (500 mL) peeled, seeded, and julienned English Cucumber
2 cups (500 mL) peeled and julienned carrots
2 cups (500 mL) peeled and julienned green papaya
2 cups (500 mL) kelp noodles (*Thai rice noodles work too)
2 large handfuls of fresh cilantro with tender stems (cut off tougher bottom half of stems)
2 large handfuls of fresh Thai basil leaves
2 large handfuls of fresh mint leaves
½ cup (125 mL) of mango, lime & mint dipping sauce (recipe below)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Special Equipment: mandoline with julienne blade or julienne peeler (*We just used a sharp knife.)
Fill a large bowl with warm water and spread a kitchen towel on your work surface. Working with 1 rice paper wrapper at a time, soak wrapper in warm water just until pliable, about 30 seconds. Place it on the kitchen towel.
Divide the julienned fruits and vegetables and the kelp noodles evenly along the center of each wrapper, layering your ingredients as you go. Repeat with most of the cilantro, basil, and mint, reserving some for garnish.
Holding the end closest to you with both hands, fold it over the filling. Tuck it under the filling using your fingertips and gently pulling the wrapper taut. Fold in the sides, then tightly roll up the summer roll, squeezing the ingredients to get a tight roll. Place each roll as finished on a damp paper towel, and cover with another damp paper towel, to keep them from drying out.
Cut each roll in half diagonally and garnish with the remaining herbs. Serve immediately with mango, lime & mint dipping sauce.
Mango, Lime & Mint Dipping Sauce
Ideal as a dip and can also be used as a burger topping to give a kick of freshness.
Makes 1 cup (250 mL)
(Prep Time: 5 minutes)
Special Equipment: blender
1 cup (250 mL) peeled and coarsely chopped mango
3 or 4 mint leaves, torn
Zest of ½ lime
1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp (5 mL) cane sugar (*You could drop the sugar and add a few dashes of Sriracha hot sauce)
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and pourable.
*Keeps in a sealed container, refrigerated, for up to 1 week
Recipe posted with kind permission of Penguin Canada, 2014