Strawberry Spring Rolls with Brown Rice Paper Wrappers

Strawberry Spring Rolls with Brown Rice Paper Wrappers

Before the last of the strawberries disappear from the farmers’ market for the year, I made light and refreshing spring rolls. Sure, the calendar says fall but it still feels like summer around here in California.

And instead of white, it’s brown rice spring roll wrappers. They’re from a local company, Star Anise Foods. I happened upon them one day at a nearby Whole Foods (they’re also available on Amazon if you can’t find them near you). I had no idea there was even such a thing.

Brown Rice Spring Roll Wrappers

They have more of a nuttier taste and are slightly chewier than their white rice counterparts. Pricier too at $3.79 but I like the ingredients list of just brown rice, cassava, water, organic green tea and salt. The company also makes brown rice pho noodles which I’m excited to try next.

Strawberry Spring Rolls with Brown Rice Paper Wrappers
Makes 4 rolls

4 medium-sized fresh strawberries, sliced
2 heads baby romaine lettuce, shredded
1 small carrot, julienned
Several slices of baked tofu (optional)
Handful of fresh bean sprouts
Fresh mint, chiffonade
Fresh basil, chiffonade
Fresh cilantro, chopped

4 brown rice paper sheets
Hoisin sauce
Chili garlic sauce

Fill a large bowl with cold water and dip one rice paper sheet into the water for a few seconds or so. Place the rice paper sheet on a flat work surface.

In the center, spread a bit of each of the filling ingredients, adding more or less of each item as desired. Fold in the sides of the rice paper sheet over the filling and firmly roll up. Gently press the seam to seal. Place seam side down on a serving plate. If you’re making more than a few rolls, cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out while you’re working.

For the dipping sauce, combine a spoonful of the hoisin sauce with a bit of the chili garlic sauce to desired spiciness. Thin with a little water if the sauce appears to be too thick.

Slice each roll in half and serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

This post also contains an Amazon link, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on the link and make a purchase of anything.

Related Posts
Vegan Ginger Chicken Spring Rolls
Peachy Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Sweet Aha! Vegan Cupcakes

Sweet Aha! Coconut Lime Cupcake

You know it’s a beautiful morning at the farmers market when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and vegan cupcakes are calling your name.

Sweet Aha! is an all natural, 100% vegan, organic, non-GMO bake shop. Their unassuming booth features a weekly rotation of various flavors of cupcakes, muffins and cookies. Pictured above is the Coconut Lime cupcake.

Sweet Aha! Coconut Lime Cupcake

So moist and fluffy! And it’s not super sweet either as they try to use a minimal amount of sweetener (unrefined evaporated cane juice sugar). The texture is spot on. Excellent flavor combination too, the coconut goes really well with the lime.

Sweet Aha! Chocolate Mint Cupcake

A couple of other cupcake flavors is the Coconut Lemon (pictured in the back) and the Chocolate Mint. I never thought I would say this, but the best part is the frosting. It’s so light and just the right amount of sweet.

I remember a time long ago before I was vegan when I would actually scrape off frosting because it was so sickeningly sweet. Not so with a Sweet Aha! cupcake, I would get one just for the frosting. It’s that good. The cake part is good too but the frosting is extraordinary. Easily blows away any other cupcake I’ve ever tried.

Sweet Aha! can be found at the College of San Mateo Farmers Market on Saturdays and at the Inner Sunset Farmers Market on Sundays. I haven’t tried the muffins or cookies yet. I’m already anticipating indecision on what flavor cupcake to try next.

Copycat Amy’s Veggie Loaf Dinner

Copycat Amy's Veggie Loaf Dinner

For the longest time, one of my favorite frozen meals was the Amy’s Veggie Loaf Whole Meal. It was my go-to meal. Always reliable, easy to find, I liked the taste and there’s no crazy ingredients.

Visiting family and they all want to eat at the local steakhouse? No problem, I just pop an Amy’s meal in the microwave, scarf it down and I’m all set if the restaurant has nothing to offer me but a pitiful dinner salad or very plain baked potato for dinner.

Happily, restaurants have caught a clue and usually offer some sort of vegan option so it’s been awhile since I had to turn to an Amy’s frozen dinner for substance. But now I’m sad to see honey in the Veggie Loaf meal, I don’t remember it being in there before. It’s a bummer but also an inspiration to make my own copycat version.

As a starting point, I used my Mini Savory Lentil Cupcakes recipe. It already has many of the same ingredients listed on the back of the box. A few tweaks here and there and voilà, a vegan copycat Amy’s Veggie Loaf Dinner.

Veggie Loaf Dinner
Makes 4-6 servings

Veggie loaf
1 small leek, white and some of the green part, chopped
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/4 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1/4 cup petite green peas
2 cups cooked and seasoned lentils
2 handfuls panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Oil to grease pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the lentils. Add in the rest of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

In a well-oiled 8.5 x 8.5 inch square baking pan, pour in the lentil mixture and pack into the pan, tightly pressing into the bottom. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes until browned and pulling away from the edges. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.

While the veggie loaf is baking, make the mashed potatoes and gravy using your favorite recipes. I added a bit of tomato paste to the gravy for the color but brown gravy works too.