Rice Paper Rollin’

I heard that the weather was BEAUTIFUL today. I only caught a few minutes of the sunshine walking from work to car (about 500 metres), and yes, the sunshine was perfect.

I was hungry as usual. Sunshine + hungry = rice paper rolls. What else?

I’ve probably mentioned before that Vietnamese is my favourite cuisine, so rice paper rolls always go down well. Only problem is I find them really time consuming, mainly because my knife skills leave a lot to be desired, so I usually only make them when other people are around to eat too. Lucky I have willing house mates.

There is a bit of an art to rollin’. Like sushi. First time you do it they will probably be a mess, don’t worry! I have been making these for ages and mine still look shocking. Who cares what they look like though, right?

So I went to get all my ingredients and find brown rice vermicelli noodles! Woo! I may be a little over-excited but this is totally new for me, so looking forward to trying them. Not a huge difference nutrition wise, which I was surprised about, though they are higher in dietary fibre (only slightly!). Protein, fat and carbohydrate are all pretty much equal in comparison to the regular white vermicelli. For all my gluten intolerant friends though, rice noodles are gluten free, happy days 🙂  If you are following this recipe and very sensitive to gluten, just watch out for the soy sauce!

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Two hours later –> they were ok. Just ok. I found them a little chewy and tough. You can’t notice it in the rice paper rolls because there is a lot of other stuff going on, but I think I would avoid using them in a soup or stir fry. I think I will stick to the regular white kind..I have only just converted to whole wheat pasta after all, baby steps..

Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls

1 x block firm tofu

1 x tsp oil

1 x TBS soy

1 x love garlic, minced

1 x inch piece of ginger, minced

1/4 x cup dried shitake or other dried asian fungus (soaked in hot water for 20 mins)

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1 x carrot, thinly sliced into matchsticks

1 x cucumber, thinly slice into matchsticks

1 x capsicum, thinly sliced into matchsticks

1/2 x packet vermicelli rice noodles, soaked in hot water

rice paper roll sheets

ice burg lettuce, shredded

mint leaves

Dipping Sauce

1 x TBS hoisin

1 x tsp soy

1 x tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp chilli sauce

Heat oil in a fry pan and fry the ginger and garlic for one minute, then crumble in the tofu.

Cook until the tofu looks golden, about five minutes, then stir through the soy and soaked mushrooms and put to one side.

Cut up all your veggies. Make it as organised as possible to make rolling a little less annoying.

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Get a bowl of warm water and dip in your first sheet of rice paper, lay it flat on a bench and wait for it to soften so it’s easier to work with.

Layer your ingredients at one end of the circle, veggie sticks, lettuce, noodles, mint and tofu mixture. Be careful not to fill it up too much!

Start rolling the side with the mixture, then wrap the top and bottom sides and tuck it all in.

(I apologise sincerely for this method, I never realised how hard it would be to describe how to roll a rice paper roll! )

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I’m not going to lie, they probably won’t look neat and tidy, but they will taste amazing!

To make the sauce, just mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Dip away.

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‘The It’ Recreation

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PANCAKES! Need I say more? Pancakes would have to come close to one of my favourite foods…I have fond memories of family trips to The Pancake Parlour when we were younger, drowning in a sea of chocolate fudge and maple syrup. My tastebuds have matured slightly and i go for The It nowadays (seriously, I know the entire menu like the back of my hand), but The Pancake Parlour is definitely one of those once in a while special occasion treats these days!

Now that I know better in terms of nutrition..and now that i am old enough that I don’t have mum and dad paying for my breakfast.. I more often make my own pancakes at home. So there was this one phase last year when i fell for the ‘carbs are the devil and i must stay clear of them at all costs’ trend…and I avoided wheat for a while. The positive aspect being that I discovered this simple, healthy recipe for banana pancakes. I first found out about them from pilates legend Cassie Ho from Blogilates, and have been making them ever since.

 

1 x ripe banana

2 x eggs

2 TBS x LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds & almond meal) or you can use oats

Pinch of cinnamon

Throw it all in the food processor and whizz away until smooth. The batter should be fairly thick, if it’s too runny add in some more LSA.

Use a non-stick pan and spray it with cooking spray, or use a teaspoon of coconut oil to coat.

Use about 1/4 cup batter per pancake, pour it in the pan, wait till the bubbles appear on top and then GENTLY flip over. Be careful coz the little guys are delicate!

I usually get about 4 pancakes from this. Stack ’em up and top with greek yoghurt and blueberries. Yum!

 

So just a heads up, they are not going to be your regular delicious pancake stack from The Pancake Parlour with caramelised banana and buttered walnuts, but they are a super healthy, really quick way to get your pancake fix in for the day 🙂 and they taste pretty good!