Vegetable Summer Rolls and Peanut Sauce

img_6096No stove required!  This may be the perfect summer dish, but I make these all year long.

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair taught me the proper way to soften the rice paper and Anna Langbein’s cooking show on PBS is where I learned this simple method of making peanut sauce.  I only need a cutting board, a knife, an electric tea kettle and a pie plate to make these restaurant-pretty all-vegetable fresh summer rolls. They don’t have to be all vegetable, add chicken or pork by all means.  In the Steamy Kitchen, Jaden Hair has a great recipe for lemongrass pork that is awesome in these, but we most often just do vegetables and don’t miss the meat.

1. Gather ingredients…

I use a bell pepper, green leaf lettuce, a hot house cucumber, carrots, cilantro, crunchy peanut butter (or creamy and chopped dry roasted peanuts), and sweet chili sauce.

2. Chop your vegetables and start your tea kettle to boil.

3. Once your water is boiling, make your peanut sauce.  Mix almost equal parts crunchy peanut butter, sweet chili sauce, and boiling water.  About 1/4 or 1/3 cup each.  I add a little more peanut butter than chili sauce, but it’s by your taste.  Stir together then set aside.  The boiling water makes the mixture look awful, but it will smooth out while you stir and then while it sits.

4. Soften the spring roll wrappers.  Pour more hot water into your pie plate.  It should be hot or warm but not boiling.  You’re putting your fingers in it, DON’T BURN YOURSELF!  Working one roll at a time, place a round in the warm water and hold it down with your fingers, then turn it and submerge again, then pull it out.  It will still be stiff, but it becomes more pliable as you load it.

5. Load and roll.  Place a lettuce leaf (usually just the tops of the lettuce and let it come out the top, makes it pretty), carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers and cilantro and roll from the bottom up.  Place each roll on a plate as you make it.  Don’t let them touch or they will stick.

6. Serve with small dishes of your peanut sauce.

Click here for the recipe card.


Let me know if you try these!


Our Daily Bread

It seems I’ve tripped on a theme that every so often I get the occasion to write about managing without a major appliance. Is your dishwasher dysfunctional… click here. Is your range out of commission… click here.  I found this week that these are all much easier to work around than when the refrigerator stops cooling. 

Last Monday there was a giant icicle down the lower inside of the freezer that I figured out later was caused by our ice maker melting all the ice and re-freezing as it dropped into the bottom. Yep, the top of both the freezer and fridge was warm and the bottom was just fine. 

We managed to save the cheese we had just stocked from Wisconsin and several other perishables at my in-laws. 

Our fix-everything guy was booked so we were trying to make it work until he could have a look to see if it was repairable. 

My options for cooking was limited to ingredients sourced from just the pantry, plus we had no way to keep leftovers. Whatever I was going to make we needed to eat all of it. 

I made a half batch of our favorite pizza dough to make just one pizza, I made a half batch of rice a couple of times, I triaged the thawed frozen bananas into my favorite chocolate chocolate banana bread, and we ate a lot of potatoes and sweet potatoes. We had box Mac n cheese with and cup of ramen. Twice we had take out. 

Really we ate like we did in college. My fridge looked very similar to a dorm fridge. 

On Friday with no word yet from our handyman we began pricing out used or dented models, but we would have to spend around $900 to get something comparable. No thanks! Plus the new models weren’t like our current fridge layout which I am so accustomed to and love. 

Thankfully we heard back that afternoon that our hero fixer could come and that evening I had my fridge working again for the low price of $150. The inside fan had shorted. 

My fridge looks correctly stocked again. And we can have dairy!

How about you? If you were faced with no food storage abilities what would you fix?