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FRESH VIETNAMESE-INSPIRED RAINBOW SUMMER ROLLS with Dipping Sauce

A fun and simple way to eat the rainbow! Enjoy this refreshing and tasty dish anytime of the day.(vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free) 

TOTAL PREP TIME: 45 MIN

SERVINGS: 10 SUMMER ROLLS, 8 SMALLER ONES

INGREDIENTS: 

10-12 each rice paper sheet/spring roll wrappers (**include a couple of extra sheets in case one tears!)
1 C butter lettuce, torn with ribs removed (optional item*)
1 C red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 C carrots, thinly sliced (cut julienne or matchsticks
2 each Persian cucumbers, julienne or matchsticks (hothouse cucumber okay)
¼ C red bell peppers, seeded and sliced (julienne or matchsticks)
¼ C yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced (julienne or matchsticks)
½ each medium avocado, sliced (optional item)
½ C fresh cilantro, rough chop
½ C fresh mint, rough chop
¼ C green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
8 oz extra-firm tofu, cut into strips (optional item; can use other protein if preferred)
2 each jalapenos or Thai chili peppers, seeded & thinly sliced (optional item*)
4 oz cooked vermicelli or maifun rice noodles (optional; I used brown rice ones)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Pink Himalayan salt or sea salt to taste

 

DIPPING SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

½ C creamy nut or seed butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower seed, etc)
1 TB rice vinegar (yes, seasoned is okay!)
1 TB toasted sesame oil
2 TB reduced-sodium tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
½ medium lime, juiced
2 T maple syrup (or honey, or raw coconut sugar or sugar-free alternative like monk fruit)
½ tsp fresh ginger, grated (optional)
½ tsp fresh garlic, minced/grated (optional)
½ tsp chili garlic sauce or sriracha (optional and can add more or less!)
Hot water to thin out as needed

 

OPTIONAL ALTERNATIVES:

Instead of rice paper can use coconut wrappers, or nori maki/sushi seaweed paper or lettuce wraps or sturdy leafy greens like collard green leaves
You can use fruit if you like! (ie mangoes, pineapples, etc
You can spiralize your veggies if you’re in a time crunch
Can use zucchini, napa cabbage, other veggies etc
If you are not plant-based, can sub out tofu for shredded chicken, shrimp, etc
Can use garbanzo beans as optional protein sub for tofu
Can use glass noodles or sweet potato noodles
Can use 8 oz of cooked quinoa instead of noodles
Can use basil, Thai basil, parsley, lemon thyme as other herb options

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Cook rice noodles (or glass noodles or quinoa) according to the instructions on the package. Drain and rinse in cool/cold water. Toss with the 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil and a little bit of salt. Set aside.
2) Prep all your vegetables and herbs and organize on a sheet pan or in separate bowls for easy access when assembling the rolls.
3) Prepare dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients except for water into mixing bowl and whisk together. Slowly whisk in 1 TB of water at a time until desired consistency. Set aside in a bowl for service.
4) Fill a shallow pan with about 1” of warm water. Submerge one sheet of rice paper into the water for about 10-15 seconds or until just pliable and transfer to a clean surface. Some people use a lint-free towel to absorb the extra water but you can just use a wooden cutting board as well. **MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT OVER SOAK THE RICE PAPER OR IT WILL BE TOO FRAGILE TO WORK WITH.
5) If using butter lettuce, leave about 1”, from the edge of the sheet and lay the lettuce over the lower 1/3 of the sheet. Start to add the veggies, herbs, noodles and protein of choice. If you don’t use the lettuce, just add the other ingredient, making sure to only fill the middle to lower half of the sheet. Don’t overfill!
6) Once you’ve added your ingredients, fold the lower edge of the sheet up over the filling, gently rolling upward until the filling is enclosed. Then fold over the short sides (as if you would a burrito) and roll up until the roll is completely sealed.
7) Place the wrapped roll on a clean serving plate and place a damp towel on top to keep it fresh and from drying out.
8) Repeat steps 4-7 until you’ve used up all your wraps!
9) Serve with the dipping sauce, garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs. You can have a side of sriracha or chili sauce separate from the dipping sauce for those who want to adjust their own heat/spiciness!
XO - Serena

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