I have a little over week until school starts and I can’t tell whether I’m excited or not. When school starts, that means that fall slowly creeps in and the weather gets cooler…cooler weather means warmer dishes and plenty of comfort foods. On the other hand, when school starts, that means that I’ll be bombarded with homework on the daily and have less time for recipe searches and cooking ventures. Parents out there might be excited to have their kids busy most of the time but speaking for the kids, all we ask is just for another week or so of summer.
This summer was not a typical summer for me. I spent the first 2 weeks in Los Angeles, definitely the highlight of my summer. When I returned, I spent the next 5-6 weeks working on an online economy/personal finance course for school as well as other summer assignments which kept me occupied from 8am-5pm everyday. This left me with 3 weeks of relaxation but I’ve kept myself busy with many little projects here and there.
For me, summer means a 10 week break from school where I can spend traveling internationally, catch up on my to do list items that I’ve procrastinated with for a while, spending lots of time with friends and family, working and, of course, cooking a lot. Since I didn’t traveled internationally this year, I brought the other countries into my home with flavors. Sushi and Spring Rolls are very easy to make and, since it’s back to school season, it would make sense for me to also say that they are perfect for school lunches. Here’s why!
Spring rolls are a great way to add vegetables into any meal. You can also empty your refrigerator by adding peppers, lettuce/salad, zucchini, carrots, etc. We always keep rice paper and rice noodles in our cabinets for any last minute spring roll need. One Sunday evening, you can make a handful of rolls for dinner and then keep more in the fridge for the next few days. I usually keep them no more than 3 days.
So fear no more for those Back-to-School Blues! Summer will travel with you through your lunch box, making school lunches the best new thing!
- 15 sheets of rice paper (circular)
- 4 oz rice noodles, cooked and cooled
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienne
- 1 small cucumber, julienne
- 1 red pepper, julienne
- other vegetables, if desired
- handful of Boston lettuce leaves
- couple handful of fresh mint
Heat up (warm water) enough water to fill the bottom of a wide dish, wide enough for the rice paper.
Place a sheet into the water, one at a time, until soft and almost transparent. Place on a clean surface and dab with a towel.
Place a small portion of noodles on the edge of the rice paper. Add a few strands of vegetables(carrots, cucumber, peppers, 1 lettuce leaf) on top of the noodles. Garnish with a few mint leaves.
Folding the Spring Roll: Tightly roll the spring roll ONCE, towards the excess paper. Fold in both sides perpendicular to the roll. Continue rolling the spring roll to the end of the paper.
Repeat until there is no more rice paper sheets.
Serve with peanut sauce or sweet and sour sauce.
For more help rolling, you can use the guide at the bottom of the Small Fried Spring Rolls with pictures for each step. Don’t dab with egg and don’t worry about the shape, the Small Fried Spring Rolls were made with squares but these should be made with circular rice paper sheets.