Friday, May 29, 2009

Cheep Cheep

Here's a little change purse I picked up at the Vancouver Art Gallery's gift shop not long ago for about $5. Much better for taking a stroll past the beach (and perhaps the gelato store) en route to the grocery store than a heavy leather shoulder bag.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Salad Rolls

Miraculously, it has been sunny here in Vancouver for the past few weeks! That means I am not getting my veggies because 1) it’s too hot and beautiful too cook and 2) patios serving burgers and beer are beckoning.

 Here is an easy recipe for salad rolls that solves the first problem, at least. Serves 2.

 8-10 circular sheets of rice paper

About 150 grams (5 ounces) of rice noodles (about 1/3 of a package)

Two carrots, sliced

Half a cucumber, sliced

Half a bunch of cilantro, chopped

Half a head of spinach, washed, dried and chopped

1 avocado, halved and sliced

Fruit (optional but highly recommended!): mangoes or strawberries work well

A kettle full of boiling water

1.     Soak the rice noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes while you prepare the veggies.

2.     When you are ready to start rolling, dip a piece of rice paper in a plate of hot water for about 30 seconds. I like to use a quiche dish for this. Pull it out, shake it like a Polaroid picture (okay, not that hard) and put it on your counter.

3.     Layer cilantro, spinach, rice noodles (a small handful), carrots, and other veggies and fruit in a line towards the closer end of the circle.

4.     Roll the filling over once, fold in the edges, and complete the roll. Basically, it’s like making a burrito. The rice paper is really sticky, so it will hold together nicely.

5.     Place the finished rolls on a plate with a bit of air space in between, or they may stick together and tear.

6.     Serve with peanut sauce (see below) or store-bought Thai sweet chili sauce.

Peanut Sauce: Combine in a bowl or food processor. 

1. Start with the basics:

¼ cup peanut butter

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

2. Add any or all of the following: chopped cilantro, a splash of lemon or lime juice, maple syrup, ginger, garlic, or chili sauce.


Enjoy with a beer, glass of white wine, or some green tea and an episode of Rich Bride Poor Bride.