Spring Rolls (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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One of our favorite indulgences is sushi. When we start planning a date night: sushi. Lost in a new neighborhood and hungry: sushi. Unfortunately, there are many negatives that come along with sushi. Was the fish wild-caught or was it farm-raised – where it was likely fed a diet of GMOs and antibiotics? Are the vegetables organic? Is the rice organic or at least non-GMO? Clearly, choosing where to eat dinner is no walk in the park.

Along the same lines as sushi, spring rolls are another favorite. A medley of vegetables all living in harmony wrapped up together – it doesn’t get much better than that. So we decided to make our own. This way, we know what goes into our food and we know what we are getting out of it.

Aside from the rolling process, this recipe affords plenty of room for creativity and variation. Mix up the veggies and include whatever you feel like. You really can’t go wrong!

Ingredients

1 package soy or rice wrappers [we used Sushi Party wraps because they are non-GMO]
1 avocado
1 small cucumber
2 medium carrots
1 orange bell pepper
1 cup of purple cabbage
1 leaf Swiss chard
less than 1/4 cup of sesame seeds [optional]

Ingredients [dipping sauce]

2 T. tamari
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 t. ginger powder
1 T. cane sugar

Instructions: Whisk ingredients together  until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and cook on low heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Ingredients [creamy sauce]

1 T. tamari
1/4 cup of veganaise
1 t. ginger powder

Instructions: Stir all ingredients together until smooth.

Recipe

After throughly washing the vegetables, prep them by chopping and slicing into different sizes and textures. For cucumber, we removed the peel and sliced small, long cubes. The same goes for avocado. We julienned the bell pepper and for the carrots, we used a potato peeler to add a light sweetness. Purple cabbage was roughly chopped and added a great crunch to the mix. Swiss chard was also cut into rough pieces.

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The wraps that we purchased were rectangular. Most of the ones available in stores are larger circles. We wanted to create decent-sized rolls, so we used two papers per roll.

Wet the wraps under a running faucet until they are pliable, but not soggy. Lay the wrap out smoothly on a flat surface.

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Spoon the creamy sauce lightly onto the wrap and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Then create a pile of vegetables in the center of the wrap and start rolling.

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Gently roll the ingredients until you get near the end of the wrap. With about 2 inches of the wrap remaining, stop rolling, fold the ends over into the roll, and finish rolling.

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Repeat the process until you run out, or have made enough to meet your needs – whichever comes first.

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These look much more difficult to make than they actually are. Which is great, especially if you happen to be serving them to friends or guests. They look like you spent hours on them when they really only take about 30-45 minutes to make. After the first roll, the process becomes much easier and goes quickly. We enjoyed a side of sushi rice with our spring rolls.

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