A friend of mine has an Asian-inspired closed-door restaurant here in Punta. When I went there for the first time, I saw “spring rolls” on the menu and I ordered it, thinking I’d get the Chinese fried version. Instead, he brought pockets of raw vegetables. I tried them, skeptically, but I loved it! Very fresh and light!
To end our Summer Tertulias, I decided to make that recipe. It isn’t hard, but it takes a while to roll everything. It’s totally worth it, though, and they last a few days in the fridge – a healthy snack option. They are very versatile: you can fill them however you want. I made the vegan version, but you can add boiled shrimp, for example.
The rice paper used for these spring rolls can be found in health/Asian stores. Here in Uruguay, I found them on the gluten-free section of the supermarket (the celiac population here is surprisingly big: we had a gluten-free section before it was cool 😀 ).
The quantities listed here are simply a suggestion – adjust however you like!
1 packet of rice paper wraps
1 cucumber, julienned – I still haven’t mastered the cut, though…
1 carrot, julienned
1/3 green bell pepper, julienned
1/3 red bell pepper, julienned
1/3 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 packet of bean sprouts – alfalfa sprouts work nicely too, but I didn’t find them in the market! 😀
4 Tbsp soy sauce – traditionally, fish sauce is used, but then the recipe is no longer vegan. I tested both and they are equally good.
1 Tbsp sugar
Juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 cup of water
Start by prepping all the vegetables.
Then, set up your workstation: the veggies, the sprouts, the mint, the rice paper, a deep plate with water (to soften the rice paper), a clean dish towel, and a plate to place the finished rolls.
Place one wrap on the plate with water and let it sit for a minute. It will be quite soft! Carefully, remove the wrap from the plate and place it over your towel, trying to keep it from curling. The first few times it may be a little troublesome, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
Place the filling on the center of the wrap, being careful not to overfill. Fold the bottom part of the wrap over the filling, fold both sides into the center, making an envelope, and fold the top part over, closing the roll. Repeat until you run out of wraps or filling! 😀
Mix the sauce ingredients and serve!
A very important part of moving is the massive clean-up – use everything you can, throw away useless stuff, so there are less boxes to carry! When it was time to clean up the fridge, I found half a can of tahini in there – certainly, a hummus leftover. I also had some frozen cooked chickpeas (we tend to avoid the cans, as they are pricey here!). The obvious thing would be to make hummus again, but I also had plenty of carrots in the fridge, so I was reminded of a gorgeous-looking recipe I had seen on smittenkitchen.
This was easily one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten! It’s also a complete meal in itself (who says that vegan food won’t keep you full?). I made the recipe below for lunch – we both ate until we were couldn’t possibly eat another bite, and there were leftovers!
I could talk for hours about how the tahini sauce goes perfectly with the carrots, how the warm and spicy chickpeas give this salad a comfort food status, etc… but I’ll stop.
To be amazed, you’ll need:
For the chickpeas:
1 can of chickpeas, drained – I used 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika – not in the original recipe, but I love paprika 🙂
½ tsp salt
For the salad itself:
450 g (1 pound) grated carrots
¼ cup chopped parsley – aka “a lot”
¼ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped – I don’t really like pistachios, so I didn’t use them.
For the dressing, the real hero of this story:
1 garlic clove, chopped – I used more. I always use more!
¼ cup lemon juice
3 (generous) Tbsp tahini – mix it well before measuring.
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Start by coating the chickpeas with a mixture of the olive oil and seasonings, making sure they are well coated. Place them on a large baking sheet (but don’t pile them!), and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes, until they are golden brown and crunchy. During the bake time, shake the baking sheet every now and then, so that the chickpeas bake evenly.
With a whisk, mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add the carrot and the parsley and set it aside.
When it’s time to serve, add the pistachios (if you’re using them) and the chickpeas. Dig in and wonder why you haven’t made this recipe sooner! 😀
The carrots were very pretty at the grocery store – they had that “buy me” look. It was time to make a recipe I had pinned centuries ago. You know one of those recipes that you think it’s going to work great, but you are kinda lazy and simply don’t do it? Yep.
Well, it was silly of me to be lazy about this recipe, as it is very easy – and wonderful! This is without a doubt one of the most interesting soups I’ve ever made, proving once again that Patricia Scarpin is a genius. ❤ As usual, I’ve adapted it a little bit, because that’s just how it goes.
The recipe is vegetarian, but to veganize it all you have to do is replace the cream for a soy/rice version.
1 kg carrots – peel and chop into big chunks
350 g onions – same deal
Roughly 3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper – I added paprika too
About 5 cloves of garlic, peel and all – from the famous series “things I decided to add while taking the ingredients shot”
1 tsp cumin
1.5 liters veggie stock – I used the homemade version , concentrated, and completed with water
250 mL heavy cream, or a vegan substitute
Place the carrots, onions, and garlic on a baking sheet. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin. Mix everything very well and bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 minutes, or until the carrot is tender.
Then, remove the garlic peels – it should be very easy! – and place the ingredients from the baking sheet into a blender, adding the stock to help the process. As my blender died #RIPblender, I placed everything in the pot and used my immersion blender.
When everything is nice and blended, add the cream and heat the soup until it starts to boil. Serve immediately.
FREEZER: As most soups, this recipe freezes pretty well. I just placed the cold leftovers in a Ziploc bag! When re-heating, I used the immersion blender to pulse it a little bit, so it would regain the original texture.
With Brazilian politics, crazy work, and life being… well, life, the blog has been a bit quiet. But I haven’t stopped cooking! I’m on an effort not to buy industrialized bread anymore – homemade is better. Another effort is to clean up Pinterest, finally cooking everything I’ve pinned. Ok, this one is a lost cause, as everyday there’s something new and fun to pin… 😀
Combining these two goals, I finally decided to make this bread by Cozinha da Ceci! I made two (one to eat at the moment, the other to freeze) and increased the amount of carrot the recipe called for. I just regret not having made MORE!
For a 12 x 5-inch loaf pan, you’ll need:
2 tsp instant dry yeast
1 Tbsp water
1 cup water, lukewarm
2 medium-sized carrots, chopped and diced – the original recipe called for 1 small-sized!
½ cup oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup quick oats – you can replace for whole wheat flour instead
1 tsp salt
In a big bowl (that fits all ingredients), mix the yeast with the sugar. Add the lukewarm water – do you remember the ten-second rule? – and set aside until the yeast starts to bubble. THEY SAY that this step is optional when using instant dry yeast, but I’ve never skipped it.
In the blender, beat the eggs, carrots, and oil. Pour this mixture over the yeast. Add the flours, oats, and salt, and mix with a silicone spatula until you can’t see any specks of flour.
Place the dough into the loaf pan (unless yours is a non-stick pan, make sure it’s buttered!), cover with a clean dish cloth, and let it rise on a warm place for about one hour, or until it doubles in volume.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until it’s golden brown on the sides – if you tap the surface of the bread, it will be firm and you’ll hear a hollow sound.
Let it cool in the pan for about five minutes, remove from the pan, and let it cool over a wire rack. Don’t cut the bread while it’s still hot: it’ll crumble!
FREEZER: section the bread into portions, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months!