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Full of flavour and loaded with vegetables, these colorful salad rolls are always in my top go-to lunches. They are so simple to make and very convenient to take with you to work or enjoy at home. The best part is that you can switch up the filling to suit your preferences or the preferences of various family members.
o make these salad rolls a balanced meal, we want to incorporate a protein rich food, vegetables, and some fats into the rice wrapper, which provides your starch.
- Protein-rich foods: shredded chicken, shrimp, smoked salmon, crab/imitation crab, tofu, smoked tofu, or tempeh
- Vegetables: shredded carrot, strips of cucumber, lettuce, sliced bell peppers, shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, or spinach
- Fats: avocado, delicious dipping sauces (peanut sauce, mango chutney dipping sauce, sour cream with dill and garlic, soy sauce)
- Additional starches: for more energy, consider adding in rice noodles, vermicelli, or rice, in addition to the wrapper
Steps for making the perfect salad roll:
- Prep your protein source - e.g. roast your tempeh, slice up your smoked tofu, defrost cooked shrimp, shred leftover cooked chicken
- Prep your veggies/herbs by washing and slicing them up into strips
- Use a damp surface to assemble your rolls so the wrapper doesn’t stick to it, such as a damp cutting board or a lightly damp paper towel on your counter
- Dip your rice wrapper one at a time in a bowl of warm water until it begins to loosen and is slightly soft (few seconds). Be careful not to soak them for too long or they’ll tear when you try to wrap anything in them.
- Assemble your protein source and strips of veggies/herbs into the middle of the rice wrapper, leaving about 2 inches from the edge of the wrapper - don’t overfill it!
- Start by rolling up the side closest to you over your filling, then tuck in each side of the wrapper and roll all the way until sealed tight (the wet rice wrapper will stick to itself)
- Continue to practice!
Rice paper wrappers are made of rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, and water, making them naturally gluten-free. After forming a thin circle with the flour paste, it is then dried. The result is a thin crispy round sheet that simply needs to be rehydrated (soaked in warm water) before using it. Easy to digest with a very neutral taste, rice paper wrappers are a great vessel for creating whatever flavour profile you prefer.
The best part is the dipping sauce! The peanut sauce adds healthy fats and tons of flavour to these rolls. Being high in monounsaturated fats, peanut butter is an excellent energy source of energy. Peanut butter is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants: vitamin E, B3, B6, copper, and manganese.
For the Peanut Dipping Sauce, mix together:
- ¼ cup of creamy peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of warm water (or more as needed)
- Optional: 1 teaspoon or Sriracha sauce for spice
Try preparing a bunch of these on the weekend to take for lunches at the beginning of the week. These rolls will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Written by Sofya Borisenko and Liz Powell, RD