Vietnamese-Style Rice Paper Spring Rolls with Pretend-Peanut Dip

This post is part of a monthly series by Zoë Desborough. Follow Zoë on PumpUp ( @zoedesborough) and on her blog

I hope you guys enjoyed last month’s recipe (Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Pasta and Spicy Tofu) as much as I did!

I’ve been cooking up a storm lately, trying new types of dishes, straying away from the basics and going more into Asian style recipes. For those interested in trying new things out, go check out my two new favourite recipes, my Asian style Tofu Tacos and/or my Tofu Katsu Curry. Both are insanely delicious and adventurous to say the least!

For many of you, we’re nearing the end of the semester, therefore a lot of our time is spent studying, writing essays, getting ready for exams. Right now, I’m in the middle of writing 3 papers and 2 seminar presentations, so I know how stressful and hard it can be to find the time to eat right and exercise.

For this recipe, I wanted to give you guys a quick, easy and versatile recipe that can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes (I timed myself today and it took a total of 7 minutes). I remembered my mom making these Vietnamese-style spring rolls a few Christmas’ ago as appetizers, and it dawned on me that it would be a perfect lunch/snack/appetizer/dinner! You can really have fun with the ingredients you put in; I love to make mine full of crunchy veggies, it’s so satisfying! As an extra, I’m also giving you the recipe for an amazing dip to go with it. Most of the time, you’ll find peanut sauces as a side dip for these rolls, but since I’m allergic to nuts/peanuts, I found this recipe for an amazing chickpea based dip that really does the trick! I found this recipe in Bonnie Stern’s Heart Smart cookbook… which I keep referring to because, let’s be honest, it’s the best!

Get your ingredients out, set the timer, and off you go!

For the rolls you will need

  • Rice papers (round ones, found in any grocery store) … Follow instructions on packaging to prepare them
  • Cucumber
  • Mango
  • Radishes
  • Bell pepper
  • Fresh mint, finely chopped

Super simple! Julienne your ingredients (julienne is the French term to cut your vegetables into long strips…like matchsticks) into even sizes but you don’t want them too long.

Soak your rice wrappers, according to the packaging, and then place them on a clean, dry and smooth surface. Fill with a bit of everything, then fold them like you would a burrito (bottom, side, top, and then roll).

That’s it. You can make as many as you want, as chubby as you want. And be creative with your ingredients! You can add avocado, carrots, bean sprouts, pois mange-tout, vermicelli noodles, rice, lettuce, etc. This recipe is vegan, but you can always add smoked salmon, canned tuna, crab meat, etc. You name it, you got it! You can really personalize these and that’s the beauty of this recipe.

For the pretend peanut dip, you will need

  • ½ cup of drained and rinsed chickpeas (I like using PC’s Blue Menu canned chickpeas since they have less sodium)
  • 1 tbsp. of smooth Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter… super delicious and great alternative for those that can’t have nutbutters or peanut butter)
  • 2 tbsp. of rice wine or rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • Dash of Sriracha… or Wasabi paste

Blend it all in a food processor/blender until you get a nice consistent paste. You can always add a little water if you find it’s too thick.

There you have it lovely people! Super easy, quick and delicious recipe! These rolls are so convenient when you’re super busy and need a quick but healthy lunch on the go, or when you’re sitting at home in your favourite sweatshirt and lucky boxers studying for your exams.

Read Zoe’s blog for more healthy, allergy-conscious recipes and keep clicking through the PumpUp Daily for Zoe’s other recipes!