Monday, September 16, 2013

Veggie Spring Rolls

Veggie Spring Rolls, yes please! ... and a snippet about fats...

The beauty of spring rolls is that you can change them up and make them different every time. All you have to do is change the insides and the dipping sauce. You can even make them with meat or eggs if you like. It really doesn't matter what you put inside. Just pick what kinds of veggies you like, chop them up, add a little seasonings and put them in the wrappers. 

These are actually quite fun to make and not as hard as they look. The hardest part is the hardest part of making a salad; chopping all the vegetables. After you've mixed everything together you just eat them raw with a dipping sauce of your choosing.

They pair nicely with wild rice or even a salad. I didn't really eat anything else with them as they were enough for me.

You can make them with or without the noodles that most recipes call for. I like the noodles. There are many different kinds you can choose.
Rice Noodles
Asian Vermicelli noodles
Glass Noodles
Soba noodles (made from buckwheat)
You could probably even make them with regular pasta noodles or quinoa noodles.

About rice wraps & filling them:
Here's the thing about rice wraps. It takes a few tries to get it right. Here's the trick; have a hand towel ready, soak one wrap at a time for shorter than the package says. Usually about 5-10 seconds is long enough but you can play with it. 

Soak it in warm water; the texture will slowly disappear, take it out and lay it on your hand towel; pat dry. Lay it on a plate and fill the wrap on one side with about 1 tablespoon of filling and the same amount of noodles. Be careful not to let it stick to itself.

Fold one side of the wrap over the fillings and then take the other two sides, fold them in, and then finish rolling the wrap to completion. The rice wrap will stick to itself and close.

Here's a nice tutorial on how to roll wraps. Their pictures are also much nicer than mine :)

Ciara's Health Snippet of the day!        THE BRAIN & FAT
Here's an interesting fact about trans-fats. God designed our bodies to need fats. In fact, the brain is a fatty organ; it's almost two-thirds fat! Which means that it requires fats in order to function properly. People call it lubrication. The brain must be properly lubricated in order to function properly. Just like a car or any piece of machinery, it needs a certain type of oil. Also just like a machine, if you give it the wrong type of oil it can gum up the system. 

The brain requires essential fatty acids. The human body cannot produce these fatty acids and therefore we must eat them. To me this says that God wants us to eat! He wants us to enjoy foods and even to enjoy certain fats. Here's the interesting part, he created these special fats that we need in vegetable form! Usually when we think of fats we think of animals, cake and oil... but the most important fats come from vegetables. 

Omega 3 is a big deal to the brain. Walnuts have plenty of omega 3, as do chia seeds and hemp hearts. That's why I sprinkled chia seeds in my spring roll filling mixture *winky face* !

So what's this talk about the trans-fats then?

Trans fats are man-made fats. They are the hydrogenated oils. The fats that are found in your twinkies and little debbies and all sorts of other packaged products that you would never even know where there unless you read the packaging. 

So why are they bad? Because they actually INHIBIT brain function. Healthy fats lubricate the brain and help it run properly. They help you concentrate and think. Potato chips actually stop your brain from working the way it should. 

This is an even bigger deal for kids because omega 3 deficiency is linked to distractibility and learning difficulties.

I know this snippet has gone on a long time and I didn't mean for it to, but I just get so excited about sharing this stuff that I can't stop! I just have one more thing to add... omega 6. In the past, back before all this processed boxed food was available people ate a balance of omega 6 and omega 3. This is a healthy balance. Omega 6 fats generally come from animals and dairy products. However nowadays people eat way more omega 6 fats than they do the 3s. Because of this our systems have malfunctioned and we are getting sicker faster and more dramatically. 

Go veggie. At least do your best to eat less meat. The more you try the easier it gets. I haven't even given up meat completely. But I don't eat it often. And make SURE you eat some walnuts regularly. And look into chia seeds and hemp hearts and other forms of that all important OMEGA 3!!!    

I googled veggie spring rolls and found this website; Two Peas and their Pod. They have a nice typical spring roll recipe. They also have a nice recipe for peanut sauce that they claim is delicious. I didn't try it but I'm sure it's wonderful. It doesn't look too hard either. You can choose to make your own or you can buy some pre-made sauces in the oriental section or anywhere else. As you can see from the picture we chose an Indian curry sauce which was very good. And this particular brand was very healthy; with no additives or extra garbage that so often comes in pre-made canned items.


Veggie Spring Rolls
Things you'll need for this insides:

1/2 sweet potato or 2 carrots; sliced into matchsticks or grated
cilantro or basil - add as much as you prefer (chopped up)
Spinach or romain lettuce about 1.5 cups - chopped
1 green or red pepper - sliced into matchsticks 
1 cucumber - sliced

Rice wraps of some kind 
Asian rice vermicelli noodles - or any type of noodley item. 

Cook the noodles separately. 
Add the mixed veggie insides together 
Soak the ride wraps per box instructions (see above for details)
Wrap everything up in the wrap and set aside (also see above for details)

Serve with a dip. Enjoy!

Go ahead. Eat another one. They're healthy & guilt free!

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