Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce

I’ve gotten a few requests for the recipe for those spring rolls we made a couple of days ago, and to be honest, I didn’t really use a proper recipe. I will, however, give you some basic guidelines…the rest is up to you.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

* 2 cups, cooked protein of choice (we shredded some leftover pork roast that we made using this recipe)
* 2 cups thin rice noodles, prepared via package instructions
* 1 baby bok choy, julienned
* 3 scallions, thinly diced
* 2 carrots, peeled and grated
* 12 sheets rice paper spring roll wrappers
* one large, shallow-bottomed baking dish (9×13 will work)
* warm water (in said dish)
*plates and wet paper towels (to keep the prepared rolls moist)

1. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix first five ingredients. Run a knife through the mixture a few times to break the noodles into small pieces.
2. Fill baking dish with 1-2 inches of warm water. You may want to go ahead and set up an assembly line this point. Start with the stack of rice papers and the pan of water. Have a clean work space next and the bowl of filling, followed by a plate covered with wet paper towels.
3. Take one rice paper and gently lay into the water, fully submerging for ten seconds. Carefully remove the paper and lay on a clean work surface. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling about one third of the way down the paper. Fold down the top, keeping the filling together. Fold in the sides and roll until filling is completely sealed.
4. Place on plate and cover with wet paper towel until ready to serve.

This made twelve rolls. Keep in mind that these are served cold, so there’s no need to heat anything.

Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari to be gluten free)
* 2 tsp molasses

Heat peanut butter in microwave. When easy to stir, add other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Let cool and serve alongside spring rolls.

Most of these ingredients are pretty easy to find; I did have to go the local Asian market to procure the rice papers.

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Enjoy!

How the Heck Did I Not Know About Pocky???

For real…how did I not know about this stuff?  Holy crap, it’s good.  Joey felt the need to satisfy his nerd-jones and looked it up on Wikipedia (because the Pocky website has no English…), and apparently “Men’s Pocky” just means that it’s made with bittersweet chocolate.  This box had two little packages in it with a serving each of these tiny, chocolate dipped pretzelly sticks of magical happiness.  One serving is pretty low fat/calorie/carb.  As such, Pocky will be making a repeat appearance in Chez Weaver.

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My other piece of food inspiration comes from Deb of Smoothie Girl Eats, Too.  I’d never read her blog before, but I’d heard about her Protein Muffin recipe on a couple of my favorite blogs.  Any time someone promises me a muffin the size of my hand that is low calorie/carb and full of healthy fats, I’m game.  Add the convenience factor of microwave cooking, which requires precious little effort on my behalf, and you can bet on my making it.

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RUN, don’t walk, to your fridge right now.  Make this.  I’m not going to duplicate her recipe here, because I want you to go to her site and read about this.  However, I’ll tell you the substitutions I made:

  • subbed 1 tbsp brown rice protein powder for the cocoa powder
  • subbed peanut flour for the coconut flour
  • subbed applesauce for the pumpkin
  • used 1 egg instead of 2 whites
  • used Stevia as my sweetener of choice
  • added 1 tbsp chocolate chips

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I microwaved it in an egg drop soup container, so the resulting muffin looked like a pint-sized (literally, because egg drop soup containers are 16 oz) personal cake!!  Last night, I topped mine and Joey’s muffins with some Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter (1/2 a pack each).  Guys, the possibilities with this recipe are endless…I’m seeing red velvet muffins, carrot cake muffins, pumpkin pie muffins….

Oh, and to put your mind at ease, we don’t have any Kleenex at the house, so the roll of TP is for runny noses only.

Tonight, we’re going over to Joey’s parents’ house to cook dinner for Mother’s Day.  On the menu?  teriyaki steak, chicken, and shrimp kabobs with pineapple fried rice.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Insane in the Membrane!!

Man, I am losing my freaking mind.  To make a long story short, I’m switching from one antianxiety medication to another, from Cymbalta to Wellbutrin, and it’s proving to be one of the most difficult things I’ve been through in my life.  If I had ANY idea that Cymbalta would be this difficult to stop, I would never have gone on it.  My insurance doesn’t cover as much of the cost this year, and it’s going up $200 (and was already costing me $400 a year).  Per their website, it may cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches.  They fail to mention brain “jolts,” extreme depression and rage, and paranoia.  And the DTs can last up to two months. I’m just a little over two weeks off (and that was after weaning myself back), and the thought of six more weeks of feeling like I’m absolutely going insane terrifies me.  And the even worse part is that I can’t just take off work and get over it. I’m having to go to a job in which I deal with people in a high-stress environment, and I’m having to resist the urge to rip someone’s face off when they annoy me.  Add to that feeling like crying at the drop of a hat, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.  However, I am surviving and I have an incredibly patient husband and friends and family who understand and are helping cheer me up.  So, all in all, despite this mess, I’m still pretty freaking blessed too:)

So, this past week on Good Eats, Alton Brown did a show on Asian noodles which included a recipe using something that’s intrigued me for years now:  rice paper.  His Thai Shrimp Spring Rolls looked amazing on the show, and the rice paper looked pretty easy to work with as well, so I figured it was worth a shot.  I sent Joey to Grand Asia Market in Stallings, and he came back with lots of cool stuff:

like this adorable coffee mug with a kitten peering over the side.  He’s done his best to cheer me up during this time, and bringing me something that combines two of my favorite things (kitties and coffee) was a WIN.  He also came back with rice paper, though.  I substituted tofu for the shrimp…mostly because I don’t like the texture of shrimp unless it’s tiny and fried (make my fish fillet diamond-shaped, please!).  I drained and pressed my tofu, and then julienned about a quarter of the block.  Here’s what I ended up with:

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Check out the source link (the image isn’t mine, obviously, or it would be blurry with poor lighting) too, because it goes to another recipe for spring rolls.  Mine weren’t that pretty, but hopefully they will be the next time.  What a fantastic meal…it was light, but dense enough that it was filling.  Alton’s recipe says it makes enough for twelve rolls, but mine only made 8.  I also didn’t have any bibb lettuce to wrap them in, and I’ll definitely add that the next time because they were really gummy.  My favorite part was the dipping sauce, though. I’m making that sauce for anything asian that I make at home.  People, make these rolls.  Like, right now. 

Hopefully I’ll be able to make it through tomorrow without ripping anyone’s face off.  We always go to the antique show at Metrolina Expo on the first Saturday of the month, but we didn’t get to go today because of an incredibly irritating, hipster-em0-DB “rock fest” for the next generation of people who think they’re unique for having an all-day concert.  There’s nothing new under the sun, kids.  You’re not that special.  Anyway, we’re going to try to go back tomorrow…hopefully we can buy some stuff and offer the dealers some support since they were undoubtedly pissed at their customer base being turned away on their biggest business day.  /rant is over.

Off to watch more Good Eats.  I wish Alton Brown was my zany uncle.