Monday, April 21, 2014

#MeatlessMonday - Vietnamese Summer Rolls Plus a Vegan Dessert!


Recently I've been obsessed with Vietnamese Summer Rolls. There is something about that cold, crisp bite that is instantly refreshing! I realized that I was ordering them off any menu they graced so it was about time I learned how to make them for myself.

After a quick spin down the Asian Foods aisle of the grocery store, I had all the ingredients I needed. It's amazing how even the most obscure ingredients, i.e. rice paper, can be found just a few rows over from Lunchables.

Don't forget to get a taste of the Vegan sweets from Sugar Beak Bakery at the bottom of this post!






Ingredients - Makes 6 Rolls
6 sheets of rice paper
6 leaves of bib (or other leafy) lettuce 
2 cups of shredded carrots
2 cups of rice noodles (vermicelli), cooked and cooled
6 slices of firm tofu, pressed*
cilantro
sweet chili sauce for dipping

Preparation:
Sear pressed tofu in sesame oil to give it a boost of flavor and set aside prior to roll assembly. 

Fill a large bowl with warm water (not boiling). 

Place a sheet of rice paper in the water for about 15 seconds or until soft. 

Lay the sheet out on a clean, flat surface and begin to build your summer roll by layering lettuce, tofu, carrots, rice noodles, and cilantro. 

Tightly pack the contents, fold in the sides and roll up the paper to create your masterpiece. 

Tip: You can always replace the tofu with chicken or shrimp! 

*Pressed Tofu allows the tofu to crisp up and absorb flavor! 

DON'T FORGET DESSERT! 

Looking for something sweet? I've got just the thing! 
I was recently introduced to Sugar Beak Bakery, a new bakery operating out of Irvine. 

Owner and head baker Ashley Fiocco combines her vegan lifestyle with her passion for food to satisfy every sweet tooth, or as they refer to it, every "sugar beak". Fiocco is turning out delectable concoctions such as Vegan & Gluten Free Double Chocolate Spinach & Hemp Brownies, Dark Chocolate & Pumpkin Spice Brownie Bites, and my favorite, the Vegan and GF Salted Caramel & Sweet Potato Chocolate Tartlet. 


The texture of this treat is divine! The perfect combination of sweet and salty! The creamy chocolate topping and smooth caramel make it hard to believe that this is actually a vegan recipe! Fiocco actually makes the "caramel" from sweet potato! Um, genius!

Want to order one for yourself? Just click here!



Dessert photos courtesy of Sugar Beak Bakery