Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baked Veggie Spring Rolls

What's better than stir fry?  Stir fry wrapped up in a cute little package!  What's a good word to describe more than craving something?  I don't know, but this is how I feel about egg rolls/spring rolls, but alas my weak digestion doesn't love the trifecta factor, the deep-fried/sodium/gluten factor.  So for this month's Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free challenge hosted by the beautiful and talented chef, Iris of The Daily Dietribe, I figured why not make a healtheir and gluten-free version of my favorite Asian cuisine: spring rolls.  I nearly cried over these.  First, because they were hopelessly delicious, and two because I tripped and smashed my toe sprinting to the oven when the timer went off.  I also burned my mouth.  Yes, I'm that impatient when it comes to taste control.  The true test came at dinner.  The verdict:  Husband loved them.  Daughter loved them.  Son loved them.  Happy bellies.  Happy mommy.

I served these spring rolls with vegetarian fried rice and cold cabbage salad. 

1 small red pepper, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
2 celery stalks, julienned
1 cup shredded cabbage
Rice noodles, about 2 cups cooked 
Low sodium gluten-free tamari
Garlic granules, 1 tablespoons 
Onion powder, 2 teaspoons  
Red Pepper flakes, to taste 
Oil of your choice (GS, sesame, olive, coconut, etc)
Rice wrappers 

How To
*Saute veggies (carrots, celery, pepper & cabbage) with some oil
*While veggies are cooking, place noodles in a large bowel and add boiling water.  Leave them alone until you are ready to use 
*Add a bit of tamari to veggies
*Add garlic granules (or fresh garlic, 2 cloves would be plenty)
*Add onion powder 
*Drain noodles and add to pan with veggies
*Add another drizzle of tamari & oil
*Cook until veggies and noodles become incorporated
*You can add red pepper flakes to taste, but I left these out for my kids
*Let this mixture cool completely...nice to make this earlier in the day and have it ready to assemble the rolls, but it only takes about 20 minutes to cool
After mixture cools:
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
*Add some filtered water to a flat wide pan or dish and soak the rice paper for a few seconds, when pliable add the filling and roll - while you are filling one, have another in the water waiting
*Fill rice wrappers and place on baking sheet.  I use my favorite silicone baking mat 
*At this point you can spray the rolls with oil if you so desire, it makes them very shinny.  Be forewarned, however, oil sprayed or not, the tips and ends of the rolls get very poky when cooked
*Bake for 15 minutes.  (I didn't test these any longer than 15 minutes, so I'm guessing they will become crispier if left in longer.  I happen to prefer the chewy texture at the 15 minute mark). 
*Walk with caution to the oven, minding chair & table legs, toys and furniture 
*Do not eat these right out of the oven like a wild animal (like moi)
*Feel wonderful about eating healthy, delicious food!

*You can add just about anything you like to these rolls.  Other suggestions include: mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, chicken/pork, onions, cilantro, basil or fennel.  Have fun with your food! 
*Traditional spring rolls call for oyster sauce, but I couldn't find any gluten-free brands.  The rolls taste absolutely delicious with the tamari, so you're not missing a thing!
*I didn't bother making a dipping sauce for the rolls, they were tasty all on their own.
*These take FOREVER to cool.  Have these out and cooling a good 15 minutes before you eat, 30 minutes if serving to children.  


Shirley @ gfe said...

Amber, what an awesome job you did! Gorgeous and great step by step, too. What a wonderful addition to Iris' theme of Chinese food!


Amber said...

Hello Shirley~

Thank you for your kind words. I hope others find these as equally delicious. --Amber

Iris said...

Thanks for joining in, Amber! I'm going to make these for dinner tonight!

Amber said...

Hello Iris,

Thank you for your comment...and please let me know how they turn out. I'll be curious to how others feel about this alternative to traditional rolls. Your blog has certainly been a huge inspiration to me and I'm thrilled to be a part of this wonderful community. Warmly, --Amber

Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty said...

Oh my gosh! I'm glad you found my blog!! These look amazing! I never thought of baking them. I might go make a version right now after I subscribe to your blog!! :)

Amber said...

Hi There Jessica~

Thanks for your feedback. I have made these like 4 times this month. They are so easy and very tasty. Please let me know how you like them...and if you add any of your own creative flair. I'm in the process of getting my facebook/twitter/RSS feed all set up, so definitely check back in a week or so. Happy cooking, happy eating. Be Well, --Amber

Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty said...

Hey Amber, I did make them and they were good!!

I just basically made a veggie stirfry, with rice noodles and then baked them and dipped them in a peanut butter/sweet chili dip! So awesome thank you!

Amber said...

Hi There Jessica. I would ask for that dipping sauce if I wasn't allergic to peanuts. Sounds so yummy. Glad you enjoyed the spring rolls. I'm addicted.

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