Fresh Summer Rolls with Basil, Avocado, Kale + Spicy Garlic Peanut Sauce

Holy cow. Ho. Lee. Cow. This recipe for summer rolls from This Rawsome Vegan Life is BY FAR one of the best raw veggie recipes I have ever tried, if not number one. There are, in all honesty, no words to express just how much I loved eating these. Even Papa Pants, who is a meat and potatoes kind of guy to the max, loved them! He was completely satisfied with a handful of these rolls for dinner. Now that is shocking!

I had some trouble finding the rice noodles and the rice paper. I was talking to some of my coworkers and they told me that any grocery store with an Asian section would have them. WRONG! I ended up finding both the noodles and rice at our local Asian market. That is an adventure on its own lol. There are about 35-40 different brands/kinds of noodles. I slowly walked up and down the aisle more times than I would care to say to find the specific noodles listed. I am a visual person, so if anyone else is too I am posting pictures of the rice noodle and paper packaging so you know exactly what to look for!

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So I did tweak the original recipe just a little bit. I bought the cilantro, but forgot to add it in (oops). Perfectly delicious without it. I also added a hefty amount of the rice noodles to the rolls, since that was going to be the only thing we would be eating for dinner. I also doubled the peanut sauce recipe to freeze and save for future use. I also hand mixed my peanut sauce. At first, I was a little disappointed and discouraged because it seems a little too lumpy, but I completely fell in love with it when it was inside the roll. You couldn’t tell that the sauce wasn’t very smooth. Also, even if you have soy sauce at home, I highly recommend buying the tamari sauce. I did a finger taste and was amazed at how different it tastes from regular soy sauce. I did a little research, and it turns out that regular soy sauce is very often cut with wheat, so it is not all soy. Tamari, on the other hand, only uses all soy.

And lastly, I apologize for my pictures not being as lovely as the original chef’s🙂

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fresh summer rolls with basil, avocado, kale + spicy garlic peanut sauce
serves 2-4

Peanut sauce:
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon chunk of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 tablespoons tamari
4 tablespoons maple syrup
4  tablespoons lime juice
Chili powder, to taste
2/3 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup water (more or less as needed)

Rolls:
1 cup cooked vermicelli (AKA rice noodles)
5-8 rice paper sheets
1 carrot
1 avocado
1/3 cucumber
5-8 cup fresh basil leaves
5-8 kale leaves
1/2 red pepper

To make the peanut sauce: mix together all the ingredients until smooth.

To make the wraps: cut all the veggies into thin strips. Dip your rice paper sheets in warm water so they soften and become pliable (do this one at a time), then arrange your fillings and sauce in the middle. Fold the bottom, and then the left and right side, then roll as tight as possible. It might take a few tries to get it perfect. Serve with the sauce

 

 

Charlize Theron Inspired Budget Friendly Look for $153

Being a new mom and in college, it is safe to say that I don’t have a lot of money to spend on new fashion. Living in Los Angeles, I am constantly surrounded by beautiful women in beautiful clothes. Very expensive beautiful clothes. So I’ve recently become fairly good at piecing celebrity outfits together for a fraction of the price. For example, this Charlize Theron look. She has a Monika Chiang Boyfriend Turtleneck Sweater ($395),  Chloè Patent Heel Oxfords ($670) and Dior bag. Those are some crazy expensive threads, girl! The grand total for my outfit only comes out to $153.

charlize theron

I absolutely love love LOVE the boyfriend/slouchy sweater trend going on right now. It’s super cozy and comfy, and does a good job at hiding my post baby belly. I also love the leather tights, mostly because they’re so versatile. You can play them down for a daytime look like Charlize did, or dress them for an evening out on the town. A nude bag is a must have for every woman. It is easily interchangeable for fall and spring. And lastly, I’ve always loved the preppy look. A cute pair of oxfords is best way to achieve it, in my opinion.

Charlize Theron Inspired Budget Friendly Look Total: $153

Charlize Theron inspired budget friendly look

Jamaican Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Black Beans and Rice

Hello, all! So I think I’ve finally been able to work out my hectic schedule, and add in some time to keep blogging!

Princess Pants is oh so big now. She’s 3 1/2 months, and already in 9 month clothes! She’s growing way too fast. She is really close to rolling over, and smiles so much. We’ve gotten a few chuckles out of her, but she’s not fully laughing yet. She loves to stand up and look around. I call her my little meerkat.

With having two jobs, being in school full time, AND having Princess Pants, it’s safe to say that I am a busy woman. If we are what we eat, I am most definitely fast, cheap, and easy. LOL! With that being said, I recently bought a new cookbook that I am in love with: The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Fresh Easy. The title says it all. All of the recipes are fast, fresh, and easy. What I think I enjoy most about the cookbook is that all of the recipes call for ingredients that you’ll be able to find at any local grocery store. There is nothing super exclusive or gourmet, and most, if not all, the recipes use ingredients that you’ll use time and time again.

So in my amazing new cookbook, I found the recipe featured here today, Jamaican Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Black Beans and Rice. DELICIOUS! Papa Pants loved it. Our favorite part was the bed of rice and beans I laid the pork on top of. It was the cilantro and light crunch of the onions that really won me over. The flavors were great, and it was a super easy meal. We’ll definitely be having it again!

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Jamaican Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Black Beans and Rice

ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 6 tsp. salt-free Jamaican jerk seasoning, divided
    (I got mine from the farmer’s market in Downtown Long Beach)
  • 2 Tb. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
    (I bought the spice and then lost it -___-‘)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
    (I ended up using the whole box)
  • 1/4 tsp. (generous) salt
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained
  • 3 Tb. chopped fresh cilantro

directions

  • 1 Sprinkle pork generously with salt and 5 teaspoons of jerk seasoning. Let stand while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  • 2 Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat 1 Tb. oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until just browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer pork to a rimmed baking sheet and roast until 145°, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • 3 Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tb. of oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, turmeric, and remaining 1 tsp. of jerk seasoning and stir 1 minute. Add broth and generous 1/4 tsp. of salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer without stirring until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in beans and cilantro. Mound rice and beans on platter. Slice pork and arrange atop rice. Drizzle with any pan juices.
    (I had to let my rice cook for an additional 20 minutes about, and had to add all of the rest of the chicken broth)

Things I’ll do differently next time:

  • Soak the rice for about 30 minutes to a hour
    (Here’s an article with pictures on why you should do so- Basmatic: The Jewel in the Crown)
  • Add some chili powder, red pepper flakes, and maybe some cumin. We like things spicy in our house!

What to Pack for the Hospital?!

Hi All-

Well, since I am now officially full term, Princess Pants could come any day now. That, needless to say, leaves Mama Pants in an anxious/excited/scared/joyous wreck. In preparation for Miss Princess Pant’s arrival, I’ve started to pack our hospital bags. I have everything for Princess and Papa Pant’s bags, and about half of the things for mine. I need to go shopping!

  • Princess Pant’s Bag:

    • Coming home outfit
    • Wipes
    • Diapers both sized newborn and 1
    • Baby’s memory book
    • Pacifier
    • Light blanket
    • Swaddles
    • We also have her car seat and stroller ready to go!

     

  • Mama Pant’s Bag:

    • Coming home outfit
    • Extra heavy duty 6th grade maxi pads
    • Black cotton granny panties
    • Laxatives
    • Prenatal vitamins
    • Nipple cream
    • Phone charger
    • Snacks
    • Several copies of our birth plan
    • Toiletries (contact lens case, toothbrush, deodorant, lotion, etc)
    • Slip-resistant socks
    • Cheap flip flops for shower
    • iPad
    • An ever growing list of people to call once Princess Pants is here
    • Nursing bra
    • What to Expect When You’re Expecting
    • Light jacket

     

  • Papa Pant’s Bag:

    • A notepad and pen (for doctor’s notes and questions)
    • A watch with a second hand (to keep track of contractions)
    • Bathing suit (if I need help in the shower)
    • Snacks
    • Charged camera/video camera

Woah boy lol. I’m still afraid that I’m missing some key items, though! If anyone has any suggests or tips, they’d be greatly appreciated! I’ve opted out in taking my own clothes to wear after labor because honestly, I’d rather make an accidental mess on the provided gowns than my pajamas.

Any day now Princess Pants, we’re all so excited to finally meet you!

Busy Busy Busy!

Hi all-

Yesterday was such a busy day for the Pants Family! We had three big events happen.

  1. I am now officially full term into the pregnancy.
    And boy do I feel it. Princess Pants is getting stronger and stronger everyday, and loves to nudge her feet up into my ribs! This little girl moves nonstop and is constantly poking her butt out. She hates when I drink anything cold, and also hates loud, metallic noises. But she does love Papa Pants’s voice. Every time she hears him when he gets home she wiggles happily!🙂 I am getting bigger and bigger everyday as well. So far, I’ve gained 33lbs and feel like a hippo. I can’t lie down on the couch without Papa Pants being there with me, because I get stuck and need his help to get up! It’s humorous for him, very annoying me! Even my maternity pants are getting too tight! Nowadays I’m mostly seen wearing Papa Pant’s band shirts and basketball shorts.
  2. According to the state of California, I am now officially a disabled person.
    I knew the later weeks in pregnancy were going to be difficult, but there is a lot more I’m unable to do than I had previously anticipated!!

    • It takes me about 5 minutes to get dressed. All parts of getting dressed are now extremely difficult, socks or shoes being the hardest. But since my feet are so swollen now, I’ve mostly resorted to wearing flip flops. Undies and pants a close second to being the most difficult. I have to sit down in order to put them on! Getting undressed is no easy feat, either.
    • The aches and pains in general are a little more than I expected, too. My swollen hands in the morning hurt fairly bad. This may partially be my fault, since I’ve refused to take my ring off, and have only managed to wiggle it off after icing my hands. If I haven’t been able to elevate my feet for the day, my poor toes turn into sausages and the area between my heel and arch beings to hurt (thankfully I have Papa Pants who is nice enough to rub it for me when I ask). Princess Pants has begun to descend, and the pressure on my pelvic floor is like nothing I’ve felt before. It is especially painful to stand up from a lower chair. Achy breasts, itchy skin, heartburn, and braxton hicks are all too common as well.
    • Some other random annoyances are getting out of cars, not being able to bend over, constantly feeling as if I’m going to lose my balance, trying to not sleep on my back, insomnia, and being this big in the middle of summer. But whenever I feel like I’m about to cry because I’ve dropped my phone on the floor with no furniture around for me to stabilize myself on, with a full bladder, swollen feet, experiencing a braxton hick, and with California in the middle of a heatwave, I just try to conjure up an image of what Princess Pants will look like or think of a fantasy of the three of us in pure bliss, and I power through it🙂
  3. Papa Pants and I got our maternity pictures done!
    For our pictures, Papa Pants and I decided that the Seal Beach Pier would be the perfect place to get them done. When we showed up, however, we were a little worried because the beach was so crowded from every Californian and their mother trying to escape the heatwave. Our photographer Matt Petit, however, did such an amazing job. From the sample photos he’s shown us, he made it look like Papa Pants and I had the whole beach to ourselves! If anyone in Southern California happens to stumble across my blog and is looking for a photographer, please contact Matt! He was fun and made the whole experience very comfortable and amazing for us! Here’s a sneak peek of our session:

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ImagePhotographer: Matt Petit
Location: Seal Beach Pier

First Pants Family Blog Post

To Family and Friends-

It should not be a surprise to everyone that Papa Pants and I are expecting our little Princess Pants in five fast coming weeks! Because so many of our dearest family and friends are far away or not seen as often as we’d all like, Papa Pants and I decided to start this blog to keep everyone connected and in the loop with what is going on in the Pants Family, especially with our little Princess Pants.

Since the internet and blog sites are accessible to everyone and anyone, we’ve decided to adapt code names to keep a little bit of our privacy, because locations and pictures will constantly be posted.

Thank you everyone for your continuing support and love! Princess Pants can’t wait to meet you!

Love,
Mama and Papa Pants

Papa and Mama Pants