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

 

 

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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!