I've done so many variations on this one, I finally had to take a picture and style it up for you. Often you will find me making fresh spring rolls with rice paper or I put part of my salad in nori and eat it like a hand-roll or a maki cut roll. I am really quite basic with my meals and don't make a huge fuss over them but I do in general make sure I have the right kinds of ingredients and I make enough food for at least 2 meals or 2 people. I enjoy meal prep on Saturday or Sunday afternoons when I have a few hours after I've just finished teaching my morning yoga classes and I have some time for a farmer's market or grocery store run. I often prep vegetables such a carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers into small strips so they can be eaten as a snack with a dip, or passed through the mandolin for a quick salad, or like here, placed into a roll. The actual rolls take a little practice to perfect but they taste the same when not rolled perfectly so enjoy the process.
I really enjoy tofu and tempeh and often crave it as a staple form of protein in my diet. So for me, its not uncommon to pan-fry up a whole container of tofu and have to hold myself back from eating the whole thing at once! I like both medium-firm and firm tofu in this application. I typically use EVOO for the oil on the pan but I have also used grape seed oil and red palm oil with great results too. Similarly, I tend to whip up a batch of either hummus, a dip like this avocado one that can be used as a dressing, or my favorite thai-inspired peanut sauce that is actually made with cashews...or I just use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce if I'm really pressed for time. I like doing weekend meal-prep so I can enjoy and be creative on weekends while having options in the fridge to mix and match throughout the week. I hope you too can be inspired to take out less of the thinking with these recipes and experiment with what makes you happy and full of life!
1 pack organic medium-firm OR firm tofu
Handful of fresh mint
Handful of alfalfa sprouts or other kind of sprout
optional add-ins: cucumber, jicama, red bell pepper
rice paper sheets
Heat skillet to medium-high heat. Add EVOO or high heat tolerant oil of choice. Make an incision in the tofu packet and drain the liquid. Take out the tofu and slice in half height wise, then make strips of tofu as pictured or as desired. I find they cook best not too thick. Once the oil is hot enough that you can place a strip on the pan and bubbles form around it, place all the strips on the pan and leave them there for a little while to crisp one side. Once you find the bottoms to be golden brown, flip the tofu onto the other side. Cook until tender but not fully crisp. You want only one side to be crisp. Once finished, line a large bowl or plate with paper towels and put cooked tofu.
Place a cup or two of water in a sauce pan on the stove to warm. You will use it for softening the rice paper. Once the water is warm to the touch but not near boiling, you will turn off the heat, set up your vegetables and get rolling!
Immerse a sheet of rice paper into the warmed water for about 5-10 seconds but not to where it falls soft. This will happen as you roll! On a cutting board or clean flat surface, lay your rice paper down, add several strips of carrots, 1-2 strips of cooled-off tofu, 3-4 leaves of mint, and a small chunk of sprouts and get to rolling! I find it works best to fold in just one side and leave one end unfolded. Using a clean knife, cut the roll into small pieces or eat as is using tamari or any dip such as the one here.
CREAMY DILL SAUCE
1/2 cup soaked cashews or 2 T hemp seeds
2 TB EVOO
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T Lemon juice, or 1/2 large lemon
large handful of fresh dill
1-2 tsp sea salt to taste
1/2 cup water or until desired consistency
Put all ingredients into the high-speed blender and balance to taste!
I am a huge fan of this dip with hemp seeds. I always knew cashews could sub for dairy in vegan recipes but once I ran out of cashews I started to experiment with hemp seeds and have found with great excitement that they can replace cashews. Note that it is not an exact measurement replacement.