Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Inspiration from a Chocolaty Flop

Sometimes great ideas for recipes come to you just after another reveals itself to be a flop. I was inspired to make chocolate muffins, the ultimate breakfast indulgence, but without all the sugar. So I used applesauce and stevia, and let’s just say that applesauce and chocolate do not go together. I also attempted to make it dairy free, and the sunflower seed oil I used in place of butter turned out to be a big mistake.
So what did I get in my muffin tin? Well, it was: bitter and not at all sweet; crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside (neither one a compliment); and chocolaty, yes, but completely unbalanced in flavor.

It’s flops like these that I really wish baked goods were compostable.
Since it was still early in the day (I woke up early for a morning rock climbing session), I felt I could still make a recipe before my shift at the community center. I thought about remaking the muffins, but that looked to be a recipe for another day, so I thought about making something I planned on doing later in the week.

I know, I know… it’s completely random. How does one go from muffins to spring rolls (of all things) in a morning? I honestly have no idea, but this recipe worked with what I was craving at the moment. It was filling, clean (in the sense I could taste every ingredient), and filled with delicious vegetable goodness. That, and I think Meals with Morri needed a recipe that didn’t call for cooking or baking anything.

Spring rolls are something I’m surprised gluten-freers aren’t embracing more. The rice paper is relatively easy to find – not to mention inexpensive – and you can stuff it with practically anything. You can have sauce/dressing in the filling without fear of it dripping on your hands. It’s the perfect finger food on the go, and highly adaptable to your dietary lifestyle (save the grain-free crowd, sadly).

I made mine with tuna salad as I have done with lettuce wraps and socca in the past, but I added some Asian flavors to change it up a bit. For this recipe, you don’t have to use tuna. You can cook up some chicken, use another species of fish, or go completely veg with beans and/or quinoa.

Either way, I guarantee it will be delicious.

Tuna Salad Spring Roll Wraps

10 Rice paper sheets
5 Romaine lettuce leaves, halved and stemmed
2 cans 5 oz/142 g Albacore solid white tuna in olive oil, drained of excess oil
2 Small red onions (or shallots), finely diced
2 Carrots, grated
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Ginger chunks (garlic clove size), finely chopped
5 ml Unrefined apple cider vinegar
1 Small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
184 – 200 g English cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

In a medium-sized bowl, thoroughly mix together the drained tuna, onion, carrot, garlic, ginger, and apple cider vinegar.
Take one piece of rice paper at a time, and dip it into warm (not hot!) water for 5 seconds in a shallow bowl or until it softens.
Place it on a flat surface and lay the pieces for one lettuce leaf down, followed by the tuna salad, and then the cucumber and pepper slivers.
Fold it into the shape of a roll like so, or however you wish to serve it (I left one end open for a “wrap” appearance.)
Garnish with black sesame seeds and serve with a dipping sauce containing coconut aminos, Penzeys wasabi, and white sesame seeds.

Makes 10 spring roll wraps. Serves 2 – 5 people depending on meal preference.  

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