The past two weeks we've been on school vacation. Running about site-seeing and having fun. School starts back tomorrow and I must admit, although I've enjoyed my kids' company, I'm looking forward to getting my alone time back.
I did manage to pull the camera out one dark night when I made Spring Rolls for dinner.
I don't know about you, but I always manage to get a few veggies leftover in the fridge that don't get used right away and then I worry they may go off and I hate wasting money and food. The best thing to do is either make a pasta sauce and freeze if for a later day when I don't feel like cooking, soup or spring rolls. This week I had a green pepper about to go off and a 1/4 cabbage left over.
Spring rolls are also good for the fun factor of rolling up, seeing through to the contents and overall interestingness as well as getting kids to eat raw vegetables.
I fried a pound veal and pork mince in a pan with a puree of: garlic, ginger, soy, spicy plum sauce, chives, lime juice and coriander. Half went into the spring rolls, the other half went into a soup. Veggies were cut fine and long.
The spring rolls are very easy to use: pour a small amount of hot water on a dinner plate and place the spring roll sheet in the water for a few seconds until it starts to become pliable. Place on a wet but not oiled surface - I used my silicone sushi mat but a bamboo one covered in plastic wrap would work too. Place a few sprigs of coriander down first, hold them down with strips of carrot, add cabbage, pepper - whatever you love - and top with a few spoonfuls of mince mixture. Fold over the sides, then roll the contents tightly but be careful not to tear the wrap. Easy! Fun to get the kids involved too, because kids are more likely to eat something they had a hand in creating.
I think it's pretty obvious I'm not a master wrapper, but these are quite forgiving. I should have left a bit more space at the sides for folding over. The wraps are stretchy and stronger than you'd think. They're also quite sticky and stick to themselves while being wrapped, but won't if they get oil on them. It's a bit of a messy food with the contents falling out sometimes but it's fun, so what.
The best part: It's cheap! It's so cheap to make these. The wraps, as you can see above are less than $2 and there's about 50-60 wraps in the pack with a shelf life of a couple years so long as they're kept dry. A pepper costs a dollar? A half a cabbage is a dollar? a carrot? Some herbs may run a couple dollars unless you grow your own and the mince was $4.80 and I got two meals from that. I will have to try these for bento, and see how they work. I'll make some, pack them and try them myself first before packing for the kids just to see if the wraps dry out, they fall apart and the mess factor. Otherwise, there's another win.