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Spring Rolls with homemade duck sauce and sweet and sour sauce

I was having take out dinner with a few friends, where I of course brought my own food.  They had some kind of Asian cuisine, which made me crave spring rolls.  So, I figured out how to make delicious spring rolls.

Gluten-Free Spring Rolls

Serving Size: 12 Spring Rolls

Ingredients for Spring Rolls:

– 1 package of rice wrappers
any vegetables on hands:
– 1 carrot, julienned
– 1 zucchini, julienned
– 1 squash, julienned
– 1 package of  mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 1/2 cabbage, shredded (I used purple)
– 1/2 – 1 onion, thinly sliced
– oil for frying (peanut, canola, safflower, soy)

Supplies for Spring Rolls:

– shallow pan (for wetting wrappers)
– saute pan
– deep pot for frying (so to avoid splatter)
– tongs

Directions:

1. Chop all of the vegetables.
2. Over medium-high heat, saute the onions first for about a minute, then add in the rest of the vegetables and cook until tender, 5-7 minutes.
3. In another shallow pan, fill about an inch full of room temperature water.  One at a time, place the rice wrapper in the water (following directions on package) for about 30 seconds or so, until it softens.
4. After each wrapper is soft, place it on a clean surface (like a cutting board), and fill the center with about 1/4 cup of vegetable mixture.  Be careful, because the wrapper are a bit sticky and can tear.  However, it’s pretty easy to roll over the tear because the wrapper will stick to itself.

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Roller Rice Wrappers before Frying

5. Fold each wrapper by folding over one long side first, then folding in both the shorter sides, then rolling it to wrap the rest of the longer side.
6. With a couple of wrappers left to fill, add about 1/2 in of oil your tall frying pot and heat over medium-high to high heat.  You should see it begins to smoke, which tells you it’s ready.  I chose not to put more oil in for a super deep fry.  I never want to end up with too much!
7. Depending on how wide your pot is, ONLY put 1-2 rolls in at a time.  They will stick to each other and fall apart.  I started with 1 at a time.  I fried it for about 2 minutes, rolling it about every 30 seconds so the other sides could brown.

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Spring Roll Frying

8. Remove from frying pot and place on a baking sheet covered in brown paper bags for oil absorption and cooling.

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Duck Sauce on Left and Sweet and Sour on Right

9. When all are cooked, serve with dipping sauces.  (Recipes below).

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Spring Roll with Dipping Sauces

Recipes for Sauces

These sauces are taken verbatim from cooks.com and will also provide the links below.

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Duck Sauce on Left, Sweet and Sour on Right

Ingredients for Duck Sauce:

Serving Size: about 1.5 pints (it filled up 1 1/2 small jam jars)

acv

Bragg Cider Vinegar

Duck Sauce

1 c. plum preserves (I had made my own from the summer!!)
1/2 c. apricot preserves
2 tbsp. honey (I like to use local honey)
2/3 c. cider vinegar (I used braggs apple cider vinegar)
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Store in sterilized jar in refrigerated.

Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Sauce:

Serving Size: 1/2 pint (it filled 1/2 a small jam jar)

Sweet and Sour Sauce

3 tbsp. vinegar (I used white vinegar)
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed in 1 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Turn down and simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Add a dash of red food coloring for color (optional). Cool and serve. May want to double the recipe.

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Spinach Muffins

I was inspired by a friend, Elana, several years ago to find more creative ways to make vegetables for my little eater who was probably about 1.5 then. The name makes it sound a good deal more playful and interesting to a toddler. This recipe has inspired me to create others similar and for no other reason than it is soo simple and literally takes less than 5 minutes to mix all the ingredients.  I have used it as an appetizer.  It tastes just like a crustless Spanikopita.

Gluten-Free Spinach Muffins

Serving Size: about 24 mini-muffins

Ingredients:

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Spinach Muffin Ingredients

– 1 egg
– 1 box of 10 oz frozen spinach (or more) or any other veggie.  (If using fresh veggies, make sure you steam them for about 3 minutes first).
– 1/2 16 oz. container of cottage cheese (can substitute ricotta)
– 1 cup of shredded cheese (I use cheddar, but any kind is fine)
– 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
– 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste

Supplies:

– mini-muffin tin (you can use a bigger one, but I don’t know how many it will make)
– cooking spray
– mixing spoon
– bowl
– spatula

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease muffin pan REALLY well.  Because there is cheese in this, it sticks.  I’ve tried using muffin liners, but the cheese sticks to those, too, and makes them difficult to eat.
3. Mix all the above ingredients together.  (I often don’t measure and just eyeball everything).
4. Spoon batter into muffin tins.
5. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown.

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Fresh Out-of-the-Oven Spinach Muffins

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