Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (Spring Rolls)

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (Spring Rolls)

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Photo Credit: RecipeTin Eats

Adding another somewhat time-consuming recipe this week, but it’s also a delicious one.  I love Vietnamese spring rolls, especially with a good pho (recipe for pho to come!).  This recipe isn’t terribly difficult, but takes a little prep and has ingredients that I don’t normally keep on hand, so it takes a little more grocery planning.  If you enjoy this recipe, take a look at other great recipes at RecipeTin Eats!

 

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (Spring Rolls)

Ingredients

  • 7 – 14 sheets of 22cm/8.5″ round rice paper
  • 11 small cooked prawns/shrimp (about 12cm/5″ in length, unpeeled including the head)
  • 50g / 1.5 oz dried vermicelli noodles
  • 7 lettuce leaves – use a lettuce with soft leaves, like Oak or Butter Lettuce
  • 14 mint leaves
  • 1 cup bean sprouts

Vietnamese Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tbsp peanut butter, preferably smooth (crunchy is ok too)
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar (or lime juice)
  • 1/3 cup milk (any fat %) (or water)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chilli, samba oelak or other chilli paste, adjust to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine the Peanut Dipping Sauce ingredients. Mix briefly (it won’t come together), then microwave for 30 seconds. Mix again until smooth. Set aside to cool. Adjust sour with vinegar, salt with salt and spiciness to taste.  Thickness can be adjusted with milk or water once cooled.

  2. Place vermicelli noodles in a bowl and cover with warm water for 2 minutes, then drain (or follow packet instructions).
  3. Peel the prawns, slice in half lengthwise and devein.

  4. Remove the crunchy core of the lettuce leaves.

  5. Tip – LETTUCE BUNDLE: Place some vermicelli noodles and bean sprouts in a lettuce leaf, then roll it up, finishing seam side down. Repeat.

  6. Fill a large bowl with warm water. The bowl doesn’t need to be large enough to fit the whole rice paper in one go.
  7. Place two rice papers together (if using 2). Note which side is the smooth side – this is supposed to be the outside of the spring roll. Submerge the rice papers into the water (both of them at the same time, together) for 2 seconds. If your bowl isn’t large enough to fit the whole rice paper in one go, that’s fine, just rotate it and count 2 seconds for each section you submerge into the water.

  8. Place both the rice papers (one on top of the other, they will stick together) on a board or the counter with the smooth side down.

  9. On the top part of the rice paper, place 3 prawns with a mint leaf in between, as per the photo.
  10. Place the lettuce bundle with the seam side down onto the middle of the rice paper.
  11. Fold the left and right edges of the rice paper in, then starting from the bottom, roll up to cover the lettuce bundle. Then keep rolling firmly. The rice paper is sticky, it will seal itself.

  12. If you placed the ingredients on the rice paper as per the photo below, your rice paper rolls should look pretty with the prawn and mint leaves on the smooth side of the roll and the seam on the side or underside of the roll.
  13. Serve immediately with the peanut dipping sauce.

Recipe Review

I love these spring rolls!  They’re packed with flavor and the peanut dipping sauce is delicious-it adds a great lightly sweet flavor to the spring rolls.  These take a little while to make, but rolling them (use 2 sheets of rice paper… it will make your life SO much easier!) is easy to master after just a few rolls.  They stick together very well after rolled, so if you’ve ever attempted sushi… don’t let this intimidate you.  It is MUCH, MUCH easier.

I have found a few shortcuts that make my life so much easier with this recipe.  The first is to purchase frozen salad shrimp.  There is already a lot of chopping, measuring, mixing, going on in this recipe, so this cuts some of the prep time down.  Just thaw a few of these little shrimp and they’re the perfect size for the spring rolls.  The second is the lettuce-it’s hit or miss what type of lettuce I can find in store or what’s on sale.  I usually use the ends of Romain lettuce, but don’t include any overly bulky stalks.  This usually adds a bit of a crunch without being too tough to bite through.

A great crock pot pho recipe that pairs well with these spring rolls will be coming soon, so be on the lookout!

Greek Turkey Burgers with Greek Salad and Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Turkey Burgers with Greek Salad and Tzatziki Sauce

GreekTurkeyBurger
Photo Credit: Fit Mom Angela D

These turkey burgers are a great, lean, flavorful dinner.  The only problem with this one is it takes A LOT of prep, so I only make it when I have a lot of time to prepare for all of the chopping, shredding, and mixing.  If you like this one, check out other healthy options at Fit Mom Angela D!

Tasty Greek Burgers

Burger Ingredients

3/4 cup grated zucchini, squeezed

1 1/2 lbs 93% lean ground turkey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup red onion, minced

1 T oregano

3/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Greek Salad Ingredients

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup cucumber, grated and peeled

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dill

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Tzatziki Ingredients

1 cucumber, peeled & diced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1/4 red onion, sliced (or diced depending on how you like it!)

1/3 cup Kalamata olives

1 tsp oregano

Sea salt to taste

1 T Feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

Burger Directions

  1. After grating the zucchini, squeeze the moisture out with paper towels
  2. In large bowl, combine all of the Turkey Burger ingredients and mix well.
  3. Divide into 6 equal patties.
  4. Cook burgers on medium heat, about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the middle.

Greek Salad Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tzatziki Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Serve over a bed of Greek salad and top with Tzatziki.

Recipe Review

I’m always a fan of anything “Greek”… pasta, pizza, if it has feta or olives, I’m in!  File this recipe under “only-make-if-you-have-a-lot-of time”, but absolutely delicious!  It’s light, but filling, and has a great mix of healthy vegetables and dairy with the addition of feta.  The Tzatziki sauce is delicious and can be paired with a lot of other options.  This one is a winner for me!

What a Difference a Day Makes Craft

What a Difference a Day Makes Craft

IMG_4034I always see pins on Pinterest about the “What a Difference a Day Makes” DIY.  After much delay, I actually attempted my own version.  I figured there HAD to be a template somewhere, right?  I mean, as much as I see this darn thing repinned someone had to post their template, but alas… no template was found.  I did however find a template for a Microsoft Project, um… project (yeah, that sounds odd to me as well…), but the normal, average, person doesn’t have Project (or maybe that’s just me).  I took matters into my own hands and decided I would make my own template in PowerPoint.  After about 15 minutes (yeah, a miracle happened… FIFTEEN MINUTES), I was able to make a template I was pretty proud of.

I’ll describe my process in a few steps:

  • Create a new, blank PowerPoint slide (without text boxes)
  • Change the size of the PowerPoint document to 8×10
    • Go to Design Tab and click on the “Slide Size” drop-down menu in the “Customize” section.  Choose “Custom Slide Size…”
    • Change size to 8″ width and 10″ height.  When you choose this size and apply it will ask if you’d like to maximize or scale the document (this is if you’re operating in Windows 10 with a newer version of Office).  Choose to maximize the document.
  • Create new text boxes that will serve as the field for the dates, names, and “What a difference a day makes” saying at the bottom.  I played with text box sizes for the date until I was happy with the amount of space the text box occupied and lined them all up in the center of the document.  I did the same with the names underneath the date.

PPT Template

  •  After the template was set, I chose fonts and font sizes that worked well together.

What a difference a day makes

  • Print it!
  • Frame it!
  • Voila… meaningful decorating on the cheap!

WADADM Large View

 

Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties

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Photo Credit: FIVEheartHOME
Growing up my grandmother and mother made salmon patties and they were always a favorite of mine (yes… my grandmother was from the south… where the best food comes from!).  Every time I ask my mom for the recipe I get “Oh!  It’s easy… you use breadcrumbs, salt…” and about there I tune out because I know I’ll never, ever remember all of that.  It always amazed me that my mother and grandmother hardly ever used recipes.  They just instinctively knew how to cook.  Since I doubt I’ll ever get my mother to write me an ACTUAL recipe, I searched the interwebs for what I thought to be a “decent-looking” recipe, so here it is!  I had success with it (meaning my husband loved it and even our toddler ate more than a bite, which I would call a win), even though they were a little crumbly.  If you like this one, take a look at a few more recipes at FIVEheartHOME.

Salmon Patties

Ingredients

  • 2 (7.5 oz) cans canned salmon (Alaskan wild-caught and boneless/skinless), drained
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a few dashes hot pepper sauce (such as Tobasco)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together drained salmon, eggs, 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, garlic salt, pepper (to taste), and hot pepper sauce (to taste).
  2. Divide the mixture into four equal balls and form into 3/4-inch thick patties.  Place patties on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Place remaining 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and press both sides of each salmon patty into breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat a large saute pan over medium to medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and butter to pan; once melted, swirl pan to coat.  Add the salmon patties and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side until golden brown.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and serve warm with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Recipe Review

This is a great upgrade to a normal salmon patty recipe and it has a lot of flavor.  I never use hot sauce in my recipe because I feel there is already enough flavor and hot sauce would ruin an otherwise good thing this recipe already has going on.

The only drawback I can see to this recipe is… it’s so good there isn’t enough of it to go around!  It makes four decent-sized patties, but I always cook to feed a small army because, well, I’m a fan of leftovers.  If you’re cooking for several people I would definitely double the recipe.  To me, this isn’t a drawback, it’s a sign that this recipe is SO good that you always need more!

Crustless Mini Quiche (Freezable!)

Crustless Mini Quiche (Freezable!)

Alright, everyone… it’s here!  The first installment of Recipe of the Week.  The format of these posts will follow the same format: recipe first (because who wants to hear me ramble on and on about a recipe that you have to scroll to the bottom to find… not me!), then comments on what I liked about the recipe, what I didn’t like, how easy (or not) it was to make, and just general comments.  This week’s was great because you can freeze them and they still taste like the day you baked them!   If you like the recipe, stop by Will Cook for Friends to find more great recipes.

Crustless Mini Quiche

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Photo Credit: Will Cook for Friends

Ingredients

Base:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Veggies:

  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into tiny florets
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup asparagus, chopped small
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1 cup fresh mushroom, chopped small
  • 1/4-1/2 cup onion, diced fine
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and veins removed, diced fine

Add-Ins (optional):

  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar, gruyere, mozzarella, parmesan, or other cheese, divided
  • 1 lb bacon, sausage, or other meat, fully cooked

Directions

  1. If using meat (bacon, sausage, etc.), cook fully first.  Set aside to cool, then cut into small pieces.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and thoroughly great (butter, coconut oil, or non-stick spray) a muffin tin.
  3. In a large bowl, which together the eggs, cream, milk, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.
  4. Dice all vegetables. Set aside.
  5. Add all vegetables to the bowl with the egg mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in half of the cheese and all of the meat, if using.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure, scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.  Fill to about 1/4 inch from the top, then sprinkle a small amount of reserved cheese over each.  Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the egg mixture is fully set and the cheese starts to turn golden brown on top.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before running a butterknife around each muffin and gently removing from the pan.

Reheating, Freezing, and Thawing

Once cooled the quiches should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or frozen.  If heating from refrigerator, heat in the microwave for several seconds.  If reheating from frozen, heat in the microwave 30 seconds.

Recipe Review

This is probably one of my favorite recipes to date.  It’s easy, filling, and convenient.  The recipe makes several servings, so I like to freeze them and grab them on my way out the door for work in the morning.  This recipe is also great because all of your favorite ingredients can be added.  My favorites are bacon or diced ham and asparagus.  I know it sounds strange, but the asparagus adds great flavor!

Easy Baked Chicken Thighs

Easy Baked Chicken Thighs

These chicken thighs are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and have just enough flavor to be delicious, but not overpowering.  They’re great for a busy weeknight because you season them, throw them in the oven, make a few simple sides to go with them and you have a simple, delicious dinner.  I found this particular recipe from allrecipes-check out more on their website if you like this one!

Crispy and Tender Baked Chicken Thighs

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Photo Credit: allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs with skin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange chicken thighs on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Combine garlic salt, onion salt, oregano, thyme, paprika, and pepper together in a small container with a lid.  Close the lid and shake container until spices are thoroughly mixed.  Sprinkle spice mixture liberally over chicken thighs.
  4. Bake chicken in the preheated oven until skin is crispy, thighs are no longer pink at the bone, and the juices run clear, about 1 hour.  An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F.

My Review

This has to be one of the easiest things to make on a busy weeknight.  There is hardly any prep time whatsoever and they taste great.  The good thing is, these are on sale frequently and you can purchase a large family pack that usually has anywhere from 8 – 10 thighs in a package.  You know what that means… LEFTOVERS FOR LUNCH ALL WEEK!  Maybe I’m the only one excited about that, but to me, that means no figuring out lunches for a few days.  I usually make a simple side like whole grain brown rice or my personal favorite… shells and cheese.  Make a simple vegetable and you’re good to go.

Most people don’t care for any bone-in meat or meat with skin, but the skin gives it so much more flavor.  Try it and see what you think!