Now that summer is officially here, I find the heat has this magical power of bringing my family closer together. We spend more time outside doing fun water activities, or having dinner on our patio as the warm breeze dances around us. Usually I would be thrilled to serve a robust salad loaded with a bounty of vegetables, but my son doesn’t seem to find the idea of a salad a great choice. I think it’s the raw vegetables in a bowl that makes him turn his nose up to the hot sun in dismay. The thing is, I had to find a way to get him to eat his vegetables.
I’ve tried several different approaches to the vegetable coaxing, and have come up short time and time again. As a last attempt, I decided to get his little hands involved in the process, and made our mainly raw vegetable dinner interactive. I thought of spring rolls solely based on the fact that they are super light and fresh (perfect for the heat), require no stove time, and my boy and I can make them together.
I put this idea to the test several days ago, and started by going down the international aisle at Walmart. I found the rice wrappers there and showed them to my son. He was intrigued by their firmness, and tickled at the fact that he would be able to dip them in water and they would become soft. I told him we needed to find food to put inside, but it could only be vegetables and meat. After about a second of pondering the idea, he agreed. I said to him we would use carrots and cucumber (which are two veggies he eats already), and then I slipped in some other vegetables that I wanted him to try.
We got home, and I laid out all the ingredients on a plate, and placed a big bowl of water in front of him so he could start dipping the wrappers. This experiment worked like a charm. He loved making the rolls and we had dinner in the patio that night. No complaints.
This recipe will work with any vegetables you would like to roll. Here’s what I used.
Ingredients for spring rolls:
- 10 rice wrappers
- 40 cooked shrimp (cleaned, deveined and tail removed)
- 10 green lettuce leaves (rib removed)
- 10 portobello mushroom slices (1/2-inch thick)
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 5 teaspoons salted peanuts
- 10 carrot sticks (1/4-inch thick)
- 10 cucumber sticks (1/4-inch thick)
- 10 yellow bell pepper strips (1/4-inch thick)
- 10 red bell pepper strips (1/4-inch thick)
- 10 sprigs of cilantro leaves
Ingredients for sauce:
- 1 teaspoon peanuts (crushed)
- a pinch of chile flakes (the kind you put on pizza)
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons rice vinegar
Fill a large bowl halfway with warm water.
Dip a single rice wrapper into the warm water until it starts to soften, and becomes bendable. About 15 to 30 seconds.
Remove rice wrapper from water and lay on a flat, clean work surface.
Place 3 or 4 shrimp in the center of the wrapper.
Then top shrimp with a leaf of lettuce, a portobello mushroom slice, a pinch of purple cabbage, ½ teaspoon salted peanuts, 1 carrot stick, 1 cucumber stick, 1 yellow bell pepper strip, 1 red bell pepper strip, and a sprig of cilantro.
Fold one end of the rice paper over the shrimp and vegetables, then fold the opposite side as well.
Fold the right side of the rice wrapper over the food, and roll it closed.
Place on a dish and repeat with remaining wrappers, shrimp, and veggies.
- To make the sauce: Combine all ingredients for sauce in a bowl and mix well.
Serve by spooning or dipping spring rolls into sauce. Enjoy!
Walmart Mom blogger Nicole Presley is a Mexican-American gal obsessed with food. She has an original recipe blog called Presley’s Pantry that is packed with sweet desserts and a tribe of Mexican food dishes.