Monthly Archives: January 2012

FRESH Spring Rolls

I struggle with multiple course meals.  Primarily because I don’t think ALL of that food is really necessary–plus, I really want to be ’empty belly’ HUNGRY when the main course arrives.  Crazy?  I say SMART!  So when you join us here at 488 for dinner you might find some nuts or veggies out to kick off the night, but it is unlikely that you will find a heavy, fat-filled, calorie-wasting appetizer.  There are a few exceptions to that rule–and this isn’t one of them!  These rolls are ridiculously easy and SUPER LIGHT — and I think they are a great way to kick off a good eastern meal or as a healthful snack.  The true beauty of this one (besides the fact that that they taste soooo good) is that they are LOW, LOW, LOW in calories, loaded with vitamins and fiber, and cool, FRESH flavor!

If you have been to Saigon 39 in KC you will get the idea of how these puppies taste.  Soft, yet crunchy; sweet, yet salty; simple, yet complex with intense, herbal flavors in every bite!!  Saigon’s are probably the best I have ever had and what I set out to make last night.  Sadly, I haven’t had one of their spring rolls since we moved, but my memory does not fail me on the way the textures, flavors, and smells come together perfectly to create this gem.  So, give my FRESH spring rolls a try and let me know how you think they compare to your favorite!

Spring Rolls

Servings:  2-3

  • 4 pieces rice paper
  • 1 c spring mix
  • 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c mint, chopped
  • 12 pieces of medium size shrimp, boiled
  • 2 oz dry rice noodles, cooked al dente (3-5 minutes in a salted boil), and drained.  Allow to cool to room temperature

Peanut hoisen sauce

  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 1 T hoisin sauce
  • splash of low sodium soy sauce
  • squirt of chili sauce (sriracha)
  • 1/4 t ginger, minced
  • Water, enough to make the sauce thin enough to dip the roll into easily

Vinaigrette sauce

  • 1 T + 1 t fish sauce
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 1/2 t + chili sauce (sriracha)
  • 1 T garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 t anchovy paste
  • 1/8 t ginger, minced
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c water

Soften the rice paper according to it’s package label.  Place on a moist cutting board.  Line 3-4 shrimp in the middle of the paper.  Add 1/4 c spring mix, 1/8 c cilantro, and a big pinch of mint on top of the shrimp–distributed evenly so you get some of each in every bite.  Roll the spring roll

Make the sauces by mixing the designated ingredients in small bowls.   Serve with the spring rolls.  The sauces flavors will be more pronounced if you mix them 1-2 hours ahead of time and let them sit at room temperature until serving.





Detox Soup

Not a bad way to detox!

My honey was in Vegas last week on business so I had the WHOLE place to myself–ok, Tobi, Henna, and Wison were here to keep me company, but still!  Cue the party lights and music!  It was a crazy time here at 488!  Yep, I spent the week doing laundry, putting away christmas decorations, buying and shipping VERY late Christmas gifts, cleaning, organizing AND COOKING!

Probably my favorite dish from last week was this very brightly colored and flavored soup. I loved it for a lot of reasons, but most importantly for how I felt after I ate it!  What first comes to mind is revitalized…or maybe detoxified.  After a full month (thank you winter holidays) of eating quite a ways outside MY food pyramid, this dish brought me back.  Back to the foods that make me feel good, inside and out!  This dish reminded me why I dedicate so much of my time and energy creating good tasting, healthful meals!

This is a great week night soup because the prep is very minimal and the flavor and energy rewards are HUGE!  Serve this with a big salad, some hot tea (or a splash of wine :)) and a side of Phish and you too will be bouncing around the room, just like me!!

Bon Appetit!

Colorful and flavorful!

Detox Soup

Servings:  4-6

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick coins or 2 c baby carrots, cut in half
  • 1″ ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 t celery seed
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 c veg broth
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 3 c baby spinach
  • 4 calamari tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • splash of EVOO

In a medium stock pot, over medium-low heat cook the garlic in the EVOO for a few minutes (do not brown).  Add the carrots, jalapeno, and celery seed and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the veg broth, onions, ginger, and black pepper and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Cook for 10-12 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and lentils, turn the heat back down to medium-low, cover, and cook for 20- minutes–until the lentils are cooked to your desired consistency.  Stir occasionally.  Uncover and add the baby spinach.  Cook for 2-3 minutes–until the spinach turns bright green and wilts.  Eat and enjoy!