They say you eat with your eyes first. Well, I hope your eyes are hungry because these easy vegan salad rolls are almost too pretty to eat. Extreme emphasis on the word “almost.”
I had a little war with myself over what to call these salad rolls. That’s because I call them by different names all the time, and restaurants don’t seem to have a standard name either. You can find them called spring rolls, salad rolls, summer rolls, fresh rolls – pretty much the only thing constant is the word “roll”. Why the heck does it matter what I call them anyway, you might wonder? Well, it’s because I want people to be able to find this recipe when they search the all-knowing Google. If I called them Beautiful Vegetable Filled Rolls of Wonder and Delight (which they ARE), chances are not many people are going to search for that keyword. And that, my friends, is how much of a nerd I am about this blogging thing. I actually think about things like search engine optimization. So if you found this post by doing a search on Google, you’re welcome. And if not, I’m sorry. 🙂 Anyway….
The reason I ended up calling these easy vegan salad rolls is because they are easy, they are vegan, and they are essentially salad in a roll. So that made it a simple decision. 🙂 If you’ve ever cringed at spending $5 on two skimpy rolls at a restaurant, I’m here to show you that you can make your own at home for a fraction of the cost of takeout, and you’re in control of what goes in your salad rolls. Here I give you a couple of ideas for a filling, but you truly can make these your own. Let’s get started!
Here’s what you’ll need to make the salad rolls:
Rice paper spring roll wrappers (find them in the Asian section of your grocery store)
Rainbow carrots (because GORGEOUS)
Firm tofu (yay protein!)
Fresh mint (huge flavor factor)
Thai basil (worth seeking out, but you can sub cilantro or omit it)
Oh, and of course you’ll want to have something in which to dip the rolls. May I suggest this Sweet Potato Peanut Sauce? 🙂
I know what you’re probably wondering right about now. You’re wondering how I made those beautiful carrot ribbons, aren’t you? Well, I’ll tell you. I have a new favorite tool in the kitchen, and it cost me about 6 bucks. Allow me to present to you the Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peeler. It is a Y-blade shape, made of carbon steel, and it is amazing. If you don’t believe me, just check out the 1,875 reviews on Amazon. I, of course, have it in purple, but recently discovered that it is also available in a red and white polka dot pattern. I don’t need it, I don’t need it, I don’t need it…
If you’re not picky about the color, you can get a set of 3 for $6.64 on Amazon (red/green/yellow). Score!
If you don’t have a nifty Y-blade peeler, don’t worry, you can still make the ribbons with a regular peeler. It’s a little bit awkward but totally do-able. And if you just don’t give a darn about having vibrant rainbow carrot ribbons on the outside of your salad rolls, then for crying out loud just grate the carrots already. I won’t tell anyone.
So, I am a visual learner. And when it comes to making salad rolls, I am pretty sure that seeing the process is way better than me telling you about it. So, with that in mind, here are the visual instructions for assembly.
You should know that I showed you the process of the first roll that I made in the photo shoot for this post. I did that on purpose, because I wanted you to see that the first one isn’t going to turn out super fantastic. It’s just one of the laws of Salad Roll Making. The first one is the one you eat before anyone else notices. The rest will all look awesome because you are now a pro. Congratulations!
Whether you serve these as a side or gobble them up as a full meal on their own, these are the perfect way to celebrate that spring is here and summer is just around the corner! So go out there and pick up some salad roll fixins – then come back here and leave a comment to tell me all about your salad roll making prowess. Or take a picture and tag #eatwithinyourmeans on Instagram or Twitter so I can see!
Keep calm and roll on.
- 3-4 large carrots, peeled into thin ribbons (look for rainbow carrots)
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, finely shredded
- 1 block of firm tofu, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick strips
- 1 package of spring roll rice paper wrappers
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup thai basil leaves or cilantro
- Dip a rice paper wrapper into warm water and immediately pull it out of the water, letting the excess moisture drip off before placing on a clean surface.
- Lay out several strips of carrots side by side in the center of the rice paper wrapper.
- Layer on lettuce, tofu, mint, and thai basil.
- Pull up the bottom of the rice paper wrapper and fold it over the filling ingredients, tucking the edge underneath the filling.
- Fold each side of the rice paper wrapper in, as if you were rolling a burrito.
- Roll the rice paper wrapper forward over the filling to meet the top edge.
- Slice in half with a sharp serrated knife, and serve with Sweet Potato Peanut Sauce for dipping.