Rainbow Spring Rolls with Spicy Ginger Peanut Sauce


Spring rolls

So I missed the start of the 30 day countdown, but just so everyone is clear, in less than 30 days, I’m turning 30. On June 3rd, to be exact. Luckily, like almost all of the big moments in my life, I don’t have to do it alone. Ideally, there will be good friends and sunshine and alcohol and I’m this close to a homemade funfetti cake post if I actually thought that any of my sisters would eat it, but really, the three of us could sit in my living room with a bottle of champagne and that would be just fine with me, too.

The thing is, we don’t get to see each other as much as I’d like to, and I know this will only get more difficult as we get older. I spent last weekend with my sister in New York, where she is getting her Master’s, and my other sister just moved in with her boyfriend in Oakland, which isn’t far away but we both have busy lives and sometimes it feels like she’s in another state, too.

So, when I get excited about my birthday, it’s not really because its my birthday. Its because its our birthday, and its an excuse for the three of us to selfishly figure out how to be in the same city, on the same date, once a year, and spend time celebrating the crazy fact that although we’re 100% different and we have moments where we could absolutely kill one another, they are still the most important, wonderful people in my life and I know that whatever we face — whether it’s a f****** tumor, a disastrous breakup, moving across the country to pursue our wildest dreams, or a whatever insane drama our family has in store for us next — we won’t have to do it alone.

Like this whole 30 thing. That’s going to be a breeze.

Oh look, I made you some spring rolls.

Spring Rolls
20 rice paper wrappers (these are shockingly easy to find – Safeway has them)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 red bell pepper
1 cucumber
2 carrots
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup cilantro

  1. Prep the spring rolls by cutting the bell pepper, cucumber and carrots into matchsticks (the more congruous the shape, the easier they will be to roll.)
  2. To assemble, soak one sheet of rice paper in water for 30 seconds, until it becomes soft and pliable. Lay it as smooth as possible onto a cutting board, and in the center arrange the bell pepper, cucumber and carrots.
  3. Top with cilantro, and a forkful of quinoa.
  4. Wrap the rice paper like a burrito, folding up the bottom, then the top, then roll the spring roll tightly. Set seam-side down while you make the rest.

Spicy Peanut Ginger Sauce
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used low sodium)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of paprika
Sesame seeds

  1. Mix together everything but the sesame seeds. You may need to add more water, but make sure to taste as you go, as the favor intensity will lighten as you add more liquid. You want a saucy consistency, but not too thin.
  2. Sprinkle the sauce with sesame seeds.
  3. Enjoy.

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