Veggie Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

There are so many awesome things about spring rolls/rice paper rolls, but the best is that you can really put anything you want in them! Also, rice paper lasts a long time in the cupboard, so you can have some on hand at any point.

Tonight I had the urge to try making some rolls, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out! Though I do admit I would have liked them a bit tighter (I think with practice that will come!), as I got on a roll (hehe pun intended), it was pretty fun. With a little bit of prep, they’re pretty easy once you get the hang of it!

Veggie Spring Rolls Prep from *Lovely Avocados*

Veggie Spring Rolls: Prep

Veggie Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce | *Lovely Avocados*

Veggie Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Veggie Spring Rolls
Ingredients
10-12 rice paper wrappers (or whatever you need until you run out of stuffing!)
any veggies of choice!
I used:
3 carrots, shredded
1 avocado sliced into strips
4 mini cucumbers cut into strips
Leaves from 4 sprigs of mint
Lettuce leaves (about 1 per roll)

Directions
1. Fill a wide (larger than the rice paper) bowl with warm water.
2. Place one sheet of rice paper in the warm water for about 10-15 seconds. Remove and place on work station. You will need to do this one sheet at a time, as needed.
3. Fill with a bit of each ingredient, starting with the lettuce leaf. Do not put too much filling or your roll will break as you’re wrapping. Follow guide below to wrap.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until filling is gone!

How to Roll a Rice Paper Spring Roll

How to Roll a Rice Paper Spring Roll

Veggie Spring Rolls from *Lovely Avocados*

Veggie Spring Rolls

Dipping Sauce
Ingredients
4 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if you are not gluten-free)
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar (I only had apple cider on hand but I believe rice would work better)
2 tbsp sugar of choice (I used organic coconut palm sugar)
2 tbsp warm water
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp almond butter

Directions
1. Whisk ingredients together.
2. Allow sugar to fully dissolve, then dip away!

Veggie Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce from *Lovely Avocados*

Veggie Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

*Note: I made my sauce first to give the flavours a chance to really blend together.

Morning Mixed-Berry Smoothie

(almost) Every morning I start my day with a yummy smoothie, packed with tons of things I will need to get my through the day. When I started on this food journey, I decided to cut out my morning coffee. At first it was quite the challenge. But over time I came to realize that I have a TON more energy without it. Caffeine seems to give a high, but then it is followed by a low. For me I found if I wasn’t drinking coffee all day, the morning cup was just causing a crash later on and not very helpful.

Smoothies have now become my morning pick-me-up, and really keep my energy level up throughout the morning.

Ingredient Benefits:
Almond Milk: I have an intolerance to cow’s milk, so I choose to avoid it as much as I can. I prefer almond milk to other substitutes (soy, rice, etc.) because of its benefits. It is low in calories and fat, and contains protein and many essential vitamins (E, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and more!).

Berries: As for fruit, berries are near the bottom of the list in terms of sugar content. They aid in learning and memory, are full of fibre (aiding in digestion), help lower blood pressure, and they’re super tasty!
(source: 9 Amazing Health Benefits of Berries | Everyday Health)

Flax seeds: Flax seeds are high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans (high in antioxidants, and may be linked to prevents certain types of cancer), and fibre.
(source: Benefits of Flaxseeds | WebMd)

Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are definitely a super-food! They contain a ton of protein, and contain all nine essential amino acids. They also contain fibre and vitamin E.
(source: Hemp Seed: Nutritional Value and Thoughts | The Nourishing Gourmet)

Almond Butter: Good for the heart, lowers blood pressure, helps control blood sugar, rich in antioxidants, and are high in protein, fibre, and monosaturated fats!
(source: 5 Health Benefits of Almond Butter | 3 Fat Chicks)

Spinach: Spinach is low in fat/calories and high in vitamins (A, K, manganese, and folate). It contains protein, calcium, and dietary fibre. Spinach contains an abundance of cancer-fighting antioxidants, improves cardiovascular health, fights a variety of cancers, improves brain function, and fights against aging. Do you really need any more reason to add spinach into your diet?
(source: The Health Benefits of Spinach | Livestrong.com)

Morning Berry Smoothie Ingredients by ~*Lovely Avocados*~

Look at all these goodies!
Morning Berry Smoothie in the Vitamix by ~*Lovely Avocados*~

Morning Berry Smoothie in the Vitamix

Morning Berry Smoothie Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
3/4 cup frozen berries
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp almond butter
1 cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
1-2 ice cubes

Directions:
1. Place ingredients in blender.
2. Blend.
3. Drink up!

Morning Berry Smoothie | *Lovely Avocados*

Morning Berry Smoothie

Sweet Potato Soup

It’s summer, and it’s warm. Over here in Montreal we just got through a major heat wave. So why am I posting a soup recipe?

Well, I am getting my wisdom teeth out today. Only 2 at least (got the other 2 out several years back), and the dentist seems to think it will be an easy extraction. Either way, I know eating will be difficult for a little while. Luckily the most frequented foods in my diet are sweet potatoes and avocados, both of which are nice and soft 🙂 However, this morning I decided to do a little prep by making a yummy Sweet Potato Soup.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Soup | *Lovely Avocados*

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, baked (or microwaved, see instructions below)
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 green apple
2 large carrots
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes. I prefer to microwave them just because it’s easier and quicker. I put them in for about 6 minutes. Once cooked, let cool and then scoop out the potato for soup.
2. Sauté the chopped onion in the coconut oil.
3. Core and chop the green apple into large pieces.
4. Peel and chop the carrots (I decided to microwave them for 2 minutes just to soften them up, but it’s not necessary).

Vitamix Directions:
1. Put ingredients in the Vitamix.
2. Choose “soup mode” and let blend/cook OR select variable 1 and slowly increase to high, then blend 5-6 minutes.

Other Directions:
I have not tried making this soup another way (if you do, please comment below!) but I think these directions would work.
1. Put ingredients in a blend and purée until smooth.
2. Pour blended mixture into a saucepan, and heat.

Inspired by: Sweet Potato Soup | Vitamix

Sweet Potato Soup in Vitamix .:. Lovely Avocados

Sweet Potato Soup in Vitamix

“Cheese” Sauce (dairy free)

Sometimes, I miss dairy.

But since discovering nutritional yeast, I really don’t miss it so much anymore!
So what is nutritional yeast? Well, it has a nutty, cheesy flavor, and comes in either flakes or powder form. It is rich in vitamins (b-complex, folic acid, zinc, and more) and many brands are fortified with vitamin B-12. The brand I use is Bob’s Red Mill which comes in flake form, however when I can find it I do prefer the powder version.
(more on nutritional yeast – Nutritional Yeast Demystified)

Mac and "Cheese" | *Lovely Avocados*

Mac and “Cheese”

"Cheese" Sauce | *Lovely Avocados*

“Cheese” Sauce

Recipe - "Cheese" Sauce | *Lovely Avocados*

Inspired by: Not-So Cheese Sauce (Vitamix)

Rosemary and Garlic Chive Crackers (gluten-free/vegan)

On my quest to eat gluten-free, I have also been looking for grain-free options. Carbs are definitely my weakness! I could sit with a box of crackers and just eat the whole thing 🙂

I found this awesome recipe from Elana’s Pantry, and made some slight adaptations based on what I had in the house (which is pretty typical for me!).

Rosemary and Garlic Chive Crackers | *Lovely Avocados*

Rosemary and Garlic Chive Crackers

Rosemary and Garlic Chive Crackers
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped (approx 1 tbsp)
4 garlic chives, finely chopped (approx 1 tbsp)
Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste – approx 1/2 tsp – other sea salt would be fine)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 flax egg*

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°

1. Combine flour, salt, rosemary and garlic chives in a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax egg and olive oil.

3. Stir wet ingredients into the dry mixture – I like to use my hands at this point!

4. Roll the dough into a ball and place between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Press (with hands or rolling pin) the dough until desired thickness.

5. Remove top piece of parchment and place the bottom piece with dough on a baking sheet.

6. Cut dough into squares with a knife or pizza cutter.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.

8. Let cool on on baking sheet for further crisping.

*1 flax egg: 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp cold water. Stir and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until “gooey,” similar to egg consistency.

Inspired by: Elana’s Pantry Rosemary Crackers http://www.elanaspantry.com/rosemary-crackers/