Spring Rolls

Originally Published on YummYmummyKitchen.com  on February 18, 2018 By Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Spring Rolls1.jpgFind out how to make healthy veggie spring or summer rolls with this easy recipe! Fresh spring rolls are a simply delicious combination of fresh vegetables, herbs, rice paper, and a flavorful peanut sauce for dipping. These spring rolls are naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Fresh rice paper spring rolls are one of my favorite things right now. I’ve been getting them pre-made at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for years, and finally decided it was time to make them myself. The “salad roll” from the Whole Foods sushi department is one of my favorite grab-and-go lunches, as are the tofu spring rolls. I’m so glad I decided to make them at home, because spring rolls are so much easier to make than I had imagined, and of course less expensive. I also find making my spring rolls at home means they are fresher than the store-bought rolls that may have been sitting on the shelf all day, or longer. Fresh spring rolls are refreshing, crunchy, and so satisfying when dipped into a sweet and savory peanut sauce. They have to be one of the easiest ways to eat “salad” and are perfectly portable. I love making a few on Sundays to use in work or school packed lunches.

Sunday, February 18, 2018 / 1 Comment / appetizers , Featured , Gluten Free , lunch recipes , snacks , Vegan , Vegetables
Spring Rolls
Find out how to make healthy veggie spring or summer rolls with this easy recipe! Fresh spring rolls are a simply delicious combination of fresh vegetables, herbs, rice paper, and a flavorful peanut sauce for dipping. These spring rolls are naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Fresh vegetarian and vegan spring rolls made with rice paper, avocado, bell pepper, and other veggies. Served with homemade peanut sauce, this spring roll recipe is so delicious.
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Fresh rice paper spring rolls are one of my favorite things right now. I’ve been getting them pre-made at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for years, and finally decided it was time to make them myself. The “salad roll” from the Whole Foods sushi department is one of my favorite grab-and-go lunches, as are the tofu spring rolls. I’m so glad I decided to make them at home, because spring rolls are so much easier to make than I had imagined, and of course less expensive. I also find making my spring rolls at home means they are fresher than the store-bought rolls that may have been sitting on the shelf all day, or longer. Fresh spring rolls are refreshing, crunchy, and so satisfying when dipped into a sweet and savory peanut sauce. They have to be one of the easiest ways to eat “salad” and are perfectly portable. I love making a few on Sundays to use in work or school packed lunches.

Colorful fresh homemade spring rolls served with peanut sauce are perfect on a party platter, for lunch, or a light dinner.

I prepped a bunch of fresh spring rolls filled with spring lettuces, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, and avocado for a recent happy hour with my mama friends and kids. I popped them on this long cutting board with a bunch of other snacks including hummus and veggies, crackers, olives, nuts, berries, and chocolate truffles. A big snack board is one of my favorite things to make when friends come over. Side note: I found gorgeous mango wood cutting boards by Joana Gaines at HOME in Santa Barbara. I am loving her show, Fixer Upper. If you like farmhouse style homes, you need to go set the ti-vo.

While I knew that I loved veggie spring rolls, I was surprised to see several of the kiddos devouring them with such enthusiasm. One of the gals (hi, La!) even asked for the details and made them for Valentine’s Day dinner, so I knew I had to share them with you here! One of my daughter’s friends often has spring rolls in her school lunch box, but dips them in ranch dressing, which I think is a great kid-friendly way to serve these. I just used veggies here for a vegetarian and vegan spring roll recipe, but spring rolls often also have a slice of tofu and my pescatarian friends add shrimp or salmon.

Spring Rolls _3

Making spring rolls is easy and just requires rice paper spring roll wrappers and veggies. You can find the rice paper wraps at Asian grocery stores, or the Asian section of some grocery stores. I’ve found them at both Sprouts and Whole Foods, and even brown rice spring roll wraps online. To soften the rice paper, they get a dip in warm water for 5-10 seconds. Easy! Rolling fresh spring rolls is like rolling a burrito. I’ve created this progression of the spring roll image to give you a better idea, but the best way to learn will be by watching the short video right above the recipe. If there are any pretty ingredients you want to show on top, lay those separately at one end, as I’ve done here with the avocado at the bottom and cucumber slices at the top.

For a party, or just for meal prep for the week, you’ve got to try making fresh spring rolls at home! Whatever you do, I highly recommend making your own peanut sauce for dipping. It takes five minutes to stir together and tastes amazing. Check out my Easy Thai Peanut Sauce that’s perfect with these spring rolls. In the recipe below I’ll share the exact ingredients I used, but feel free to mix it up and get creative. Spring rolls don’t really require a recipe, per say, at all, once you get the hang of the method.

Spring Rolls_4

Spring Rolls
Find out how to make healthy veggie spring or summer rolls with this easy recipe! Fresh spring rolls are a simply delicious combination of fresh vegetables, herbs, rice paper, and a flavorful peanut sauce for dipping. These spring rolls are naturally vegan and gluten-free.

1 package rice paper spring roll wrappers
1 (5 oz.) bag baby spring lettuces
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 hothouse cucumber, sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
fresh mint and basil (Thai basil recommended)
1 recipe Simple Thai Peanut Sauce

instructions

Fill a wide bowl with at least an inch of warm water. Dip one rice paper wrap in the water and let soften 5 to 10 seconds. Remove from the water and lay on your work surface.
Place a handful of the greens toward one end of the soaked wrap. Top with the other veggies and herbs. If you would like one certain veggie showing at the top of the rolls, lay that toward the other end. I like the look of avocado slices underneath the transparent paper, so I place it separately.
Pick up the end of the rice paper closest to your mound of veggies and tightly wrap it over the veggies. Grab each end and fold over like a burrito. The paper will stick to itself. Continue wrapping the roll until sealed. Continue making the rolls this way until you’ve made all you want or are out of ingredients. Store the rolls covered in the refrigerator until ready to eat, then cut in half on the bias. Enjoy with peanut sauce.

notes

Nutrition information has been calculated for 1/6 of this recipe not including the peanut sauce. Calculations are done on a third party site, and I am not a certified nutritionist, so I can’t guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition facts, please calculate again using your favorite calculator.

How I started Meditating

buddha-buddhism-statue-religion-46177.jpegMeditation is something that I started doing during yoga during Savasana or corpse pose.    I am not going to say that it is particularly easy.  And sometimes it’s down right difficult.  It’s not something that I always feel like doing but, afterwards, I am always glad that I did.  It’s kind of like when you first start working out.  How at first it really sucks and you’re not really enjoying it.  But then something happens one day and you can’t do it and then all of a sudden you’re disappointed because  you weren’t able to work out.

That’s kind of how meditation is for me.  I did it for a long time before I ever started to enjoy any benefits.  I did it because I knew that I should be doing it.  But to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling the benefits until I committed to a regular practice of meditation.  I committed to 3 days a week of meditation.  Three days a week was because of course I was much too busy to do it everyday.  But I could commit to 3 days a week and that was after years of doing it not regularly.  I just knew that I wanted to become more spiritual, so I committed to 3 days.  That was after 12 years of faking meditation.  You know just doing it randomly and being mad because I wasn’t getting the many benefits.

So after I committed to 3 days per week, I have to say that my experience was actually quite magical.  It’s really hard to describe my experience but I just started to feel really calm, strong and super positive.  Things just really stopped bothering me and I started to just have shit really start going right.  I just felt that I was being super blessed.  If I wanted something, it would just magically appear.  I needed a videographer, and I found his card in a coffee shop (thanks Kristian).  I needed help with my Blog and someone gave me an awesome Web Designer’s info.

Now obviously there are so many different ways of meditating but I recommend doing a guided meditation and sticking with the same one for a while.  Do it at least 21 times.  But give it a good chance.  And it’s not magic but it could be.  But you have to give it a chance.  Remember you don’t just brush your teeth one time and think you never have to do it again.  You don’t just eat one time and think, “OK I don’t need to do that again.”  And obviously you can’t just work out one time and think,”That’s it I don’t like exercising so I won’t do that again.”  No you have to do it over and over. (sorry to be the bearer of bad news on this one.)

Meditation is the same way.  You have to give it a chance and do it over and over.  In this short video, Maggie, my beautiful niece does a short meditation that will give you a little bit of peace.   Please relaxing sunwatch here.

Here are 20 reasons to start meditation.

Happy Meditating and don’t get mad at me when you start feeling peaceful, relaxed and shit starts going right for you.

Valerie is a Health and wellness coach that lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy.  When she’s not dancing, she’s singing.  You can check out her moves here.  Please subscribe to my youtube channel so you don’t miss out.  Thank you!!

7 Reasons Dogs Make the Best Life Companions

Another thing that I realized when I talk to my puppy, I am actually talking to myself.  When I tell her it’s OK and that she doesn’t have anything to be afraid of, I remember those words to myself.  When I tell her I love her, I am telling that to myself too.  She reminds me to speak kind and loving words to myself.  And she reminds me of how awesome I am.  Because sometimes, I forget.

Originally Published on Huffingtonpost.com on December 29, 2015 on By Beth Leipholtz

7 Reasons Dogs Make the Best Life Companions

I used to be a cat person (gosh, that’s a tough sentence to type). In my defense, I was young and didn’t know any better. All I knew was that I saw kittens, they were cute, and I wanted them. I’m not saying I hate cats by any means — I don’t. But as I grew older, I started to realize how much better dogs are as lifelong companions and friends.

Sure, they’re more work than cats. Sure, they make bigger messes (and bigger poops). Sure, they eat more.

But they also have bigger hearts. They just want to love and be loved. And really, what is easier than that in this life? What other species wants love and only love, nothing in return? Not many.

As I write this, my 50-pound Golden Retriever mix is on my lap, her head resting on one arm, making typing difficult. But I can’t bring myself to move her. Of the other two dogs, one is on the couch watching the other eat a rawhide. It’s a rare moment of peace is this three-dog household, a moment I am sure will end any second. But it’s also a moment I can take to reflect and let my heart fill up with love for these animals who choose to love me each and every single day.

Here are seven reasons dogs make the best companions in life.

1. Dogs live to love and please us. My mom told me a story the other day about how the vet had to poke my labradoodle with a needle about six times before getting it in the right spot. And the whole time, my dog just sat there with his head in my mom’s lap, staring up at her, waiting for it to be over. My mom asked the vet why dogs are like this, why they will endure pain without fighting it. And he said something that broke her heart. He said they just want to please people, even if that means sitting through pain. And really, it’s true. All dogs want is for their human to be happy and throw the ball. And when their human is not happy, they won’t throw the ball. Therefore, dogs make it their mission to make their humans happy.

2. They seem to have sixth sense when it comes to compassion and understanding. Dogs can listen without judging. OK, so I don’t sit and talk to my dogs. Not about serious matters at least. But when I’m upset, they know. They curl up next to me and rest their head on my chest, staring at me with their big, innocent eyes, radiating love. Something about that is so powerful to me. While they can’t speak, they know their humans so well and can pick it up when something isn’t right. And more than that, they try to fix whatever is wrong, the best they know how.

3. They can cuddle better than anyone. I’d rather cuddle with my dog than my boyfriend most of the time. Every night before bed she climbs up and lies on my chest. She would sleep like that if I would let her. Instead, she sleeps right on my feet, which cannot be comfortable. But it comes back to love. She loves her humans, and wants to be as close to them as possible even when it means it’s less comfortable for her. My 70-pound lab mix will do the same. He climbs above my head and curls around my shoulders when I am sitting on a chair. He has no idea that this isn’t normal. Again, he just wants to be close. Dogs are the best cuddlers, period.

4. Their reaction when you come home from work is priceless. My favorite part of the day is getting home and letting my dogs out of their kennels. Based on their reaction alone, you would think I have been gone for weeks. They react the same way whether I am gone 30 minutes or six hours, whining and wiggling their little butts. Nothing feels better than knowing someone loves you that much. Dogs spend so much of their lives waiting for us to come home to them, and having faith that we will. That’s pretty incredible.

5. In addition to loving their humans, they love each other. My boyfriend and I got one dog back in May. Then we added another in July. And finally, we adopted a third in November. While there was some hesitation and possessiveness at first, they have all adjusted and get along. They love one another the same way they love us. They will fall asleep head-to-head, or simply lie on the couch together. Even through the occasional squabble, they return to loving each other. It’s just how dogs are wired, with humans and each other.

6. They are loyal through and through. I truly believe this. I have read so many stories about dogs that protect their humans until the end. And even at the end, they refuse to leave their human’s side. In addition to their loyalty, they are protective. One time I was at home for the weekend and had my dogs. My dad was trying to be helpful and let the lab mix of the kennel. However, the dog didn’t recognize my dad and immediately jumped on the bed shielding me and barking. I had owned him a few weeks at this point. Not even one month, and already he was protecting me from what he thought was danger. That’s pretty amazing.

7. Dogs don’t discriminate. I’ve read stories about dogs who take a liking to the homeless, dogs who know when their owner is using drugs, dogs who are mistreated but continue to love and trust humans. It’s almost sad to think about the fact that a dog can be treated badly but will come back for more because he is so eager to please. Yet at the same time, dogs can save lives through their companionship. When most humans would not strike up a friendship with a homeless man, a dog doesn’t care. Like I said in the beginning, dogs just want to love and be loved. It doesn’t matter how or from whom, and that’s pretty awe-inspiring.

I’ll cap this off with my absolute favorite dog-related quote of all time, which comes from Marley and Me:

“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?”
Follow Beth Leipholtz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/el9292

5 Wisdom Bites on How to Handle Difficult People

Originally published on ThewomanFormerlyKnownasBeautiful.com By Live by Surprise

5 Wisdom Bites on How to Handle Difficult People_2The term “Asshat” seems to be catching on. Today my guest blogger Liv has her own take on how to handle difficult people aka Asshats.

I love what she’s learned from her ex and think her practical advice will help not just in the love life arena, but also with family, friends, co-workers and bosses. Here’s Liv from Live By Surprise:

Asshats are everywhere. It may be your boss, your co-worker, your customer, your server, your ex, your whatever. Asshats will come and go, and you’ll learn new things about dealing with them from each one.

Sometimes, they’re even passable as human beings when you first meet them. The asshat may make it past the sniff test and even become your friend, your boss, or your significant other. Once this has happened, it’s much more difficult to get them out of your life. And if you’ve had children with an asshat, you’re pretty much stuck.

Asshats may be able to mask their behavior for a short time – but their behavior will eventually betray them. You’ll get better at spotting them after you’ve dealt with a few.

Utterly ruthless, these individuals are incredibly resilient, fearless and not constrained by ethics or a moral code. Beware if they have you in their sights. Their complete disregard for anyone but themselves often leads to blow-back for those around them. And if that happens, it is never, ever (at least in their mind), their fault.

I have a lifetime of experience of dealing with asshats – and of course that one special someone who keeps coming back – but I’ve finally taken the time to sit down and appreciate all of the things that I have learned as a result.

1) Once an asshat, always an asshat

While going through my divorce, my therapist said to me “if he was like this while you were married, why do you expect him to be different now?”

The realization really jarred me: it was true. Stop wishing the asshat was different. Don’t expect a change in behavior. Asshats don’t suddenly become aware of their asshat status and reform their ways.

In the entire history of asshats, there has never been an asshat who has suddenly become a nice person (without a full frontal lobotomy).

2) Asshats are not good listeners

Asshats are limited to one function at a time. When you’re talking, the asshat is thinking about what they’re going to say in response, even if it has nothing to do with what you’re saying.

They can’t listen and think at the same time any more than they can chew gum and walk. You will never convince an asshat that you’re right and they’re wrong. Reason and logic are not skills an asshat understands or appreciates.

Despite their inability to listen, your listening skills should be fine-tuned. When your conversation with an asshat is getting heated, step back and take a breath. Try to understand why they’re being asshatty.

Sometimes (although not always) you can figure out what you need to do to stop the behavior. If not, you may need to cut your losses and save your strength for another day.

3) Don’t get defensive and accusatory

The asshole’s goal is to get your goat. Don’t respond emotionally. The asshat will take it as a win, and you don’t want them to think they’re winning.

Always take the time to prep yourself prior to dealing with an asshat. Remain confident. Keep your tone neutral. Stay on task. Don’t get distracted. You know what you need – get it and get out.

4) Handle aggression assertively

If the asshat you’re dealing with is aggressive, either verbally or physically, then regardless of who they are, it’s OK to walk away or put the phone down.

If needed, you can return to the conversation when the asshat has calmed down. No one has the right to compromise your sense of personal safety and well-being.

As well, feeling threatened may throw you off.

As I said in number three, you need to remain in control of both yourself and the situation. If you’re not – you can always come back to it later when the situation has cooled.

5) If you don’t have to deal with an asshat – don’t!

If you were simply dealing with a difficult person, you might be able to set aside your differences and come to a compromise. Most of the time, when you’re dealing with an asshat, this is not possible. Step back and really examine the situation.

Is it worth the stress? Is there someone else who could deal with this situation better? Is the situation even worth dealing with?

As I learned from the movie WarGames (1983), sometimes “the only winning move is not to play”. Always know what your limit is, and if you’ve hit it, walk away.

 BIO:

Liv is the pseudonym reformed divorcee and single mom – now remarried, coparenting and working mother of three. She’s been a featured writer on DivorcedMoms.com and her work can be found on ScaryMommy, HuffPost Divorce, MockMom and Sammiches and PsychMeds. You can find more at http://www.livebysurprise.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter (http://twitter.com/livebysurprise)