Fridge-Raid Summer Rolls


  Meals made in haste are often the most delicious. Take these 'fridge-raid' summer rolls for instance. I was looking to use up all the odds and ends in my fridge before I headed over to Ireland and rice paper rolls seemed like the perfect vehicle in which to do so. Even if you have zero knife skills and simply wish to grate everything, these really are one of the simplest go-to meals - and they taste flipping amazing ... even if we did have a laugh as to what the wraps themselves reminded us of. Erm, less said on that the better. This is a food blog after all.

Not really a recipe (seeing as you can use just about anything you have to hand) but I did like the coleslaw-like combo esp. when pared with the avocado and/or cucumber ... a nice balance of crunch and creaminess with a fresh mix of flavours to boot. I threw in some chilli flakes and sesame seeds for added oomph but they're pretty much optional (particularly if you're a heat-phobe) - although they do make the rolls look rather pretty in my opinion. I'm not the greatest at rolling these suckers I must admit and by gosh are they fiddly so I wouldn't worry if they are less than picture perfect - once they're in your gob it won't matter. Just be sure not to overfill to avoid the rice paper tearing. For the same reason, you won't want to roll them too tightly either - err on the side of caution until you've perfected your skills a bit.

Even though I didn't include it in these photos (I'll explain) I actually made a seriously yummy dipping sauce by whisking together sweet chilli sauce, coconut cream and lime. It was heavenly. And to top it off I poured myself a chilled glass of pinot to cheers my last night in Cornwall for a couple of weeks. I know, ridiculously over the top but leaving Cornwall has that effect on me. Oh yes! Dipping sauce. So, I desperately wanted to blog but was limited on time and resources, which is how these super easy morsels came about. I rustled them up in minutes and quickly took some photos before my Husband came home, so didn't fuss over them too much - and failed to include the dipping sauce, which I actually made much later when we had them with our wine. I'm not sure if this how blogging is done these days ... a lot of it seems overly contrived and bears very little resemblance to the food blogging world I so fondly remember. Y'know, where people talked at length about themselves, their lives and blogged about things they actually ate? Ah, I've gone all misty eyed. Anyway.

Okay, so things have evolved (or devolved  - I can't figure out which) over the six or so years I've been blogging and still I gravitate towards blogs that have an air of authenticity about them. Same goes for my YouTube viewing. Sure, I occasionally get suckered in by a click-bait title or image but generally speaking I try to avoid anything with the word 'haul' in the title and I pretty much loathe those 'response' videos that are all the rage. I basically don't get it - but then again, I'm probably not their target audience. I much prefer people that aren't in it solely for the views and are simply making quality content without any 'in your face' agenda. Of course, I love anything food related so recipe or 'what I eat in day' vids will always warrant a watch ... specifically, I'm currently loving Lauren Toyota and her food channel 'Hot For Food' and am still obsessed with Mango Island Mamma who doesn't post particularly regularly but it's always worth the wait. I've also got a soft spot for Angie and Ryan over at Happy Healthy Vegan and I think at this stage I can officially claim my 'Tang Gang' title given the fact my guilty pleasure is indulging in silly amounts of 'Mommy Tang'. I didn't realise watching someone eat for an hour could be quite so riveting.

To try and keep some equilibrium in my life, however, I've actually been limiting my screen time in general ... that includes all phone activity - so social media is being rationed. I've also put a phone-ban in place 20mins prior to bedtime (this excludes 'guided meditation' on YouTube) and now sleep with it on airplane mode - my Husband's suggestion and I can tell you it works a treat. Not only that but I now make sure it's not the first thing I look at in the morning - other than to turn off my alarm, of course. This way, I allow my head-space to be filled with other things rather than cramming in more useless information via twitter. I take time to savour all those little morning tasks and try not to be in too much of a rush to join the 'real world' ... which can be difficult for my restless hands and mind. To that end, I have finally jumped aboard the 'colouring book' bandwagon and a week in I can safely say I wish I'd done it sooner. It was my salvation when travelling back to Ireland and it also means I'm not glued to my phone when I'm here either. In fact, my last two mornings have involved smoothies, porridge - and a bit of calm and collected colouring. Bliss.

I feel like I've really broken through a bit of a mental barrier of late and I'll share more over the next few weeks. I've been prioritizing nightly walks and trying to integrate guided meditation into my life, which I know sounds like total new-age hippy nonsense but it's actually helping me on so many levels - especially prior to bedtime. If, like me, you thought you just aren't suited to this whole meditation melarkey I urge you to give it a go anyway - you might surprise yourself. And even if it does nothing for you, at least you can soothe your sorrows with a little summer roll. Both are equally effective.

what you'll need

6 vietnamese rice wrappers

1 small carrot

1/2 red pepper

handful finely sliced red cabbage

1 spring onion

1/3 cucumber

1/2 large avocado

handful of rocket

2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

1 heaped chilli flakes

1 tsesame seeds

to serve

3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp coconut cream

juice 1/2 lime

what you'll do

finely slice or grate the carrot, red cabbage, red pepper and spring onion. slice the avocado and cucumber lengthways.

soak the vietnamese rice wrappers one at a time in a large bowl of cold water for about 30secs and then transfer to a clean chopping board. you can dab it dry with a clean tea towel but quite honestly, I just fill and roll.

sprinkle over the chilli flakes and sesame seeds before laying on the avocado or cucumber slice followed by the rocket, sliced veg and coriander - ensuring there is a little room at the bottom and either side.

to roll, fold the two sides in first and then fold over the bottom part of the wrapper. continue rolling until the roll is completely secure. repeat process until all the ingredients are used and refrigerate until needed.

for the dipping sauce, simply whisk the sweet chilli, coconut cream and lime juice together until combined. serve alongside the rolls.