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Summer Rolls

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Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.

Today: Gena wraps up everything she loves about summer into light and refreshing rolls.  

Summer Rolls from Food52

There’s a long list of dishes I love to eat in restaurants, but never seem to prepare at home. Injera. Perfect green curry. (Vegan) pastry. I like to think I have an excuse for steering clear of these dishes, which is that the folks who make them have usually spent years perfecting their craft. My attempts will never be quite as great as the “real” thing. 

But summer rolls? I have no excuse for summer rolls.

Summer rolls are one of the first dishes I order in Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. I adore them, but I never seem to make them on my own, which is ridiculous, given how easy they are to prepare. This week, when I found a package of brown rice paper rollers at my local health food store, I finally took the plunge. It was, of course, as easy as can be -- not unlike rolling collard leaf wraps

More: Complete your Asian-inspired meal with vegan Pad Thai.

I stuffed these rolls with cucumber, carrot, strips of extra-firm tofu, and fresh basil from my ever-proliferating basil plant. I served them with a sauce of almond butter, ginger, sesame oil, and tamari. Paired with fresh greens, it made for a light and refreshing summer lunch. 

Photo by Gena Hamshaw 

What are your favorite fillings for summer rolls? Let us know in the comments below!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Thai, Vietnamese, Rice, Vegetable, Lunch, Back to School, Vegetarian, Vegan, Not Sad Desk Lunch