chicken spring rolls + “peanut” sauce {gf, df, vegan option}

Guys guess what. Seriously guess. I bet you’ll never guess. Okay I’ll tell you. The Vietnamese restaurant in my town went out of business. Pretty much the saddest thing to happen since 2012. (not sure what happened in 2012, but I’m sure it was very sad)

Do you know what that means?! I now have to make my own bomb ass spring rolls and fire curry. UGH. I loved that place so much. It will be deeply missed.

But these spring rolls are so amazing, so I guess I will survive. Maybe. The recipe below is just a basic one for chicken spring rolls and peanut sauce, but I really want to try a yummy fruit spring roll soon! They sound and look SO amazing.

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And before anyone says ANYTHING about these not being paleo…does it look like I don’t know that? I’m not an idiot–at least I wouldn’t say I am. I realize that the rice paper and rice noodles are made of RICE…duh. White rice and water. Bomb ingredients, honestly. Delicious ingredients. Ingredients that make these spring rolls what they are. And I don’t care. Because they taste good and are naturally gluten free and a great source of post workout carbs and I don’t have a problem digesting them. So thanks. Just thought I’d clear that up.

Another side note: a lot of people complain about how hard spring rolls are to make. I’ve never really had that problem, so I guess I’ll just tell ya exactly how I do it. When I soak the rice paper in water, I DON’T leave it there for a long time. 30 seconds maybe max. And then I roll it on a WOOD cutting board. If you roll it on a plastic one, it does not work nearly as well. The roll does not need to be all slimy already when you first start adding the fillings; it will continue to soak up water and soften as you prepare the roll. And then when you do get to rolling it, just roll it up like a burrito. Fold, tuck, fold. DONE. Step-by-step below.

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Chicken Spring Rolls + “Peanut” Sauce

yields: 8-10 spring rolls        total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the rolls:

  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cubed**
  • Sesame oil or coconut oil, for cooking the chicken
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pkg. rice paper (the amount you use will vary…with one pound of meat, I can usually make about 10 spring rolls therefore 10 wrappers)
  • 1 cup rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • ½ cup carrots, shredded
  • 5 leaves lettuce, chopped

For the “peanut” sauce:

  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • Warm water, for thinning (I use about 1 Tablespoon)
  • Optional: diced almonds or cashews for crunch

Procedure:

  1. Place a pan on medium heat and add the sesame or coconut oil. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Leave the chicken covered, stirring occasionally until cooked through.
  2. While the chicken cooks, cut your cilantro, avocado, carrots, and lettuce and set aside. Prep your rice noodles according to the directions on the package and set those aside as well.
  3. Fill a large bowl with cold water to use to soften the rice paper. Once you have the chicken, vegetables, and noodles ready, you are ready to start preparing the spring rolls.
  4. Place a sheet of rice paper in the cold water and let it sit for 30 seconds, or until just barely soft. Remove from the water and place a small amount of vegetables, chicken, and rice noodles on the edge of the circle. Once it is filled, fold over the edge and roll until the filling is covered. Tuck in each side of the roll and continue rolling over until you run out of rice paper (check slideshow below). Continue making spring rolls until you run out of ingredients.
  5. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and stir until smooth. You may need to add warm water to thin it out.
  6. Dip you spring rolls in your sauce and ENJOY! 🙂

**If you would like to make these vegan, all you have to do is omit the chicken!

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