fresh summer rolls with basil, avocado, kale + spicy garlic peanut sauce

Easy summer rolls! This recipe is inspired by Vietnamese Gỏi cuốn, but I have definitely gone in my own direction. And that's ok! I just want to give credit to where the foods we enjoy come from. You can make these totally raw by leaving out the vermicelli and using collard greens or seaweed instead of rice paper. Otherwise, let's get riced!

Okay apparently "riced" is a legitimate word because word check didn't put a squiggly red line under it. Who knew.

Actions speak louder than words and in this case, my action was to make these two nights in a row for my dinner. There is something so satisfying about rice paper rolls filled with fresh herbs, vermicelli, greens and veggies, paired with a creamy flavourful dipping sauce. I could probably eat this and/or brown rice sushi every night of my life. 

My mom bought The Book of Kale recently and it features a spring roll recipe with peanut sauce. I was instantly inspired, and also reminded of how much I adore spring rolls. A few months ago I seriously made them like every night for a week.

Enough about my addictive eating habits - let's get chopping! You can make these tonight and watch everyone who eats them grow a big smile. Wait. Do smiles grow? How are they formed exactly? What is the terminology here? Do they appear? Why am I still talking about this?

fresh summer rolls with basil, avocado, kale + spicy garlic peanut sauce: serves 2-4

Peanut sauce:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chunk of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons each of tamari, maple syrup, and lime juice
Chili powder, to taste
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup water (more or less as needed)

1 cup cooked vermicelli (AKA rice noodles)
5-8 rice paper sheets
1 carrot
1 avocado
1/3 cucumber
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup cilantro
5-8 kale leaves
1/2 red pepper

To make the peanut sauce: blend or mix together all the ingredients until smooth. If you like, sautee the garlic and ginger first to bring out more flavour. Set aside in a bowl. 

To make the wraps: cut all the veggies into thin strips. Dip your rice paper sheets in warm water so they soften and become pliable (do this one at a time), then arrange your fillings in the middle. Fold over two ends, then wrap it up like a burrito, making it as tight as possible. It might take a few tries to get it perfect. Serve with the sauce and enjoy nature's elegant beauty.