Friday, July 9, 2010

Zucchini spring rolls

Hello all! This morning for breakfast I made a smoothie. Surprised? Today's smoothie included the following ingredients:

1 cup organic blueberries

1 cup organic spinach

1 organic banana

1/2 an avocado (the last of my avocado..sniff, sniff )

Maca powder

Organic hemp protein

Coconut milk, enough to blend

So I looked in my fridge this morning to see what I had to work with. As far as veggies go, I had half an avocado, frozen organic spinach, half a zucchini, and a lot of organic baby carrots. Seeing as I already used the avocado in my smoothie this morning, that was one less ingredient. Hm...what can I make. I dug in my freezer and found some old rice paper. SPRING ROLLS! I took out my Spiralo and made the rest of my zucchini into raw noodles. Then, I cut up some carrots. I grabbed a few mint leaves from my garden too. I wrapped all that up into zucchini, carrot and mint spring rolls! I had some leftover peanut sauce that I had made a couple days ago to go with my black bean burgers. I put that in my lunch tupperware too. Oh! I almost forgot to say what I did to make peanut dipping sauce! It was just plain crunchy peanut butter, organic soy sauce (or braggs would work), tiny bit of lime juice, a tiny bit of agave, and garlic cloves.

So I made a successful lunch of spring rolls with peanut sauce, two of my last chai cookies, and an Assam tea. Did I mention I LOVE Assam tea!? My husband could not stop laughing at how ugly my spring rolls looked. I didn't think they were THAT bad. I have an excuse though! I woke up at 8:10 and I start work at 9:00 so I didn't have a whole lot of time to assemble.

Normally I wake up, straighten the front of my hair only (just so it will not be frizzy and not enough time to do the whole thing), wash my face, put on foundation, powder, and mascara, feed my cats, guinea pigs, and noggin, throw my wet pants in the dryer, wait for them to dry, make my lunch, make my breakfast, let Panther outside for a couple minutes so he stops meowing, water my plants, kiss my husband, and then run out the door and try not to forget anything. It's no wonder I look like a wreck every morning!

I have a question. Why do people, once they find out you are vegan, ask you questions like: So do you eat fish? What about just chicken? What! No dairy or eggs either?! WHAT DO YOU EAT!? Cue freak of nature looks. First of all, why in the WORLD would I be a "vegan" or "vegetarian" and eat chicken? How do you guys normally respond to this? I have only been a vegan for a year now. I was a vegetarian off and on through childhood, but then made the switch to be a full on vegan about a year ago. I know a lot of you have been doing this a lot longer than me. So, how do you answer them?

Sonic wanted to say hi!


  1. I think your spring rolls look great! I love the idea of using shredded zucchini instead of the typical rice noodles.

    When people ask silly questions, I try to be as calm and confident as possible and explain all of the healthy and fun things I DO eat :)

  2. Yummy looking shake this morning...and I think your rolls are pretty, too! Would love to try one, especially with the dipping sauce :)

    I think some people just don't understand the term vegan means no animal products at all. There are lots of different types of vegetarians, so I think that is why it's confusing.

    Hi to sweet Sonic! (and everyone else too)

  3. I think your spring rolls look great! Not ugly! Oddly enough I haven't been asked many annoying questions about my dietary choices, but I can imagine it would get a bit irritating if people were constantly nagging about it. Hi Sonic! :)

  4. We call them 'Summer Rolls' out east. 'Spring Rolls' are veggie, but deep-fried. As for how I answer questions, it depends who is asking. I have it best to just answer 'I think you know why' and that shuts them up.

  5. Your spring rolls look just fine!

    Working with teenagers, I hear silly questions like that all the time. You really have to be patient with people because it's just really hard for them to wrap their heads around. The "What do you eat?" question still gets to me. I assume that most people have meatless meals on occasion, but it just seems that they really need to expand their eating habits if they really can't imagine what a vegan would eat. Many may, also, not realize how many more options vegans have now. It's changed a lot in my 3 years as a vegan and I know that we have it a lot easier than people did 20 years ago!

    Haha, sorry for the long comment. Basically, you may be answering questions like this for a long time because our society has so little self control.

  6. Jill- I was looking for some rice noodles in my cupboards and then thought, why not just use zucchini noodles :) Thanks for the advice.

    Evergreen- Thanks for the link!, I'm sorry but I do not consider Pesco-Vegetarians include fish into their diets OR Pollo-Vegetarians eat poultry, such as chicken, turkey, and duck, vegetarians. Did these terms come about because people wanted to call themselves vegetarians but still wanted to eat these things?

    River- Thanks for not thinking they are ugly :D You are lucky to not have people bug you about it. I have friends here who tell me, "I don't even know you anymore! How can you JUST eat THAT!" Sad :(

    Shen- I've heard that term before too. Hm..I think I will call mine summer rolls too. I like that better. I like summer better than spring :) I love your answer too!

    Sonic says HI back to everyone!

  7. Cassie- Thanks for the comment. I think you are right. It's just hard for them to wrap their heads around it. I mean, my grandma for instance comes from a different time. Everytime she sees me, she is worried that I am not getting enough nutrition. I just tell her, don't worry grandma I am. I definitally think we have it way easier too, than vegans a few years ago. They have come out with so many different things since then! Plus organic is getting bigger and bigger, which I am thrilled about.

  8. For the record, I think your rolls look good and I've also heard them called summer rolls - like Shen, spring rolls are fried. Just a terminology difference.

    Also for the record, I probably asked a lot of ignorant questions when I first met vegans. Depending on what you've been exposed to, the question of what is left to eat is a big concern! But you can probably tell by their tone if they're curious or condescending. Anyway, that was 11 years ago and I became vegetarian immediately after. Then I decided to become vegan but I quit because -- get this -- I didn't know what to eat. Now I've found a ton of resources and have been vegan for a few months with no plans to change. Had I encountered a helpful answer 11 years ago, maybe this wouldn't be a recent development.

    Finally, if it's someone who can take a joke or who is really being mean, I give the example of dog fighting. That's letting nature take its course and provides entertainment value. Animals fight in nature, and the strongest wins. Plus it's fun to watch. If you eat meat, you should agree that dog fighting is acceptable. If not, what's the difference?

  9. I also think your summer rolls look fine. Making them tight comes with practice. But they taste the same either way. ;-)

    Cute fur babies, BTW. We have three felines that allow us to live in their home.

    I say I eat a whole food plant based diet, nothing that had a mother, came from an animal or is processed. Basically plants, grains, beans nuts and seeds. I hope that helped.


  10. Jessica- I was like you at the beginning with having no idea what to cook as a vegan. I had no clue how to live without cheese or that it would even be possible. But it is! Coming from growing up in the islands, most everything is meat based. I didn't even know how to be creative with vegetables at all. My first few months kind of sucked. I have learned so much though, and things are a lot smoother now. I like your dog fighting analogy. I think that would be a good thing to tell people. One problem I know I would run into here, is that a lot of people actually do dog fight and cock fight here. So it wouldn't suprise me if they said, yes I do think dog fighting is acceptable.

  11. Ali- Thanks for the advice. That sounds similar to my normal answer. I usually say that I eat fruits, veggies, nuts and grains. Nice to meet another cat lover on here. I have four and the graciously allow us to live with them as well :)

  12. Damn, those rolls look good!

  13. Stacy- Thank you! They were so yummy! It's amazing that something so simple can be so good!

  14. Oh, I love that pic of Sonic...his exuberance shines through! Your smoothies always sound so healthy. You're seriously inspiring me to get "blending" in the mornings...I'm usually too lazy and just grab some fruit or bread or something to eat when I get to work. The wraps look great too!

    It can be frustrating explaining veganism to people...many people have many pre-judgments of it and sort of a mental block about it. I think they (maybe subconsciously) try to be obtuse about it.

    Anyway, I think it's best to kindly and patiently repeat/explain and to be a noble diplomat for I'm sure you are!

    And as for the "what do you eat" question...I usually rattle off loads of cool ingredients that most omnivores (at least the ones I know) either have never heard of or don't use on a regular basis ( e.g. nutritional yeast, seitan, okara, miso, flax seed, nut cheeses, quinoa, millet, mustard greens, favas, etc. and examples of the dishes you can make with them). In my opinion, a vegan's palette is usually far more broad than the typical omnivore's.

    If the conversation gets that far...I like to give ample references to cool vegan blogs and cookbooks. Also, it's fun to point out an especially good vegan recipe (maybe a baked good or an analog of a traditional omni recipe) and encourage them to try doesn't mean they have to go vegan. I always say, "Vegan food is not just for vegans!"

    Happy weekend Carissa.

  15. Rose- Sonic says thanks :) He is such an amazing dog. I am so glad I adopted him. I almost didn't because we didn't totally "click" like I wanted to at the humane society. He was so hyper and just happy to be out. He didn't really care about me being there, he just wanted to wonder around the "meet and greet" area and kind of do his own thing. I fell in love with him though!

    You should definitally start blending in the mornin. Sometimes I feel like I don't have enough time, but if you have at least 5 minutes, then you have enough time. The main reason I started blending was because if I didn't I knew I wasn't getting enough nutrition throughout the day.

    I love your explaination for the "what we eat" question. It probably helps to figure out if the person is really interested or condescending about the whole idea when you get their reaction to you saying, oh I eat nutritional yeast, okra, etc. Hm, good idea!

    Have a great weekend too!

  16. Aw, no way! Sorry you have to be around that :(

    Honestly, I don't get much negativity. If anything, I get guilt from my mom.

  17. I love your vibe! Agreed on the weird questions...sometimes i go for long stretches without inviting people over until i figure out how to answer all their questilons i anticipate.
    Today i had some friends over and things went great. I made an agreement with myself to enjoy it all minus the stress... And to minimize any stress over those types of questions. People who ask them have yet to read and research it out like we have. So it is all good, :)

  18. Jess- My mom is kind of on me about it too, but not too bad. She was a hippy back in the day, so I think she at least gets where I am coming from.

    Capt'n Amazing's wife- Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog! You are so funny how you anticipate their questions. I am a pretty antisocial person, so I don't mind not having people over for long periods of time. I am glad you had a good time with your friends. Did you make food too?

  19. Your spring rolls do look good! And I have only heard of fried spring rolls and fresh spring rolls. Never heard of a summer roll, so Im with you on this one girl!


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