Vietnamese Spring Rolls

imageI make these bad boys a lot! They are great to pack as lunches or snacks as they don’t require refrigeration, and they aren’t too messy when traveling.


My favourite!



I didn’t have any peanuts, so I used cashews instead

You will need:

  • Rice paper wrappers
  • 1-2 carrots
  • small head of cabbage
  • bunch of holy basil
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • bunch of spring onions, only green part
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed

For the dipping sauce:

  • fish sauce
  • tamarind paste
  • palm sugar
  • chili powder

How to do it:

  1. Start off by washing and prepping your veg. Rip the leaves of basil from the stems, rinse the beansprouts and green onions. Remember, you only want the green part of the onion.
  2. Shred your cabbage and carrot, then mix together in a bowl.
  3. Crush your nuts with a sharp knife, mortar and pestle or food processor.


    This recipe is all about preparation!

  4. Bowl some water and lay out a large plate for the rice paper wrappers.
  5. Now you need to prep the rice paper wrappers. Lay one flat on a plate, and then pour the hot water over it. Be careful! You need to turn the wrapper over so that both sides are wet. You don’t want the wrapper to be too sticky or too soft.


    Have some cool water nearby

  6. Once the wrapper has become soft and pliable, shake or squeeze the excess water off.
  7. Lay it flat on a cutting board, and then start to add in your ingredients.


    While you’re filling the first one, put another wrapper in the water

  8. Follow the instructions on the back of the packet – you want to roll the wrapper once, then tuck in the two ends, then continue wrapping it.


    It takes a bit of practise, I admit!

  9. In a small mixing bowl, add in some fish sauce, tamarind paste, and palm sugar. Just keep adding the ingredients until you get a sweet and sour flavour. Add in some chili powder, if desired, then serve with your Vietnamese Spring rolls!

Gluten Free & Vegan Chana Masala

Indian food is always delicious. Although I have never taken a cooking course, I have dabbled in this culinary tradition. Today I bring to you a cheap and easy dish to make.


Chana Masala with brown rice and a fresh veggie ‘slaw

It has a little bit of spice to it, mixed with the lime and cilantro at the end, you also get some sour notes. I love this recipe because it is cheap to make and adds in lots of  antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C and K.

Pair it with some brown rice, onion dosa and a salad of some sort. This also makes for great leftovers!


Soak them ‘peas overnight!

The night before, you’ll want to soak your chickpeas in fresh water for at least 8 hours. Make sure you cook your chickpeas before starting the recipe. Alternatively, you may use canned chickpeas (but they don’t taste as fresh, in my opinion).

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or dried ground ginger could work)
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander (I use MasterFoods from Aus)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin (this & all other spices are McCormick)
  • 1 tsp tumeric (you could halve this and use fresh stuff)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala ***
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes or 1 15oz can of tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups cooked chick peas (or 2 cups dried – but you need to cook in advance)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 a lime, juiced

*** Here’s a quick spice combination for Garam Masala:

  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp all spice

Mix together and store in an old spice jar for future need!


A vegan and gluten free one-pot-wonder!

Ok, so back to the Chana Masala.

Begin by heating the oil in a large sauce pan or thick bottomed pot. Add in the onions and saute until they become translucent (approx 5 mins). Then add in the ginger and garlic and saute for a further 2 mins.

Next, start to add in the spices and make sure they are combined well (cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, garam masala and tumeric). Then you can add in the chopped tomatoes, chick peas and water.

You want to bring this to a simmer (light boil) for about 8-10 mins. Continue to stir, making sure that the tomatoes and chickpeas don’t stick to the bottom. Once the water has reduced and the tomatoes are looking a bit worse for wear, add in the salt, lime or lemon juice and the fresh coriander. Remove from heat and it’s ready to serve!


You can add more paprika and cayenne for extra spice!

For the coleslaw, I just added a bunch of veggies I had lying around in my food processor:

  • cabbage – green and purple
  • green onions
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • lime juice
  • chili
  • paprika
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste