Simple Salad Rolls and Rice Paper Samosas

June 10th, 2013 · Lisa · gluten-free, Recipes, Savory · Comments

I know four little souls who came into the world this week. Two little boys (including my nephew, Dexter) and two little girls.
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I love visiting new parents, it often feels like I’ve dropped in on the morning after a huge party. Everyone is wandering around, in pyjama bottoms – a little dazed – but happy, and usually in search of food.

In those moments, I’m always happy to cradle a little one while their parents take a shower, a nap or just change their outfit with two free hands. In the first few days it is the simple pleasures of normalcy that count.

To all the aunts, uncles, friends and family members of new parents, some words of advice:
1. Arrive with food. Never expect to be fed.
2. Do the dishes, even if you didn’t touch a utensil.
3. Tell them to call you if they need anything, but don’t wait to be asked. Consider what you would need if you had the flu, were tackling your most important work assignment, on three hours sleep, while entertaining your in-laws over Thanksgiving and take appropriate action :).

I’m excellent at cleaning out fridges and pantries. I can rock a baby for hours. But…new parents usual ask me to make food. Something healthful, quick and easy.

And…I make sure it can be eaten one-handed.

Hearty muffins and cookies are a great option for nursing Mom’s in need of quick calories. But to keep everyone feeling their best, I also like to find easy ways to load them up with vegetables.

That brought me to the salad roll solution

Salad rolls are one of my favourite snacks. You can play with the filling to match your mood or the season by adding in fresh fruits, beans, nuts, herbs, sprouts, or spreads. You can dress them up for a dinner party or keep them simple for a quick snack. This version, is just my basic-, everyday-, eat-your-veggies-, kind of roll.
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I usually whip up a quick peanut sauce (and I swear I wrote down the measurements this time but they must have been cleaned up in my desire to leave the house spic and span). I owe you. In the meantime, the combination is always a mixture of peanut or almond butter, braggs or tamari, fresh ginger, sesame oil, lime juice and siracha or cayenne. I thin it out with hot water until it is perfectly thick for one-handed dipping. That’s it. Two seconds flat.

Simple Salad Rolls


  • 1 small altualfo mango
  • 1/2 medium red pepper
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 medium cucumber (English variety preferred)
  • 2 oz smoked tofu
  • 2 TBSP basil
  • 2 TBSP cilantro
  • 1 TBSP mint
  • (optional) 1 TBSP black sesame seeds for garnish
  • 6 rice paper wrappers


  1. Slice the mango, red pepper, carrot, cucumber and tofu into small matchsticks. Set aside.
  2. Tear or roughly chop the fresh herbs. Set aside.
  3. Fill a wide bowl or pie plate with warm water. Place one rice paper sheet into the water and leave until soft and pliable (approximately 10 seconds).
  4. Place the prepared rice paper on a cutting board or large plate. Fill the centre of the paper (just like making a burrito) with 1/6 of the ingredients (no need to be perfect...just try to make it somewhat even). Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Wrap each of the sides and then the bottom edge of the rice paper over the filling. Then roll away from you to seal up with the salad roll.
  6. Repeat to fill six rolls.

Since I was on such a rice paper roll….

I also tried my hand at Sarah B ‘s (inspired by Kittee) gluten-free samosas. I was amazed by how crispy the rice paper wrappers became when baked. Such a sensational solution to the time-consuming pastry version. Plus, one-hand eating friendly. 🙂

Even if you’re not a new parent, salad rolls and samosas are a great portable option for getting the good-stuff on the go.

Speaking of young souls, happy birthday to the one and only Amey. She turns 40 today and remains one of the most enthusiastic, energetic, beautiful beings I know.


  1. Amey Mathews
    Posted June 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Aww! Thanks so much for the awesome birthday shout out! I promise I read through your whole post before I even saw that super nice message! 🙂
    The fresh salad rolls are a great idea for new moms and parents. I always feel like everyone brings lasagna and casseroles and such heavy, over-cooked stuff. I love how you found a way to put something fresh into an easy-to-eat format. Also, you reminded me that I really want to make those rice paper samosas! 🙂

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      I do hope you had a super fantastic birthday. You’re pretty spectacular.

  2. Christa Collie
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Such great advice Lisa! The wraps and samosas look gorgeous 🙂

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Thank you Christa!

  3. Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    You almost make me want to have a baby, just so I can look up and see you washing my dishes. Wait, no, I mean see you smiling and rocking said baby. Yes. The baby…

  4. Teresa Pitman
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:23 am

    You are the best baby visitor ever!

  5. Posted June 23, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Great tips on visiting new parents! I like your example of thinking about what you’d bring if someone you knew had the flu.

    I’ve only just recently started making rice paper rolls. I’ve had rice paper in my cupboard for about a year, but for whatever reason, they intimidated me! I finally started using them, and I had no reason to be intimidated. They’re so easy, fast, and perfect for warm weather temperatures. They’re filling without being heavy. Your rolls sound so tasty, especially with the mango!

    I’ve been eager to try Kittee’s rice paper samosas. I watched her video a few weeks ago, and they’ve been on my to-do list ever since!

    • Lisa
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Cadry you will love them. So easy, and so tasty!

  6. Posted August 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Smoked tofu…I don’t know if I’ve ever had it before! I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled!

    • Lisa
      Posted August 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      I love it! It is usually in with the other varieties but is great for using straight from the fridge.

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