If you’ve ever avoided making spring rolls before because of the sticky rice paper, these are for you! Skip the grains and use rainbow chard for the wrapper and spaghetti squash for the rice noodles. There are so many veggies packed into these rolls, you’ll feel instantly healthier the moment you eat them. And bonus – they taste fantastic. Let’s roll!
HAPPY SPRING!!!!! Oh, I’ve been aching for this day. There’s new life popping up all around, the sun has been poking out more often, and just this afternoon Vida and I planted our first seeds in the garden. She planted flowers, and I planted…rainbow chard! How appropriate, given that it plays the starring role in these spring rolls. Get it? First day of spring? Spring rolls? You’d think I planned it, but I totally didn’t. I’m not that together. But I’ll happily embrace the accident.
Rainbow chard is almost too pretty to eat. Almost. It’s just so vibrant and bright, especially the pink color (and I don’t even like pink!). It almost lights up. And it’s sturdy too, which makes is the perfect substitute for rice paper. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a classic spring roll, but these are easier to make, and are so chock-full of veggies that I feel extra virtuous after eating them. Heck, the noodles are made of spaghetti squash! And those pretty stems aren’t just to look at, we slice them up and use them in the filling! So resourceful of us.
Speaking of the filling, the color wheel is about to go for spin, because we’re going to taste the rainbow! No, there are no Skittles in these spring rolls. Vida would LOVE that idea, though. Here’s what these rolls are packin’:
- Rainbow chard – the perfect wrapper with bonus filling ingredient, those gorgeous stems!
- Spaghetti squash – standing in for the rice noodles, a very welcome understudy I might add
- Red bell pepper
- Purple Cabbage
- Mint & Basil – the fresh herbs are so important for that classic flavor, and also doesn’t mint just scream SPRING?
And now, we roll! All you have to do is cut out the stem of the chard, creating two pieces from each leaf. Each piece is one spring roll. Then just lay all of the ingredients in a single layer along one of the chard halves and roll it up like a yoga mat. Or a cinnamon roll. You get the idea.
You’ve invested the time to makes these beautiful spring roll masterpieces, so give them the dipping sauce they deserve! I highly suggest Sweet Potato Peanut Sauce, which can easily be made while the spaghetti squash is cooking and you’re prepping the other veggies. It’s the perfect compliment to these gorgeous green gobs of goodness. I really stretched it with the word “gobs” – such was my adherence to alliteration. It’s definitely time for me to stop writing now.
Closing argument – these spring rolls are good, grain-free, and green. You should make them, and eat them, and tell how it went. I rest my case.
Grain-Free Spring Rolls
- 1 bunch rainbow chard
- 1 spaghetti squash, cooked and flesh separated into “noodles”
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil or basil leaves
- 2 cups purple cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 cups carrots, cut into thin strips
- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
- With scissors or a knife, cut out the stem of the chard, leaving two halves.
- Slice the chard stems into thin strips and set aside with the rest of the filling ingredients.
- Lay out a small amount of each filling ingredient onto one of the chard leaves, and roll up. Cut in half if desired.
- Serve with Sweet Potato Peanut Sauce for dipping.