Brown Rice Spring Rolls



Lately I've been all about meals that are quick, delicious, nutritious and pretty.  I discovered brown rice spring roll wraps by Star Anise foods, and my life has changed. It's not often that I have to take my lunch with me, but when I do, it's wrapped up within these wraps. I can eat on the go, and not have to worry about having a fork. I think that's pretty cool!
 
I mostly fill my brown rice spring rolls with protein rich tempeh, brown rice, vegetables and herbs. A dipping sauce is always welcome, but if you're taking the wraps to go, pour the sauce in with the filling. Play around with fillings. My other favorites are: shiitake mushrooms, beets and carrots, cilantro, spinach, tofu and black rice. The wraps are so easy to make. After filling, simply fold up the ends, and roll--like a burrito.


 
In New York City Star Anise foods are only available at Whole Foods. Visit their website to purchase the wraps, and a wide variety of tasty brown rice noodles. I think it's fine to use traditional spring roll wrappers that are made with white rice. However, if you can get your hands on the brown rice wrappers, do. They're healthier and heartier.

Now, for the recipe : )

  Brown Rice Spring Rolls 
with Orange Sesame Sauce

4 Brown Rice Paper wrappers
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 cup basil, chopped
2 carrots, julienned or thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
½ pack of tempeh, marinated (recipe follows) 
1 tbsp black sesame seeds

Wet one brown rice paper roll and place on a plate to soften. After one minute, start filling the roll with rice, basil, carrots, pepper and tempeh. Fold ends up, and roll to close. Repeat with remaining rolls. Garnish with black sesame seeds.

Tempeh
1 pack of tempeh (cut into four or five pieces, then halved)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder

Stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, syrup and chili powder, and pour over tempeh. Allow the tempeh to marinate for at least one hour. Once it has marinated, roast tempeh in an oven at 350° for 15 minutes. Allow to cool before using in rice paper wraps.

Orange Sesame Sauce
Juice of one orange
¼ cup tahini
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Add ingredients to a bowl, and stir well, until smooth. Add water to thin if necessary.




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