fresh roll bowls with crispy tofu.

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helllloooo, out there!

i’ve been totally MIA this summer with a zillion things going on in my life, like planning our big marriage celebration partay extravaganza, renovating our basement, trying to stay afloat in my freelance work and still have a fun summer and maintain a personal life, ha!

now that fall is here, and all i do in my free time these days is watch bon appétit cooking videos on youtube, i am really, really pumped to get back to cooking and my recipe-making ways!

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this is a recipe i made back in july, and just never got around to sharing it. but, it’s still worth sharing because i always crave a fresh roll, and we can find all of these produce items year-round. so, IT’S ALL GOOD.

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ok. fresh roll bowls.

when you want the freshness of a fresh roll, but don’t want to dilly dally around and actually take the time to roll them up. i’ve just substituted thin rice noodles for the rice papers and thrown everything into the same bowl! yum!

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this was my first attempt at cooking tofu, i believe. i used queen minimalist baker’s crispy tofu method and it worked like a charm, even for a tofu-first-timer. i coated it in a fresh, zingy peanut sauce, and mmm mmm mmm, twas it ever tasty and satisfying.

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this was most excellent back in july, when all you want is something refreshing & light after consuming hot dogs and burgers for days on end. this would really be excellent year-round, though. because who doesn’t like a bowl of flavorful freshnezzzz in februaryyyy??

ok. glad to be back on here. putting these photos & recipes out into the internet abyss is a much more personally cathartic creative outlet than my professional creative freelance work, and i miss it when i take big breaks. it’s most fulfilling when i see that someone has made one of my recipes, so i am excited to get back to this. 😊

Fresh Roll Bowls with Crispy Tofu

Serves 2-4

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Peanut Sauce-

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup minced shallot

  • 1 inch knob of ginger, grated

  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 tsp. soy sauce, or coconut aminos

  • 1 TB lime juice

  • 1/4 (+) cup room temperature water

  • pinch of red chile flakes

For the Crispy Tofu-

I used this exact method from Minimalist Baker for quick & crispy tofu!

For the Fresh Roll Bowls-

  • 1 cup thin rice noodles (cooked according to package instructions)

  • 1 cup shredded carrots

  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage

  • 2 cups chopped crisp hearty greens, romaine, or spinach

  • 1/2 a large cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup Thai basil

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint

  • 1/2 cup snap peas, snapped or chopped

  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion

  • lime juice

  • rice vinegar

  • plum sauce

  • fish sauce

Instructions-

Prepare and gather all the fresh vegetables and herbs as instructed. Set in fridge to keep cool, or just set aside.

Prepare the peanut sauce as instructed in a small bowl and gently stir the ingredients together, or simply add everything to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Add the the water slowly until the desired thickness or thinness is achieved.

Follow these instructions from the greatest resource in simplified vegan & plant-based recipes, Minimalist Baker. Gently toss the slightly cooled, crispy tofu in the peanut sauce.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked rice noodles in a bit of plum sauce, a dash of rice vinegar, the juice of 1 lime, and dash of fish sauce, if desired. Add all the hearty vegetables and toss gently.

Add the more delicate veggies and herbs very last, during plating - such as the cucumber ribbons, mint, and basil. Top with the peanut sauce coated crispy tofu squares. Add a pinch of salt or dash of fish sauce, red chile flakes, or additional lime juice as desired. Serve immediately!

Customize these bowls as you see fit - prawns, shrimp, shredded chicken, beef, meatless - you know!

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bon appétit strawberry shortcakes.

summer is here, baybeeeeee.

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this recipe comes straight from bon appétit magazine! well, from their amazing simple cooking resource site called basically. i LOVE how each step in a recipe is written out, followed immediately by a video of what that step should look like IRL. this is super helpful so you don’t have to scroll up and down to find a photo of what your food should look like in the moment.

damn. i thought i had just invented something but after a 2-second google search, it’s already a thing. i was thinking of a rubber thimble-like cover for your finger while you’re cooking or baking so you don’t have to wash your hands every time you go to touch your phone or scroll on the recipe and not cover the phone in flour or various goo. turns out this is called a finger stylus. eff. i’m always thinking i’ve come up with an invention, but alas, it already exists. also…..lol, i guess one could just use a regular pen stylus in this situation. i’m just hyper paranoid about washing stuff off my hands i guess. what a time suck! ok clean phone screen rant over.

soooo, i’ve been wanting to make really good strawberry shortcakes, and figured i’d just leave this one up to the experts. i decided to take photos because those pretty berries were calling to get their picture taken!

the one thing i changed here was adding blackberries & mint to the berry mixture :) because, summer mint obsession.

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the shortcakes are freaking amazing and just shortcake perfection. super layered and buttery, with a touch of crispety sugar baked on top.

prepping these berries brought me straight back to the days when i worked at burgerville in high school. in the summertime, they have a different seasonal fresh berry each month, and we’d have to come in super early to prep the strawberries (and also the walla walla onion rings). that was my first real job, and i loved ittttt.

i had thought that working in “fast food” was going to be super gross & weird behind-the-scenes, and i bet some places are - but lemme tell ya that BV is too legit to quit in this department. every process back there was super clean and not gross, and the way they cooked the food was, as it should be - cooked to order. anyhoos, i was pleased even as a high school punk that my establishment of employment was on the up and up and super legit. and such good food, by the way. a pnw classsssssiq.

it was actually so much fun working there with mostly people my same age. it was kinda just like hanging out with my friends and slinging milkshakes while we were at it. getting in early in the summer to prep berries and onion rings was FUN and chill. p.s. those delicious walla walla onion rings are truly each hand-dipped by a human - i know this because i hand-dipped many, many onion rings back in those days.

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back to the shorty cakes, WHOA YUM. so so so glad i made this recipe from bon app. pete and i both thought the addition of blackberries and mint was delightful, however i could have gone for just a plain strawberry shortcake after all. keep it classic, ya know?

i watched molly baz make this shortcake recipe (in their ‘shortcake’ highlight) on instagram (twice) and i wasted no time getting after it myself.

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the addition of sour cream not only in the shortcake, but in the whipped cream = genius. adding something quite tangy to something that’s usually soo sweet was a great idea... in fact, i’d probably leave out 1 TB of sugar in the whipped cream if i made this again, because there’s sugar in every component. but for the sweet-toothed general masses, follow the recipe exactly.

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the beauty of this not being my own recipe is that i don’t have to type it all out now. heheHHeeHEHHHhhhhh.

find the bon appétit shortcake recipe here!!!

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the biscuit/shortcake part is amazeballs on its own (or with more buttah, lolll yummm) so no part of this will go to waste if you use up all the berries.

or vice versa, just use the berries & cream if you don’t want to eat the biscuit.

berries & cream, berries & cream, i’m a little lad who loves berrrrrrrieeeeessss & creeeeeeeeeam. still funny.

high kick!!!!!!

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thanks, bon appétit. you rock. never change. keep in touch. HAGS. have a great summer.

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