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


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


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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roasted red pepper cashew sauce.

this is pete's brother phil's fabulous red pepper sauce recipe! 

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brother phil's got all the sauce knowledge on lock. he's also the one who first introduced me to chimichurri, which i love so much. both sauces are vegan and versatile and fantastic. 

this red pepper cashew sauce is delicious. it's similar to the texture of hummus and has SO much flavor. it can be enjoyed with veggies for dipping, on meats, in tacos, on sandwiches, noodles, etc etc etc! 

phil says you could also use walnuts, but i prefer cashews in this!

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Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Sauce

Yields 2 cups of sauce

Time: 20 minutes


  • (1) 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, well drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews, roasted until fragrant
  • 2 TB red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 TB. Sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread the cashews on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until warm and fragrant.

In a large food processor, add the drained red peppers, garlic cloves, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add the warm cashews and process. Add red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and sriracha to the food processor and run until very smooth. 

The sauce should be the consistency of hummus. If it's too thick, add a drizzle of olive oil and pulse. Salt to taste. 

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