I assume you, or someone you know, is trying to eat healthier in 2020. Good on you! I take it as my personal job to give you some good, healthy recipes that are still HUGE on flavors, like these Thai Spring Rolls with Quinoa and Peanut Sauce!
When I’m working on eating healthier, I always crave something bright, naturally colorful, and healthy. These Thai Spring Rolls are all of those things, but they don’t exactly taste like healthy food. They taste like delicious food!
The rolls themselves have a great crunch and are filling enough to eat as a meal. They are fine on their own, but I serve them with a kicked up chili garlic peanut sauce which takes them to another level.
Start off the new year on a healthy note!
Are Spring Rolls Gluten Free?
Good news! Spring rolls are generally made with rice paper wrappers which are naturally gluten-free. Of course, you should always check your brand of wrapper, but these Thai Spring Rolls should be gluten-free!
Making Quinoa for Spring Rolls
The number one problem I see with quinoa is people overcooking it. The key to cooking it is to simmer it over low heat, covered, for about 12-15 minutes. When you start to see the grains “sprout”, you know they are getting tender. At that point, it’s important to drain off any extra water in your pot and let the quinoa steam to finish cooking (off the heat).
After five minutes or so of steaming you can fluff the quinoa with a fork and it’ll be light, airy, and each grain should be separated. If it’s a mushy sticky mess, you overcooked it.
Trouble with cooking quinoa? Check out my full tutorial on cooking perfect quinoa!
Peanut Sauce for Spring Rolls
Meanwhile, mix up some peanut sauce. This is a really easy peanut sauce and would be good for almost any dipping situation. Keep it in your back pocket (the recipe, not the sauce).
Besides sauce and quinoa, we just need some good crunchy veggies! I chose red peppers, cucumber, carrot, and daikon. You could use others or not all of these. It’s flexible.
When you’re ready to make a spring roll, let your rice paper wrappers sit in hot water for a few seconds to loosen up. Then move one to a clean surface and add a few tablespoons of quinoa, veggies, cilantro, and roll it up like a burrito. I know rice paper looks really fragile, but it’s actually sturdier than a flour tortilla. Not kidding!
Once you get the hang of making these, you can finish them pretty quickly. The key with spring rolls is to make sure you pull on the wrapper as you roll to keep it nice and tight.
I like to serve the Thai spring rolls chopped in half to show off the goodies.
These are a great healthy appetizer or you could take them to a picnic. Stack up a few of them and I have no problem making a meal out of them.
You can feel really good about eating and serving these Thai spring rolls and bonus points if you can convince a kiddo to try one. HINT: Tell them it will give them lots of POWER.
Thai Spring Rolls with Quinoa and Peanut Sauce
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked and fluffed
- ½ red pepper, sliced thin
- ½ cucumber, seeded and sliced thin
- 1 large carrot, sliced into thin sticks
- 1 small daikon radish, sliced into thin sticks
- Fresh cilantro
- Rice Paper Wrappers
Chili Peanut Sauce:
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ lime, juice only
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Cook quinoa by rinsing it well in cold water. Then add it to a pot with 2 cups boiling water. Stir to separate grains and turn heat down to low. Cover and cook quinoa for 12-15 minutes until the grains have mostly sprouted. Drain off any extra water at this point and return to the hot pot. Remove from heat, cover, and let steam for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork and cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, stir together sauce ingredients and prepare all your veggies. Take your time slicing so the peppers, cucumber, daikon, and carrot are the same size sticks.
- To make a spring roll, set a rice paper sheet in a shallow dish with warm water. Let it sit for 5 seconds and flip. Do that a few times until the wrapper is flexible. Then transfer it to a clean surface.
- In the middle of the wrapper, add about two tablespoons of cooked quinoa, then a few sticks of each veggie. Add some cilantro (optional). Fold the ends of the wrapper over and roll it into a tight cylinder, pulling on the wrapper as you roll it to keep it nice and tight.
- Cut wrap in half for serving and repeat until you are out of fillings. You should get about a dozen spring rolls.
- Serve spring rolls with sauce on the side.
- Extra spring rolls will keep in the fridge for a day although they will dry out a bit during storage.