I realized this week that I use Instagram at a mini vacation from work. I click on my phone, tap into the Instagram app and scroll through images of your lives.
My mind wanders through pictures of your perfectly portioned lunch, your late afternoon coffee meeting , yes your child is totally cute… of course I’ll tap like on that picture.
You’re a farmer in the English countryside? Show me things! Help me escape!
You love taking pictures of your shoes? Sure, I’m into it. I’ll like that!
You like holding random objects up in front of a white backdrops? I’m down.
You’re Rihanna? You’re crazy and I kinda love it.
Ooh… you had a party and I wasn’t invited? That’s awkward for everyone, now isn’t it? Suddenly this mini work vacation feels bad.
Aaaand, just as easily as I click in for vacation… I can click out.
Um… Instagram vacations might not be that brain healthy. They’re cheap and easy and in-chair.
Speaking of Spring Rolls (I totally wasn’t speaking of Spring Rolls)…
I think we should unwrap and deconstruct spring rolls, load up a giant bowl, douse it in spicy peanut sauce, and have a mini eat-vacation. I did that. Obviously I took pictures… ironically, I didn’t Instagram it.
I started my Spring Roll Bowl with a big batch of softened Saifun (cellophane or bean thread) Noodles. I couldn’t find rice noodles at the store so I made eyes with these buddies.
What I love about these noodles is that they soften so easily, in a big bowl of hot water. No simmering, salting, and boiling.
After the noodles are softened, they’re topped with basically any fresh Spring Roll inspired ingredient you can think of.
This is where it gets fun!
I topped my bowl with fresh carrot ribbons, pea sprouts, thinly sliced cucumber, ripe avocado, and orange bell pepper.
Fresh herbs are really important to brighten up the bowl: cilantro, mint, and basil! Keys to the kitchen!
Lime juice adds a kick in the mouth.
Peanut sauce (I used pre-made, from a jar… gasp!) is our binding, rounding, spicy, oh my gosh soooo good element.
I made these vegetarian but they would be supreme with grilled shrimp or roasted chicken.
It’s lunch-vacation! You’ll need a napkin.
Spring Roll in a Bowl
inspired by The Fresh 20
1 (roughly 5 ounce package) Saifun (bean thread noodles) (ride noodles also work well)
1 ripe avocado, pit removed, peeled, and sliced into chunks
1 cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise and sliced into thin half moons
1 orange or red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1 handful sprouts (and sort you’re into)
small handful fresh cilantro leaves, torn
smaller handful of fresh basil, torn
small-ish handful fresh mint leaves, torn
1/4 cup peanut dipping sauce, or to taste
handful shelled roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Place noodles in a large mixing bowl. Top noodles with boiling water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until cooked through. Drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cool water. Shake the excess water out.
Place noodles on a large serving tray, or divide between 4 bowls. Top with all sorts of goodies like avocado, cucumber, pepper, carrots, sprouts, and fresh herbs. Add a protein like grilled shrimp, roasted chicken, or seared tofu if you’d like. Drizzle with peanut sauce. Add chopped pistachios and a squeeze of lime. Serve!