Wednesday Eats – Fresh Rolls


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An all vegetarian meal prepared by Sara. Fresh rolls served with peanut sauce, fruit, and homemade lemonade. We had our friend Liz over to share this meal with us and play Scrabble outside under a cloudy sky and nice breeze.

0274rsThis is a perfect thing to eat on a hot day. It’s quick, easy to prepare, and requires very little cooking. We ate the fresh rolls with fresh raspberries picked from Sara’s garden and cherries and watermelon.

0266rs Here is what Sara wrote on how to make the fresh rolls:

Fresh Rolls

2-3 medium carrots
2-3 cucumbers
¼ of a red cabbage
1 avocado
1 pepper of your choice
a handful or two of bean sprouts
toasted sesame seeds
a large handful of coarsely chopped cilantro and mint
¼ a package of rice noodles rice paper wrappers

First wash and peel (if necessary, of course) your vegetables. Julienne the carrots, cucumbers and pepper. Slice the cabbage and avocado to your desired thickness. I prefer all my vegetables to be cut rather small so the rolls are easier to eat and you can get a bit of each vegetable in each bite.

For the sesame seeds: You can either buy already toasted sesame seeds, but I always buy my sesame seeds in bulk and toast them myself (much like I do with pine nuts or any other type of nut). They are sooo much cheaper! Plus it just tastes fresher.

Next prepare the rice noodles according to package directions. Once all the prep work is done, it’s time to assemble the rolls. Fill a wide shallow bowl with warm water. I used a pie pan. A casserole dish would work well too. Place one wrapper in the water and let soak for about 7 seconds. Place on a clean cutting board or other flat surface to assemble. Arrange some of your vegetables, noodles and herbs on the bottom half of the wrapper. Be sure it is compact so it will be easier to roll up. Top with sesame seeds. Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper on top of the filling. Then gently yet tightly pull the left and right edges over the middle being sure to keep the filling compact, roll the filled bottom half up until you reach the top of the wrapper. Repeat this process until you’ve used all your vegetable and noodles.

Serve with a peanut sauce.

The ingredients above are what I used, but of course you can omit or add some veggies. Snap peas, lettuce, sprouts, green onions, asparagus, shaved brussel sprouts, radishes, zucchini, and beets may also work well (bot not all together). Play with different combinations.



Sara’s dog Sassy hung out with us outside.

0298rsTip: We had watermelon with our meal. Melons are actually a great thing to eat after any meal, especially dinner. They help use the fat from foods efficiently and break it down making it harder for your body to retain it. It’s a yummy way to have your dessert while also keeping the weight off. If you want it to be a little more sweeter or creamier try having the melons with low-fat greek yogurt or a bit of fat-free whipped cream.


Happy Eating!

Sara & MaryAnne


Wednesday Eats – 4th of July Edition


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On 4th of July Sara and I went with my husband and a couple of friends to a small hill near where I live to have a wine picnic and watch the fireworks. There’s a pretty awesome view there, of not just the local fireworks, but of the fireworks from different towns all over the valley.

9877My friends and I like Cabernet Sauvignon. Brian picked out one we hadn’t tried before and it was very tasty, with a buttery like flavor. It was almost too easy to drink.

For our picnic we had French bread with fruit and Homemade Hummus, Mozzarella cheese, and chips and salsa. For dessert we had Dairy Free Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Sara made the Hummus and the Dairy Free Cupcakes. Here are her recipes and instructions:


1/4 olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 cans chickpeas
3 heaping spoonfuls of tahini
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or more for extra heat)
salt + pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
essential tool: food processor

Pulse the tahini and lemon juice in a food processor until the mixture has thickened. Then add the garlic, olive oil and seasonings. Once blended, add the chickpeas and toasted pine nuts. Pulse until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little more olive oil or lemon juice until you’ve found the consistency you like. Taste. Sometimes I find it necessary to add a little more salt or cumin.

For the toasted pine nuts: I buy pine nuts from the bulk bins because I find them to be slightly less expensive and I generally only need a handful or so for any dish I use them in. To toast, just place them in a dry sauté pan over medium heat. Stir them constantly to make sure they are evenly toasted. After a few minutes over heat they will brown rather quickly. Once they are lightly toasted, pour them onto a plate to cool.


Dairy Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

4 tablespoons vegan Earth Balance buttery spread (or something similar)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup “buttermilk” – 1/2 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F and line your cupcake pan with liners. With a hand mixer, cream the “butter” and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and food coloring to make a thick paste. Add to the batter and mix until combined. Stop and scrape the bowl if necessary to make sure all the batter gets color. Slowly add half of the “buttermilk” and mix on low. Then add half of the flour and mix. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat until smooth. Add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn the mixer to high and beat for a couple minutes until smooth and completely combined. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liner and bake for about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the cupcake pan and then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost with the frosting found below and devour.

For the frosting:

3/4 vegan Earth Balance buttery spread
3 cups powdered sugar (more or less)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few splashes of soy milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

With a hand mixer (or whisk) slowly mix the powdered sugar with the “butter” until creamy and all lumps are gone. Then add the vanilla, soy milk, and salt. Mix until all combined.

Now it’s time to frost some cupcakes and enjoy!

9885altrsDairy free, gluten free, and vegan desserts can be just as tasty or even more so than traditional desserts. That goes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner too! We are both interested in trying recipes that use alternatives to dairy, eggs, and gluten. As well as alternatives to wheat flour for breads and crusts. I have looked into different alternatives for eggs like bananas and flax seeds and I’d like to try different types of flour/dough like quinoa and sweet potato. Keep a look out for recipes using alternative ingredients in future Wednesday Eats posts!

Hope everyone had a most lovely 4th of July Weekend. It was a three day weekend this year so hopefully you were able to utilize that and go on a grand adventure. Or at least get to veg out and bask in the hot hot sun.

9912rsHappy Eating!

MaryAnne & Sara

Wednesday Eats!


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Welcome to Wednesday Eats, a weekly feature all about food! Each week we will post about food we make and eat. We will include the recipe for an entire meal that we have prepared from scratch, the process, and the results. A lot of times our posts will be on meals that are brand new to us, either adapted from others or come from our own ideas.

For this post we made Beetroot Falafel, Garlic Naan, and a cucumber strawberry sauce. We had a comfy picnic outside with iced chai to drink.


I love Mediterranean food and I love falafels. I also liked colored food and beetroot falafels give them a major color boost! It was so much fun to eat this yummy meal outside in Sara’s backyard. It was so cozy in the light summer weather sitting in the shade. Sara has a super cozy backyard with lots of trees, soft grass, a big garden, a little creek in the back.

Beetroot Falafel
recipe slightly adapted from

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onions, chopped
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans chickpeas, drained
2 raw beetroots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon tahini paste
2 cloves garlic
a few pinches of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the cumin and cook for 1 minute, then scrape the mixture into a food processor with the chickpeas, two-thirds of the grated beetroot, the breadcrumbs, egg, tahini, seasonings and garlic. Pulse to a rough paste, then scrape into a bowl and stir in the remaining grated beetroot.

With damp hands, shape mixture into about 20 balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until ready to bake and serve.

Heat oven to 375F. Brush the falafels with a little olive oil and top with toasted sesame seed, if desired. Bake for 20-25 mins until crisp and hot through.

I love the red color and I think they’d be really good rolled completely in sesame seeds. Could give it an nice alternative taste and an added crunch. I give my 100% taste approval for these delicious falafels!



Garlic Naan
recipe slightly adapted from

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 .25 ounce packet)
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2-4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for about 6 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside in a warm place to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Heat a teaspoon of butter in a pan over medium high heat. Stretch or roll out a couple of balls of dough at a time and place in heated butter. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until slightly browned. Continue until you have used all your dough, adding a little butter to the pan when needed.

The naan will come out more like fried bread than the traditional naan you would find in restaurants.

The naan Sara made was deeelicious! You can enjoy it like a pita sandwich or eat it on it’s own. If you omit the garlic, it is wonderful with honey.

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The Cucumber Strawberry sauce is a quick and easy version of tzatziki. It’s a bit runnier and more tart, but it take only minutes to mix and tastes really good with the falafels and naan.

With this recipe you just mix to taste, use what works for you.

In a food processor finely chop seeded cucumber and strawberries. You can include fresh broccoli in there too. I did and it added to the taste and nutrition. Then in a bowl blend the cucumber and strawberry mix with non-fat, plain greek yogurt. Add parsley and onion powder. You can also add pepper.


Let us know what you think of this yummy meal and if you have any suggestions or alternatives to these recipes that worked well for you, we’d love to hear them.


Happy Eating!

MaryAnne & Sara