Thursday, November 15, 2012

Making Salads Fun, or How I Got My Spring (Rolls) On

There are very few women where I work as the construction industry is still a male-dominated field. We currently have two female engineers, and three women in the "front office" (admin, marketing, etc.) out of 22 employees. I was the lone female engineer for many years until recently.

Because there were so few women, we used to have "ladies' luncheons". For a while we did it once a month, and then it tapered off to just a few times a year. The person who spearheaded them, we'll call her AD, has left for new endeavors so I don't know if we'll have any more. We would always pick a theme and everyone would bring in a portion of the meal. When I went gluten and cow free every item conformed to my new eating plan (not a diet) and that was pretty awesome. We had a woman who was vegan for a while, so we did vegan luncheons a few times.

AD's mom is Vietnamese and so she grew up eating, and making, Vietnamese food. I had bought a package of spring roll wrappers, which I knew AD knew how to use, so we decided on spring rolls for the last ladies' luncheon we had. AD showed us the ropes for re-hydrating the wraps and filling and rolling them.

I enjoyed the spring rolls so much that I make them at home quite often. I do not make authentic spring rolls, but rather, something I call a "salad spring roll" which is basically whatever I have around, wrapped up. It's far more fun than plain salads!

Salad Spring Rolls
  • spring roll wrappers
  • rice vermicelli (authentic, according to AD) or bean threads (what I use because that's what my grocery store had)
  • greens of some sort, typically spinach
  • something sweet (mango, pear, apple), sliced in thin strips
  • something crunchy (cucumber, apple, red pepper), sliced in thin strips
  • shallow plate filled with water (I use a pie plate)
  • dipping sauce (optional) - I use this one, although salad dressing would also work!
  1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and set aside.
  2. Dip the wrapper in the water so that it is wet. You don't want to put it in the water and saturate it. Let the excess water drip off and move it to your work surface. I like to use a wood cutting board. The wrapper will still be stiff, but will soften over the next minute.
  3. Once the wrapper starts to become pliable, pile the filling near one edge. By the time you've put your filling in, the wrapper should be completely pliable.
  4. Roll the edge over the filling. Then fold in the sides and continue to roll.
The filling for the spring rolls in these photos is spinach, pear, apple, red pepper, and bean threads.

This recipe was shared on Diet, Dessert, and Dog's Wellness WeekendGluten Free Fridays, Allergy Free Alaska's Whole Food Fridays, and The Daily Dietribe's 5-Ingredient Mondays.

Products I use
Re-hydrating the wrapper
Don't saturate!
Let the excess drip off
Filling and rolling
Pile filling near edge
Roll edge over filling, fold in sides
Continue rolling!


  1. This is so easy peasy, I have got to do this! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    We have a great collection of recipes going to get us ready for menu planning! Hope to see you this Thursday for another Gluten Free Fridays link up! It will be live at 7:05 eastern US time. Cindy from

  2. I LOVE spring rolls, and how nice that you were able to have regular lunches where you knew you could eat everything. That's awesome! Even more awesome being an engineer in a male-dominated field. Rock on!

    And thanks for sharing this delightful recipe at 5-Ingredient Mondays!