Fresh rolls.

by Adriana

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Here in Ontario we celebrated our recent Victoria Day holiday with quite possibly the nicest May long weekend we have had in a while. We were swimming all day Sunday and had three full days of being outside and enjoying our recently de-weeded yard. We entertained a lot this weekend, and the one thing I forgot WAS TO TAKE PICTURES of the delicious things we made.

On Saturday, we had family and friends over and we served all vegetarian food. Actually, almost the whole weekend was vegetarian and we were a bit nervous about what our guests might think, but they ended up loving it. So, Saturday we had my Thai Green Curry that I have posted before, with coconut rice, Pad Thai and Mango Salad. Same old, same old. BUT, I switched it up a bit, and made some fresh rolls. I love spring rolls but I also know that deep frying food often is not so good for us, so I decided to try my hand at fresh rolls. The recipe is here. Try it, you will love it. And definitely make the sauce, because separate they are okay, but together they are amazing.

On Sunday we spent the day with different friends at their house and pool and enjoyed our meat quota with steak sandwiches, sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs. We spent the entire day in the pool and cooled off afterwards with a homemade (by me) brownie ice cream cake. I love ice cream and I love brownies, but what I don’t love about brownies combined with ice cream is that you usually put all of it in the freezer and your delicious chewy brownies become hard and cold. So, what I did was put the ice cream in a saran-wrapped cake pan the same size as my brownie pans and put the softened ice cream in that then put it back in the freezer. I baked and cooled the best brownies known to man and kept them out of the freezer until it was ready to assemble. I put the very frozen ice cream on the bottom brownie and then put the top brownie on top and then we ate it and it was gone very quickly. I apologize for not taking photos, but now that I think of it, there was a very small window of opportunity for picture taking!

Then, on Monday we had more friends over and this time we had a barbecue! We served roasted vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, onions, red peppers, asparagus and portobello mushrooms) which we used to make panini sandwiches. I put out pesto and different sauces (mustards and mayonnaises, etc.) and two different cheeses (Jarlsberg and chevre) and then a whole bunch of fresh vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach and red onion). Our guests were also served a homemade 4 bean salad and a homemade cucumber-mint-couscous salad. This was the meal we were worried about – we were worried that our friends would want meat. In fact, about 20 minutes before our guests arrived my husband turned to me and said “Should we go out and get some hot dogs for the kids, just in case?” I stuck to my guns (well, it helped that the stores were all closed) and said “no.” The kids ate the food we served but the adults really enjoyed the food we served. They all commented on how filling the food was and how they felt full, but not “gross.” They also said they appreciated the “fresh” factor of the food given that they had spent most of the weekend eating meat. They weren’t looking forward to eating yet one more steak, and we didn’t serve it to them.

It was an important lesson for us. This weekend showed us that we could serve our normally meat-eating guests delicious, simple and flavourful vegetarian food and they could be satisfied and to their own surprise satiated with it. It showed us that even if the stores are open, we shouldn’t rush out to get hot dogs for the kids because they will eat what we serve. And what we are serving is healthy, delicious vegetarian food. What a great weekend!

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