Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

It’s finally becoming spring here in Toronto, which means naturally we’re craving more and more fresh foods but eating salads day in and day out can get tiring. Enter Summer Rolls! Summer Rolls are delicious way of eating lots of raw veggies and they’re creative because you can always switch up the ingredients that you use based on individual taste and craving! Today I’m sharing with you my personal favourite combination and the best part; the Spicy Peanut Sauce for dipping!

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I love including raw red, yellow and orange peppers, carrots, spinach, avocado and seaweed into my Summer Rolls. While vegetables are important to include in your diet regardless if they are cooked or raw, it’s important to have variety. If you eat primarily cooked veggies, it’s even more important to slowly introduce raw back into your diet. Some fruits and veggies (such as asparagus and tomatoes) are excellent cooked, the vitamin C in the peppers featured here actually breaks down once they’re cooked heated over 375 degrees. In the spring and summer while the weather is heating up, it is also great to include raw foods into the diet as they will cool down the body and keep you more hydrated.

As mentioned, peppers are high in vitamin C. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that peppers contain more vitamin C than oranges! Vitamin C is crucial for keeping the immune system healthy, the heart healthy and is excellent for beautiful skin. Spinach is extremely high in calcium, vitamin K, folate, the list goes on and on! Spinach contains dietary fibre that is going to keep your blood sugar regular and hunger in control. Carrots contain beta-carotene an antioxidant and vitamin A. Beta-carotene is essential for optimal eye health and will also give you beautiful skin! Avocado is chock-full of hearth healthy fats, that will keep your skin, hair and nails healthy, beautiful and strong! Seaweed, our final super veggie, is not only delicious but fantastic for your health! Seaweed helps purify the blood, is highly anti-oxidizing and detoxifying, contains more bone-building calcium than milk and on top of all this, seaweed (not surprisingly) alkalizes the body!

Summer Rolls: Raw Veggies

Summer Rolls: Raw Veggies

Now that you know why I like to include these veggies you may want to make similar rolls or choose favourite veggies of you own! All you need to make delicious summer rolls are the veggies of your choosing and rice paper. Rice paper can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores (if not, at health food stores). I found mine in the aisle that also contains Asian condiments which will be helpful to know for the Spicy Peanut Sauce.

Summer Rolls: Rice Paper

Summer Rolls: Rice Paper

To make Summer Rolls you will need; rice paper, veggies and a large bowl of warm water (to soak the rice paper for rolling). That’s it!

1. Cut all your veggies into matchstick pieces.

2. Put one sheet of rice paper into the warm water (read instructions on package for how long rice paper should be immersed). Remove rice paper.

3. Arrange veggies into the centre of the rice paper.

4. Neatly roll veggies into paper (as you would a burrito or wrap).

You’re done!

Summer Rolls: Rolling the Veggies

Summer Rolls: Rolling the Veggies

If I could give a couple hints, they would be to arrange your leafy greens before your peppers and carrots and to not over-stuff your rolls. The more veggies you have loaded up on your rice paper, the harder it’s going to be to neatly keep the rolls together!

Next, let’s learn how to make our Spicy Peanut Sauce.

Spicy Peanut Sauce: Ingredients

Spicy Peanut Sauce: Ingredients

Remember that I mentioned the rice paper was found with the Asian condiments? You may want to add these to your grocery list as well if you don’t already have them in your cupboard!

– 1tbsp 100% Pure Sesame Oil

– 1tbsp Rice Vinegar

– 1tbsp Reduced-Sodium Tamari (or Soy Sauce)

– 1tsp Sriracha (or other highly spicy hot sauce)

– 2tbsp 100% Peanuts Peanut Butter

All you need to do is add all these ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together. You can add more peanut butter to get a thicker consistency (which is what I like to do) or start with 1tbsp peanut butter and slowly add if you prefer a more watery consistency!

Summer Rolls

Summer Rolls

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Now all you have to do is enjoy! Let me know how you like to prepare your Summer Rolls! Do you have any favourite recipes for spring and summer? Let me know!

Namaste.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

Stir frys are a delicious, simple, (nearly) one pan dinner. They’re a good way of finishing any vegetables that may be nearing their expiration and piling veggies into a yummy meal. Stir frys are super customizable, you can use any type of protein you like, any vegetables or greens you love and can use any sauce you can think of!

Today I’m sharing with you a super flavourful Sweet & Spicy sauce for your favourite stir fry!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

You only need six ingredients (that you probably already have in your cupboard) for this sauce.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients – Om Shanti Life

– 3 tbsp sesame oil (or olive oil)

– 3 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

– 2 tsp honey

 – 2 tsp ground ginger

– 1/2 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper (use your best discretion, 1 tsp is spicy)

– 3 cloves crushed garlic

1) Measure out all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until they’re all mixed.

Now, you can marinate your protein or veggies in this sauce and add to your favourite stir fry or you can give this Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry a try!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

For two servings you will need;

– 1 large chicken breast

– 1/2 ea red, orange and yellow pepper

– 1/2 red onion

– 1 carrot

– 1/2 cup wild rice (or noodles if you prefer)

– green onion & sesame seeds (optional topping)

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry Veggies - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry Veggies – Om Shanti Life

1) Bring a wok or large frying pan (coated with a bit of oil) to medium-high heat on the stove.

2) Begin cooking rice or brining a pot of water to boil for noodles. Cook according to box instructions.

3) Cut vegetables into match-stick pieces.

4) Put onions and carrots into the wok. Set peppers aside.

5) Cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.

6) Once the onions and carrots have softened (about 5 minutes), add your chicken. You may have to add a bit more oil. Allow chicken to brown on all sides.

7) Add peppers. Cook another 2 minutes.

8) Add your sauce. Stir your stir fry so that everything is evenly coated.

9) Bring the stove down to medium heat and continue cooking until the sauce has been fully absorbed. About 10 minutes. Make sure you are watching your stir fry and continuing to stir so that chicken cooks through and vegetables do not burn.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

10) Once your sauce has been absorbed and your rice (or noodles) are done cooking your dish is ready to serve! Spoon rice into bowls and top with chicken and veggie mixture.

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

11) Now you can add any of your favourite toppings. I used chopped green onion and sesame seeds for a little extra flavour.

Sweet & Sour Chicken Stir Fry - Om Shanti Life

Sweet & Sour Chicken Stir Fry – Om Shanti Life

Now all there is left to do is enjoy!

This sauce works nicely with a beef, broccoli and snap pea stir fry as well!

Let me know if you enjoy this recipe! What’s your favourite stir fry combination?

Namaste.

Spice is Nice Roasted Chickpeas

Today I’m sharing with you one of my absolute favourite snacks; roasted chickpeas! You may be familiar with chickpeas in their most famous recipe hummus, however chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) can be used in a variety of different ways! Chickpeas are high in fibre, essential vitamins and minerals and are full of protein, making them a great option for vegans and vegetarians! Roasting the chickpeas makes a delicious crunchy snack that you can munch on to replace chips and can even be used as a replacement for croutons in salad! Roasted chickpeas are fun because you can play along with many different flavour combinations to find your favourite taste. Today’s recipe is not only delicious and spicy but provides numerous health benefits due to the spices used!

Spice is Right Roasted Chickpeas - bit.ly/1LEeMTQ

You will need:

– 2  (15 oz) cans of chickpeas (drained)

– 1 tbsp olive oil + more for oiling the pan

– 1 tsp ea garlic salt, chili powder, paprika, cumin (I like quite a bit of spice so feel free to cut this down to 1 tsp ea if you think it will be too much)

– 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper & roasted red pepper flakes depending on your preference for spice!

– 1/2 lemon for drizzling

Now for the cooking fun!

Spice is Right Roasted Chickpeas - bit.ly/1LEeMTQ

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

2) In a bowl mix drained chickpeas, olive oil and your spices. Squeeze half a lemon onto your mixture. Mix thoroughly.

3) Place evenly on a pan so that the chickpeas form one layer. Allow to roast in middle of oven for 20 mins, flip chickpeas and roast for a final 20 mins.

4) Allow to cool and enjoy!

Spice is Right Roasted Chickpeas - bit.ly/1LEeMTQ

All the great health benefits from this delicious snack come from their spices! Paprika is an incredible spice filled with carotenoids, vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Paprika’s vitamin C is essential to eye health while it’s compounds work as anti-inflammatories, natural pain killers and aid in lowering blood pressure. Paprika is also high in vitamins A, E and K! Cumin is another powerhouse spice widely believed to prevent certain cancers. Cumin is fantastic at speeding up digestion and aiding digestive upset, is high in vitamin C (just like paprika) as well as vitamin E and iron. Cumin will give your moods a great boost as it is effective at easing mental systems of depression and anxiety! Finally, cumin is excellent at building up the immune system by both preventing colds and killing foreign invaders!

Enjoy your delicious chickpeas as a snack, part of your salad or let me know if there is another way you like to eat roast chickpeas! Maybe you have a favourite roast chickpea recipe that you’d like to share with me? I look forward to hearing from you!

Namaste.