Monday, August 20, 2012

Lunch in a Box: Chili-Lime Tofu and Veggie Spring Rolls

This was my second attempt at spring rolls recently, and it was definitely easier. Not sure what happened though because they came out a little dry this go around. Next time, I think I will add a little of the peanut sauce to the noodles so they stay moist. The good news is that I have mastered the assembly process, added a tasty tofu to beef them up a little, and found a Peanut Dipping Sauce that I really really love! These are still one of my favorite lunchbox treats.

Veggie Spring Rolls, Chickpea and Quinoa Salad, Fresh Berries

You can check out my original blog post from when I made these a few months ago. The only tweaks I made were not using romaine lettuce (though I wish I had), and using sliced cucumber in place of zucchini. The chili-lime tofu is not to be missed though. I felt like these were originally a little too low on calories and protein, and this was just the thing to make it right. The recipe comes from my Appetite for Reduction cookbook that has been a great staple to my library. It's all easy and filling low-fat vegan recipes, and I've loved everything I've made from this book. This particular recipe will join the regular rotation for sure.

If you're interested in making the spring rolls, I suggest setting aside about 1.5 hours, and maybe even getting the help of an assistant. Kids should be able to help add veggies to the rolls, and if you aren't totally OCD, they could likely roll their own too. What a fun way to get their help in making lunches. They don't have to be vegan- if you have picky kids (and/or significant other), chili-lime chicken would be just as good.

Cilantro-Lime Tofu

1 package of extra-firm tofu, pressed to remove some liquid and poked with a fork
2 T chili powder
1 tsp salt
zest of 1 lime
juice of 2 limes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp oil (I used vegetable)
1 T tamari

1- Mix chili powder and salt in a small ramekin and set aside.
2- Add other ingredients (minus the tofu) in a shallow baking dish.
3- Slice tofu into thin slices (about 1/2 inch thick) and add to marinade, flipping over so that both sides are damp.
4- Rub both sides of tofu with the chili/salt mix, and leave in the baking dish.
5- Bake at 350 for 10 minutes on each side. Cool before adding to spring rolls.

While the tofu is cooking, mix together your peanut sauce (or just use a store bought version) and chop up the veggies you plan on using. Don't overdo it or your rolls will be too thick and will break. Once your tofu is ready, assemble all your spring roll ingredients (including the cooked vermicelli noodles, preferably mixed with a little sauce or lime juice to keep them moist).

Sliced cucumbers and red bell pepper, shredded carrots from a bag, and chopped cilantro.

Get organized, and don't forget a shallow plate with hot water for the wrappers. I saved the hot water from the noodles and it worked great. Soften the next wrapper while you're working on filling one.

Add noodles, veggies and tofu to bottom third of wrapper. I work on a damp towel to prevent sticking.

Fold in sides to cover ingredients.

Roll wrapper towards top, pinching in to make the roll stay tight.

I made a total of 12 rolls and had enough ingredients leftover to make at least 4 more. But this amount is perfect for 2 days of lunches for the both of us. The fresh berries I added for dessert were easy, as was the cold chickpea/quinoa salad (also from Appetite for Reduction) that I'll be using for other lunches as well.


  1. These look amazing - and healthy!


  2. Hello! I am out making "new friends" today! :) Found you via Heather at Pearls and Paws! This look delish... light and healthy. I've just recently gotten into quinoa, actually. I'm sure there are so many ways to prepare it, but I add a touch of agave honey, peanut butter, raisins and minced apples... I am on the go with two boys, so it is so quick and easy to just be able to pull it out of the fridge, and SO yummy!
    Whitley at the Queen City Style

  3. Thank you ladies for stopping by and leaving a comment. Always nice to make new friends (and find new, great blogs!)