Beet and Carrot Salad with Cilantro

2 c fresh raw beets, peeled and shredded

2 c matchstick or shredded carrots

2 T honey

1t salt

3 T olive oil

juice from 2 limes

1/4 t pepper

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/4 chopped fresh cilantro

in a small bowl whisk together honey, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, set aside. In a large bowl add carrots, beets, and cilantro. Toss together. add dressing and stir

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Pinspired: Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls

I was looking for a starter to bring to a barbecue at my in-laws. It’s August and its hot as can be here in Florida so I didn’t want to do anything that required an oven. I was stumped so I went on to Pinterest, ¬†and reviewed my boards, I had pinned this Summer Roll recipe from Williams-Sonoma awhile back. It seemed perfect but I have never made Summer rolls before, never used rice paper, so I had my reservations. I couldn’t come up with anything else though so I decided to go for it. I am glad I did. I have to say as long as you prep all the ingredients before hand and follow the instructions it’s pretty easy and the rice paper is much more forgiving that I thought it would be. My husband even rolled a few and had no trouble and he is not a patient man. They were so fresh and delicious, I will be making these again, and again. My only snag was my neighborhood supermarket was out of rice paper ( normally my market has it by the pre-made sushi/fish counter). I had to take a trip to the Asian market, but that was fine, they were super friendly and had several different kinds, their prices were cheaper than the supermarket too.

Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls

For the dipping sauce:

juice from 1/2 lime

2 T canola oil

2 T rice wine vinegar

1/2 Dijon mustard

1/2 soy sauce

1 t brown sugar

1/4 t red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

For the Rolls:

1 package rice paper rounds (I used about 12)

1 head green leaf lettuce, washed, leaves left whole (not iceberg or romaine hearts, it needs to be soft and flexible)

1 bunch basil

1 bunch mint

about 2 c matchstick carrots (or carrots and shred them yourself)

2 haas avocados peeled and diced

2 T lime juice

1/4 t salt

1 english cucumber peeled and cut into matchstick like strips

Prep all vegetables. put into piles or bowl for easy access. For the avocado, toss with lime juice and salt to prevent browning. To cut the cucumber, cut into 4 pieces and then slice into planks

turn on its side

and then cut into thin strips

Get a large sallow pie plate or bowl and fill with warm water, must be big enough to submerge whole sheet of rice paper. Place a clean kitchen towel in front of the water and all prepped ingredients next to it. (I had not yet chopped my avocado in this picture)

Submerge 1 sheet of rice paper into water until pliable, place on towel, submerge 2nd sheet and place directly on top. Each roll will have a double ply of rice paper. Then Place one lettuce leaf on top of paper (tearing if needed to fit) the Horizontally , one row of carrots, one row of cucumber and one row of avocado, then place 2 mint and 2 basil leaves on top.

lift bottom edge of rice paper up and over the filling and roll once to make a tight cylinder. If paper sticks to towel, use water to wet fingers and gently pull off. Fold in the sides of the paper and continue to roll into a cylinder shape, place seam side down on a platter and continue rolling the rest of the rolls, place a wet paper towel between layers to prevent sticking.

Cut on the bias and serve with dipping sauce.

My Version of a Banh Mi : An Asian Style Meatball Sandwich

If I understand this right, Bahn Mi, means bread in Vietnamese, but it is now widely known as a pork sandwich with pickled vegetables and fresh herbs. There are many variations and can be found in big cities and Vietnamese restaurants, none of which are close to my house. So I needed to give it a try on my own and here is what I came up with. I of course did not have the wonderful crispy baguettes from a Vietnamese bakery so I had to do with what Publix was selling. Still they came out delicious and my family loved them, the combination of spicy, sweet, and savory is all here on one easy sandwich. Wake up your taste buds and give this a try, I will warn you though they can be addictive.

Pork Meatballs

1.5 lbs ground pork or pork and beef mix

1 egg

2 T soy sauce

1 t sriracha sauce ( use hot sauce if this is unavailable)

1 t dried cilantro (or 2T fresh chopped)

1T fresh lime juice

3/4 c Panko Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, wet hands and roll into balls, I used about 2-3 tablespoons of meat mixture per meatball so that it would fit onto my buns.

Cook for 20 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.

Pickled Vegetable Topping

1 c shredded carrot (or matchstick carrots)

1 cucumber sliced lengthwise with a vegetable peeler (or shredded)

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

2 jalapenos sliced thinly

1/4 t salt

3 T vinegar

2T sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a med sized bowl

Place Meatballs on roll or baguette, top with pickled vegetable mixture and top with fresh chopped cilantro and basil. If you want more heat mix 2 T mayo with 1 t sriracha sauce and spread on roll before serving.