A Whole Foods Version of a Favorite Appetizer!

A Whole Foods Version of a Favorite Appetizer!

“What are you doing New Years, New Years Eve?” So goes the song, crooned longingly by an ardent admirer. All that hope, all that sweet angst, all set to a lovely melody.

So what are we doing? These days, I rarely go to a big bash, or even bash much at all. A nice evening with friends, a dinner out, or maybe a glass of champers at home with my sweetheart. All that angst about trying to have a party-hopping, all-night raving New Years is long gone for me. I hit the jackpot and found someone I want to pop the cork with, year in and year out. New Years is one of the times we think about how incredibly lucky we truly are.

You tell me what’s more fun.

But just in case a great party invite comes, it always pays to have a few interesting appetizer recipes in your back pocket. Since we know there will be champagne, it is really fun to play with Asian flavors and spice, which are delightful washed down with bubbles. We are looking for finger food, and if it can be tweaked just a bit to be gluten-free and vegan, well, who has to know? The omni’s in your crowd will gobble these up like there is no 2014.

Because I like to do something a little different when I show up with food, I decided to showcase two ingredients that are not all that common. Our Coop recently started carrying a brown rice version of the rice paper wrappers, made by Happy Pho, just like the white rice kind I use for Spring rolls, so of course, I had to use those. I also have some really interesting noodles I picked up at another Coop, these are from Asian Kitchen and made from nothing but black beans. So, they are gluten free, high protein, high fiber, and pretty dramatically colored, to boot.


Brown Rice Papers and Black Bean Noodles

Brown Rice Papers and Black Bean Noodles

Pretty gorgeous, exotic stuff, the kind of natural foods that sophisticated and gourmet diners want to try, because it looks really interesting. Forget the healthy part, this looks and tastes good. Since this was already non-traditional, I thought I could get a little fusion-y, and throw some Japanese pickled ginger and Korean Asian pears into a Vietnamese style soft springroll. And then use some mayo for a creamy, easy green curry sauce.

So, here are my easy, colorful springrolls, just in time for New Years. Dip them in the green curry and alternate with Sriracha, and if your moth gets too hot, sip some champagne or green tea.

And a very happy New Years to you!

Tofu, Asian Pear and Black Bean Noodle Rolls with Green Curry Mayo

Of course, if you don’t have brown rice wrappers or black bean noodles, you can sub with the regular kind.

Makes 12

1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon wheat free tamari
1 teaspoon raw sugar
4 ounces black bean noodles
10 ounces extra firm tofu, sliced
1 tablespoon wheat free tamari
2 tablespoons pickled ginger slices, chopped
1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 large asian pear, julienned
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, whole
3 medium scallion, slivered
12 brown rice paper wrappers
1/4 cup tofu mayo
1 teaspoon green curry paste

Combine vinegar, tamari and sugar in a large bowl, mix and reserve. Put water on to boil for noodles. Cook noodles and rinse under cold water, drain, pat dry with a towel. Put sliced tofu in a medium bowl and add the tamari and pickled ginger, gently move around to mix. Slice the carrots and pear, prep the cilantro and scallion and place in small bowls.
Prepare a lasagne sized pan of water, and a kitchen towel lying flat beside it. Put two wrappers in the water and submerge gently. When they start to soften, put on towel to drain. On each wrapper, put some carrots, cilantro, scallions, pear slices and tofu, and top with about 1/4 cup of noodles and roll up by folding the sides in, then rolling. Cover each with a damp towel as finished. Serve with sauce.
For sauce, stir together the mayo and green curry, serve sriracha, too.