Let the Thai-inspired cuisine continue! For this delicious and fresh summer recipe I served as an appetizer at a recent dinner party, I recruited my dear friend, Celia Bennett of @EatLikeUGiveAFork to share her insight and tips on preparing her Vegan Summer Rolls.
Featuring mellow rice paper wrappers and a crunch from seasonal raw vegetables, these summer rolls are perfect as a light and refreshing appetizer. Serve alongside a nutty and just-sweet-enough peanut sauce for the perfect collaboration of flavors. It’s the perfect summertime snack that is simple to prepare and full of hearty flavors.
Take a look to see how Celia likes to prepare and serve her signature Vegan Summer Rolls
“These Summer Rolls are truly the meal that keep on giving - while it does take a bit of time up front to prep the veggies, herbs and sauce, once they are prepared you can make your rolls throughout the week for a quick and easy lunch. I especially love using my leftover herbs and veggies to create an easy salad for lunch!”
Include your guests in the prep!
“I love the communal aspect that this dish offers - perfect for an intimate date night, or a summertime happy hour with your girlfriends. I love preparing all of the fillings on one large board. There is something so refreshing about gathering around the table together and rolling them one by one, and catching up along the way!”
“I think what makes this such a crowd-pleasing dish is that it is designed to be customizable and personalized.”
“An ideal summer roll board would have a fresh herb element:
- Green onions
Some crispy veggie offerings:
- Bell peppers
- Crunchy bean sprouts
I always like to offer something unexpected for people to choose from like ripe mango, vibrant watermelon radish, spicy jalapeño, or even some edible flowers that peek through the rice paper beautifully! Use what you have on hand and make it your own!”
“For serving ideas, I went shopping on coton-colors.com and personally picked these must-haves.”
- Palm Platter - I would load up this gorgeous platter with all of my veggies and fillings in the center of the table.
- Blush Quatrefoil Trim Square Placemat, Set of 4 - For the place settings, I’d go with these to help define each person's workspace.
- Palm Trinket Bowl - For the peanut sauce of course!
- Blush Layered Diamond Dinner Plate - Perfect for rolling your summer rolls on!
Vegan Summer Rolls
Thai Peanut Sauce (homemade or store bought)
Vermicelli Rice Noodles
Protein Option (tofu, grilled shrimp, grilled chicken)
Herbs (mint, cilantro, basil, green onion)
Veggies (bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, mango, jalapeño, bean sprouts, avocado and any other veggies of your choosing)
Prepare your herbs and veggies by washing and cutting them down to your preferred shapes (matchsticks work well here). Cook your vermicelli rice noodles according to package directions. Prepare your peanut sauce (I like this recipe). Set your table with one large water bowl per guest, one dinner plate, and one serving of peanut sauce. To roll, dip rice paper in water, rotating until entire surface is wet, lay wet rice paper on your plate with a ½ inch corner off your plate. As rice paper begins to soften and get sticky, add your desired fillings. Fold the left and right sides of the rice paper inward and begin rolling until sealed. Dip in sauce & enjoy!
Recipe Courtesy of Celia Bennett
Q & A:
Tell us about you!
“Over the last 10 years or so I have been a self-described “plant-curious” eater, meaning I have experimented with pescatarian and vegetarian lifestyles multiple times before deciding to commit to going fully vegan in January of 2020. During the first few months of vegan eating, I was really energized and inspired by trying new vegan recipes, products, restaurants, and decided to make a silly instagram page by the name of @eatlikeugiveafork to document some of that journey! Since it has taken on a life of its own and has transformed into a plant-based catering company, that allows me to share my knowledge and passion for vegan food!”
What should we know about your business, Eat Like You Give a Fork?
“Eat Like You Give a Fork is a vegan catering company, serving the North FL and South GA community. My emphasis is on creating approachable vegan food with bright and fresh ingredients that are enjoyable for both vegans and plant-curious eaters, alike! I offer weekly plant-based meals, as well as offer ticketed private dinners and events. While taste will always come first in my cooking, I believe that we eat with our eyes first, and take presentation seriously - my food is vibrant, colorful & sparks conversation!”
How did you get started with your business?
“Eat Like You Give A Fork started as a hobby for me - In May of 2021, I lost my mother and grandmother suddenly and in my grief I began to look for pockets of hope, peace and healing, and it just kept coming back to food. One weekend in June I decided to channel some of my energy into juicing, which I had just recently gotten into. That day I made 9 different flavors of juice and posted along the way. To my surprise, people began reaching out inquiring if they could buy some juice of their own. The next week I sold over 70 juices, and what started as a silly hobby began to shift and reshape itself into a beautiful opportunity for me to share my love of fresh and approachable vegan food to the community I love so much.”
What is your favorite thing about vegan eating?
“I tend to approach most things in life, and certainly vegan cooking and eating, with a sense of curiosity and playfulness. It takes a certain level of imagination, trial and error, and experimentation to recreate some of your classic flavors. I toy around with nostalgia a lot in my cooking, always looking for ways to prepare lighter and plant-based versions of the flavors and textures I enjoyed growing up. When you are working solely with plants, you are really forced to get creative on texture, building flavors, creating umami in your dishes and it’s a challenge I really enjoy.”
What are some common misconceptions about vegan eating?
“I think the barrier to entry with going vegan is lower now than it’s ever been. There are SO MANY products and brands that exist now that didn’t even a year or two ago that allow for a swap to virtually all of the non-vegan counterparts. I always encourage people to start with just one thing - opt for a vegan coffee creamer, try a vegan cheese on your charcuterie board, visit a vegan restaurant in your community. I think most people would be surprised with how much they actually enjoy trying vegan food and you don’t have to “go vegan” to enjoy eating vegan food occasionally!”
Where do you source your ingredients?
“We have a pretty phenomenal network of local farms in the North FL/ South GA area. I love to opt for local whenever possible, whether it is edible flowers and micros from Legacy Greens, produce from Pasco Farms, fresh breads from Expanding Circles or blueberries straight from our farm!”
Adorable, Celia – I loved these. They were beautiful and delicious. Cheers to you and your growing business.