One of the things nobody told me during my move over here to Vancouver is that it’s very rare for condo buildings to have built-in air conditioning units. It wasn’t something I specifically looked for when I browsed Craigslist for units to rent because I just assumed it’d be a standard feature.
Well. Assuming was not the right thing to do. On most nights I enjoy sleeping with the window open, feeling the draft from outside’s nice cool air flow through. When the temperature started to rise I figured I’d stick it out and not even look for the air conditioning switch on the thermostat. After all, it’s only May and not officially summer yet. That was until I woke up on one particularly warm night and just. couldn’t. take it. I rolled out of bed, sweaty and half asleep. Lights went on in the middle of the night. My fingers fumbled around the thermostat, eyes all squinty and trying to find those glorious two letters on the side. Unfortunately the only settings appeared to be ‘fan’ (already on) and ‘heat’ (definitely not necessary).
I slept with an ice pack in my sports bra for the remainder of the evening and started investigating portable AC units the next day. Wanting to ensure my landlord was on board with me bringing a new appliance into the house, I emailed her to let her know my plan. As fate would have it, she offered to take care of the cost (because she’s super awesome and the best landlord I’ve ever had), and I’m pleased to announce that Best Buy will be having it delivered on Monday. Assuming I can figure out how to install it, my first world problem will be solved.
If you too have been either 1) trying to tough out the nights without switching on the AC, or 2) don’t have the option, I’m sure you also have zero desire to fire up the oven and eat hot food. You might also be of the same mindset as me, which is that the more meals I can make that don’t require cooking, the happier I am. If those meals happen to be of the snack-y variety and involve rolling a whole bunch of bright, flavourful ingredients into rice wraps that can be eaten fingers, then that’s even better.
Veggie Rolls with Ginger Mango Dipping Sauce? You read my mind.
On a side note, I made these guys all-veggie because they were originally intended to be appetizers, but you can add whatever protein source you like inside. Shredded chicken, shrimp, marinated tempeh or tofu slices, edamame hummus and scrambled eggs (don’t knock it till you try it!) all work really well.
Veggie Rolls with Ginger Mango Dipping Sauce
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Ingredients (5-6 rolls)
For the sauce:
- 1 large mango, peeled and pitted
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp low sodium tamari
For the rest:
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1/2 large cucumber, julienned
- 1/2 avocado, pitted and sliced into strips
- 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/2 mango, julienned
- 1-2 small red chillies, seeds removed and diced finely
- torn fresh mint and basil
- 3-4 large green lettuce leaves
- 5-6 rice wraps, about 6″ diameter (you’ll find these in the Asian section of many grocery stores)
- hot water
Make the dip by putting all ingredients in a blender and pureeing until completely smooth. Pour it out into a small bowl and set aside. It will thicken a bit if you put it in the fridge.
Prepare all other ingredients as directed above. Set them all out on a plate for easy access.
One at a time, soak rice wraps in warm/hot (but not boiling) water. I find it easiest to hold onto the edges with both hands so they don’t fold up too much. When soft and very flexible, remove the wrap, shake it gently to get the water off, and lay it flat on a flat surface.
Line the top side of the wrap with lettuce, laid out as flat as possible. (Remove the thick stems to avoid having the lettuce tear the rice wraps.)
For best results, picture the wrap like the face of a clock with 6:00 closest to you. Arrange a little of each of the fillings between 6:00 and the center.
Fold in the right and left sides (9 and 3 o’clock) then roll the bottom of the wrap up towards 12:00. Transfer the roll over to a plate and repeat the process with remaining wraps and fillings.
When ready to eat, serve the wraps with the mango dipping sauce.
Note – If making ahead of time, store these in a sealed container in the fridge, wrapped in damp paper towels for up to 1 day.
So tell me..
- What’s your favourite no-cook dinner to make on hot days?
- Have you caved in and switched on your air conditioning yet?