Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lucky Brand Gluten-Free Vegan Vegetarian Thai Style Spring Rolls with Lemongrass

I've been eating these since way before I went Gluten-free.  They were always an excellent product, attaining that crispy thin wrapper and authentic filling at home. According to their website, they also make pot stickers and some other appetizers, though I've never seen anything in stock at stores but the spring rolls.  I don't know if they gluten-free ones will be different than the regular ones, but they look identical to the gluten-full version.  Always a good sign.

Today I am trying the Thai-Style Spring Rolls with Lemongrass.  Aside from being gluten free, they're also vegan.  They only have 80 calories apiece, with each one have 20% of your daily Vitamin C, but little else.  I've also purchased the Original Style.  I like both Kale and Cranberries, but that sounds a little wacky to me.  I'm looking for a traditional taste tonight.

The spring rolls are golden straight out of the box.  The directions say to heat in the microwave for one minute, then brown in the pan.  Very smart.  This will thaw the insides so they aren't frozen, but give the outside a chance to crisp properly.  It says to brown them for five minutes.  I'm in no hurry, so I'm going to brown them perfectly regardless of the time.  I added about a half-tablespoon of butter, probably the best 50 calories you could assign anywhere, as this will help the rolls cook in the pan and add flavor.  You could use oil, but oil doesn't improve flavor the way a butter would.  I only use salted butter when cooking. I'm going to toss in some salt in the pan, because I know most food isn't salty enough for me.

They're fully browned and heated through, so I'm going to let them rest for five minutes.  I don't want to burn my tongue on the filling.
Five minutes later...

The brown is perfect!  The filling is the same as the Gluten-Full version: slightly bland, but soft vegetables inside a crispy skin.  The skin is a little stiff, but crisping it in butter really helped.  They might be better baked in the oven or toaster oven instead of the microsave/pan fry combination, as the box recommends baking them for best results.

I don't care for sweet & sour sauce, too sweet, so I am having mine with soy sauce with just a touch of the sweet sauce stirred in.  If you can handle regular soy sauce, you can use that, or a gluten-free Tamari soy sauce if available, which is just as delicious but more expensive than regular soy sauce.  Best of all, try Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which are as salty and savory as regular soy sauce, but without the sodium.  I love it because I love salt, and this gives me the salty flavor I need without the gluten or the sodium.  Bragg's is more expensive than Tamari, but it's totally worth it.  They even make travel-size bottles with a spray cap to spray the flavor directly onto your food.
I know it looks like crazy hippie sauce.  I wouldn't believe in it myself had a crazy hipie not pushed it on me long ago.
Rating: 4/5 Stars.  A little bland, a little dry, but definitely hits the spot when you need that egg roll fix.  I don't get how those were 'Thai', didn't detect any lemongrass, but a fine Chinese-American diner taste and texture.

I enjoyed this meal with Mighty Leaf White Orchard Tea.  This is a white-green tea with melon and peach, light caffeine.  I make a 20 ounce tumbler of it with two tea bags and one tablespoon of sugar.  I should have added a little more sugar, or a stevia on top of the sugar, to make it just a touch sweeter.  

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