Gluten Free Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Cool, refreshing, delicious and healthy, these spring rolls are great as an appetizer or entree.

My sister and I had so much fun making these together. We went to a local farmer’s market to get all the ingredients; ssing fresh vegetables and herbs will boast the most flavor and color. These were such a hit at our family party yesterday, so much so they were requested to be made for the next family gathering! This is one of the best, most flavorful dishes I have made in a long time.

This is also a great recipe to make with friends or kids, its fun and easy to make. The prep – cutting all the vegetables – is a bit time consuming, about 20 minutes, but the rest is a piece of cake. Rolling the rice paper might take a few tries to perfect, it can be very sticky, but just make sure that once wet, you place the rice paper on a flat surface and not let it stick to each other.


2 red bell pepper, julienned
2 large carrots, shredded or julienned
2 cucumbers, seeded and julienned
2 avocados, pitted and cut into thin strips
4 oz rice noodles
1 pound cook shrimp (optional)
juice of 1 lime
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
2 bunches of scallions, chopped
Mint (can also use basil, cilantro – the more herbs the more flavorful the rolls will be) I suggest using more than you think you need. This is where most of the flavor will be coming from so don’t use sparingly!
12-15 Rice Paper Wraps


If using shrimp, slice them in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl and coat with the juice of one lime. OR is using small shrimp, cut up into small pieces, this is also helpful if you do not have a lot or shrimp.

It is also a good idea to pour lime juice over the avocados to keep them from browning (especially if you are making these hours or on day in advance)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and toss with rice vinegar.

Place mint, scallions, basil, and/or cilantro in a blender and blend until finely chopped.

Line all ingredients up, almost like an assembly line, to make preparation easy.

Fill a pie plate or bowl with lukewarm water. One at a time, dip rice paper into the water, shake off any excess, and transfer to work station (a plate will work just fine). Let stand for 30 seconds until it is softened.

Arrange rice noodles on rice paper. Top with two or three strips each of the red pepper, avocado, cucumber, carrots and a pinch of scallions and mint, evenly spread across the vegetables, leaving a one-inch border along the edge. (The fillings may be placed on the rice paper in any order you’d like.)

Roll up the rice paper, pressing down on the fillings with your fingers – this is important to keep the roll tight –  fold one side over the fillings, folding the sides in as you go. Press to seal. Repeat with the remaining rice papers and fillings until you run out.

Cut rolls in half and serve with your favorite dipping sauce; sweet and sour, sweet chili, or soy.


Review: Gluten Free Options at Bon Me Food Truck

The Bon Me Truck offers gluten free options! I ate at Bon Me for the first time at BostInno’s Boston Fest last Thursday night. It was great! Everything is priced at $6 First you choose a sandwich, buckwheat or rice noodle salad or a rice bowl. Only the rice noodles and rice (white or brown) bowls are gluten free. After this you choose a filling, the only gluten free option is the spiced-rubbed all natural chicken.  The noodle salad comes with a choice of sauce, but for us we can only have the Vietnamese vinaigrette. The rice bowls come with a soy drizzle, and guess what! They have gluten free soy sauce! You can add extras, such as edamame  or cilantro peppercorn chicken, both of which are gluten free, among others. These change daily, so make sure to ask if they are safe to eat or not.
The staff was very knowledgeable about gluten allergies and what I could and could not eat, it was great. Not only this, but they were so friendly, all of them, and always smiling. If you ask, they will change their gloves while handling your food.
The rice bowl was delicious. For $6 I got a lot of food! The rice bowl comes with carrots, daikon, seasonal greens, bean sprouts, cilantro and sprouts. The herbs were so fresh and had such great flavor.
Bon Me is a simple concept but with a lot of flavor and great taste. The chicken was moist and flavorful, the amount of rice was enough for two people to share. Of course though, I ate it all.
I recommend trying Bon Me at least once. I am definitely going back to try the rice noodle salad with the Vietnamese vinaigrette
Bon Me’s Schedule:
Yellow: Belvidere 11:30-3
Blue: Dewey on the Greenway 11-3, Cleveland Circle 4:30-8
Yellow: Belvidere 11:30-3
Blue: Rings Fountain 11:30-2:30, Cleveland Circle 4:30-8
Yellow: Belvidere 11:30-3, Boston University East 3:30-7
Blue: Dewey on the Greenway 11-3
Blue: City Hall Plaza 11-3, JP 4:30-8
 Milk St. 11-3
 Dewey 11-6
Yellow: Peter’s Park in the South End 11:30-3, Clarendon Street 3-7
Blue: Greenway Open Market 11-5
Yellow: Clarendon Street 12-7
 SOWA Open Market 10-4
I would love to hear about other food trucks that offer gluten free items! Please let me know :) 

Bon Me on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Chicken Pho Soup

My search to find gluten free Pho Soup in Boston has failed. I can not find it anywhere!! So please please please tell me if you know where I can get gluten free Pho!
For those of you who are not familiar with Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’), it is a tradition Vietnamese noodle soup; a savory combination of aromatic spices including star anise, cinnamon and ginger, and usually served with beef or chicken. It originated in Northern Vietnamese and is usually eaten for breakfast. The noodles are made from rice and it is often served with Asian basil, mint leaves, limes and bean sprouts. Sometimes it is even served with a plum sauce or chili sauce, for those who like it hot. This is one of my all time favorite Asian dishes and before I went gluten free I ate it all the time. So you can just imagine my frustration when I found out that so many restaurants (all that I’ve been to, except for one in NYC) use MSG or some other form of gluten in their soup.
Due to my frustration last week at Le’s Vietnamese in Harvard Square – originally I was told the soup was safe to eat but once we got there our waitress informed me that the broth contained MSG – I decided to make my own homemade Pho Soup. I was at whole foods this morning and found Pacific Chicken Pho Soup Starter and I was so excited! I think I almost jumped for joy I was so excited. Good thing I didn’t because we all know how crowded Whole Foods is on Sunday.
So I bought the soup starter, chicken breast, bean sprouts, lime and green onions and of course I already had rice noodles in my pantry. Now before you call me lazy for not making my own broth and using this starter, have you ever seen the recipe to make your own? It involves parboiling fish bones and/or beef bones for hours. This link is a good recipe if you are interested.
This way is so much easier and just as tasty!  It can also be made with beef or vegetables, Pacific Foods makes all 3 starters. In 20 minutes or less you can be enjoying this convenient and flavorful soup..
Pho Chicken Soup Recipe: (makes 1 serving)
What you need:
       1 cup rice noodles, cooked ahead of time and prepared al dente. When added to the hot Pho broth, the noodles will finish softening to perfection.
       4-6 oz cooked or grilled chicken, sliced or cut into strips
       2 cups Pacific Organic Chicken Pho Base
       Condiments: bean sprouts, lime, fresh Asian basil, green onions, cilantro, fresh green or red chili peppers, hot chili sauce, plum sauce
What you do:
1.     Cook rice noodles to al dente
2.     Bake or grill chicken and slice or cut into stripes
3.     Bring soup base to a boil in a medium sized saucepan
4.     Lower heat and add chicken and noodles.
5.     Let stand on low heat for 3-4 minutes until chicken is warmed and noodles are fully cooked.
6.     Ladle into soup bowl and add ‘’condiments’’.
It’s best to lay all ‘’condiments’’ out on the table and let each person add what he or she wants. My favorites are bean sprouts, scallions, basil and lime. I never add the chilis or sauce because I can not handle that kind of heat.
And don’t forget, Pho is meant to be eaten with chopsticks and the broth is to be sipped from the bowl, slurping is ok!