Friday, September 21, 2012

Gluten Free BLT

When I go to the grocery store I like to check out the international section to see what interesting foods I can find. The other day I saw spring rolls skin and checked the ingredients which were tapioca starch, rice starch, salt and water, so it was gluten free. Someone mentioned a BLT on their blog and I must have had that in the back of my mind. So I decided to purchase the skins along with some nitrate free bacon and a fresh tomato and some organic mixed lettuce.

I got home and fried up the bacon, sliced the tomato, got the lettuce and mayonnaise and was ready to put my sandwich together. I opened the package of spring rolls skin and was slightly surprised, to say the least. I had no idea a spring roll skin was like a piece of plastic or stiff paper. I wondered if was there something wrong with the skins. A quick check on the internet told me to moisten the skin with water and it would become soft. The first one I tried crumpled up into a ball and I had to toss it. With the next one I got the hang of it, the trick was to handle the skin carefully and add just the right amount of moisture due their thinness. The pattern on the skin you see in the photo below comes from the bamboo mats the skins are dried on after they are rolled out.

I put some mayonnaise on the skin, added a slice of bacon, some lettuce and the tomato and wrapped it up and served it with a pickled okra and the last pepper of the season. Since that time I've found these skins can be used for a variety of sandwiches. Today I made some blue cheese, lettuce, and balsamic vinegar, boy that was good too. How would you use a spring rolls skin? I know there are fried spring rolls, although I try not to fry my foods. but I do use olive oil if I do.

I may have to curtail having too many of these homemade spring roll skins because I just read on the package one skin is 200 calories and all carbohydrates. How could something so thin be 200 calories? Must be concentrated carbohydrates. Ha. But some carbohydrates in the diet are necessary and many times folks who must be gluten free miss out on needed carbohydrates. Not me any longer. Now if they would just make a brown rice spring rolls skin. Hum, maybe there is such a thing. OK, I just looked it up and there is such a thing. Ha. It's been a challenge changing my eating habits to gluten free after more than fifty years. But I'm learning about new foods and new recipes every day. This post is part of Artists in Blogland what's happening in and around the studio. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

UPDATE: the package says servings per container is 6 and there are a ton of skins in the package so I think the 200 calories is for more than one skin, much better. Ha.


  1. Hello Linda:
    Sadly, not for us we fear. And yes, how can that very thin spring roll skin contain 200 calories. Too alarming for words.

  2. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, do they not appeal to you or you can't get them in your location? One does have to have a few calories in their life, like chocolate.

  3. I have been making homemade corn tortillas. The masa I am using is supposedly from GMO corn, tho I am on the lookout for organic. They are so easy to make and so much better than store bought. Masa and warm water, press and grill. I also added some all purpose GF flour and made a different version. You can also make some good tortillas with quinoa flour, high protein and maybe not as many calories! GF can be a challenge, but things are getting better:)

  4. If you remove the bacon (I no longer eat meat) that sounded wonderful. And of course it was full of calories - anything nice is. Sigh.

  5. glad to hear that they really weren't 200 a calories each! Looks delicious, you have to be creative to avoid gluten, it's seems it's in everything.

  6. One of the problems with food labeling is that portions vary according to the whim of the producer. I found this out when I was researching sodium in canned tomatoes. One brand looked great until I realized that their portions were one-quarter cup as opposed to others' at one-half cup! Real head-banging stuff!

    You could further explore the label, there should be information somewhere that says how many pieces are in a portion.

    Spring roll wraps are so neutral in taste that they can be the base for many delicious goodies. I am told that nutella and addiitions make great deserts!

  7. I was raised in the deep south and that means deep fried! I have been gently changing our diet for the past thirty years. I usually don't tell my husband what he is eating until after he has become accustomed to it and likes it ....

  8. I used to make Thai spring rolls for my dinner parties, and they always were a hit. I dip one skin at a time in a bowl of water and quickly place it on a dish towel. Then I quickly add filling and roll it. Place all on a cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap to keep the rolls from drying out, and refrigerated until ready to be fried.

  9. So interesting to read about the Gluten Free info. I've been doing it for about a month now, and feel so much healthier, so will probably stay on it. But oh my, the GF stuff at the store costs something like 5 times the cost of the flour things. I have really missed bread, some of the time. The rest of the time I've got rice this and that and feel that my health is more important than toast!

  10. Interesting post. I liked the texture of the skin shown in the post! We get tapioca here and steam it or even make wafer thin chips out of it.

  11. Like Elephant Child, I would remove the bacon ( I don't eat meat either) - is sounds delicious ! And a bit like creating a delicate artwork!
    Thanks for visiting:)

  12. You are making me hungry here Linda... I've never cooked these rolls but have them often at the local chinese restaurant. Delicious. I was actually looking beyond the food and at your rectangular dish. I'm presuming it's one of yours. Just love it with all it's creativity in tow.

  13. I had never seen spring roll skins before- what a good way to do a sandwich gluten free! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi Linda - found you through Artists in Blogland. I love your work! Will pop over to your Etsy store as well.

    Interesting post, by the way - sounds yummy. :)


  15. I love the texture of that skin in the post too. It would make a great stamp! Interesting post and thank you for sharing this info.

  16. Hi Jennie, thanks, I just read a study done in Europe on GMO corn, not too good at all. I need to experiment more, slowly I am adding more items back into my diet.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, I don't eat beef, mostly fish, fruits, and vegetables but every once in a while I'll have a craving for the bad stuff. Ha. These skins can be used for anything really.

    Hi Suzi, thanks, yes I think labels used to be more standardized but now that companies know we read the labels they are all different, sodium is a big problem in a lot of canned foods. You try to eat healthy but sometimes it's so difficult.

    Hi Kathy, thanks, I know what you mean, I asked my Gary if he wanted one of these and he said no, yet if were at an Asian restaurant he wouldn't have thought twice about eating a apring roll. Ha.

    Hi Gigi, thanks, you know I was thinking some type of these rolls would be good to serve at a party and good tip about making them ahead of time and putting them in the frig to keep. I like get everything ready before a party so I can enjoy myself during.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, yes it is really more expensive, sometimes one health food store is less than another, Do you have a Trader Joes near you I think they may have more reasonable GF products, or perhaps a coop. wally world has rice pasta for much less than the regular grocery store and it's the same brand.

    Hi Za faran, thanks, I was reading about tapioca and all it's uses my mother used to serve us tapioca pudding which I loved. The chips sound good too, I may have to try them. I guess it is an ancient food.

    Hi Lorik, thanks, yes just about anything could be put in these and seeing the food veiled through the skin is interesting, like a layered piece of art, as you say.

    Hi Laura, thanks, these are pretty handy to keep. I have them in the frig and can use one when I want to make up a quick snack, just stuff some vegetables in there and done. Oh and I just thought these would be good to take on a road trip too.

    Hi Carolyn, thanks, I had never seen them in the store before either I am glad I found them. Hope you try them.

    Hi Carol, thanks about my pottery. I hope you get a chance to try these, I like trying new foods.

    Hi Jessica, thanks, the texture is unique. Oh wonder what it would do pressed into clay as a texture. I might experiments. See you've given me an idea. Ha.

  17. Hi Michele, thanks, yeah that did seem much too high a calorie count for such a small bit of nothing. Ha.


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