Well, at least one more traditional spring roll turned out.

Traditional spring rolls are easy to make. Or so I thought. I’ve had spring rolls in restaurants–the translucent wrappers often have shrimp and vegetables tucked inside. They’re beautiful. So I figured they couldn’t be that hard to make at home, right? But from the start my traditional spring rolls were a disaster!

If you’ve ever used spring roll wrappers you know that it’s a little bit like working with a thin piece of Jell-O. Not easy. I had all my ingredients chopped and ready to go so I figured it would be like make-your-own-pizza night with the kids. My first one was packed with veggies (and large air holes). It looked awful and tasted worse–kinda like eating your bagged veggies plastic and all (for the record spring roll wrappers are made with tapioca starch). My oldest didn’t even pretend to like hers, but my middle daughter dutifully downed hers and even managed a smile when she said,

The amazing hanging spring roll!

“No, it’s really good mom.” I almost believed her. Until that is we started noticing just how sticky spring roll wrappers can be. I can’t remember who started it, whether it was my hubby or my oldest but someone ended up with a spring roll (fully loaded) stuck to her forehead.

Uh, it didn’t stop at foreheads. Spring rolls, we discovered, can stick to just about anything. Like ceilings. Yup, what can I say, we had to give it a try. My well-planned, poorly-executed spring roll made for a lovely wall hanging. Literally.

But I wasn’t ready to give up on spring rolls! I just threw out the idea of making it “traditional.” I hunted through my refrigerator for alternatives. Preferably less sticky ones. I found a couple that worked perfectly–and my kids enjoyed putting these together so much more (me too). Enter romaine lettuce and flour tortillas.

Ready for un-traditional, but kid-friendly spring rolls? Here’s what to do:

  1. Chop up various veggies, like zucchini, carrots and peppers into long strips (about two inches).
  2. Tear off a piece of romaine lettuce that’s about 4-5 inches in length and about 11/2 inches in width (perfect kid job).
  3. If you’re using flour tortillas, simply use a pizza cutter to get those same dimensions.
  4. Place a few pieces of veggies on one end of either the lettuce or the tortilla and roll it toward the other end. You can seal this with a little cream cheese “glue” or tie it up with a cooked piece of spaghetti (I told you I was hunting through the fridge for ideas).

    Spring roll success!

  5. You can make as many spring rolls as your kids have patience for.
  6. To make the spring rolls even fancier, create green onion “flowers” by using scissors and cutting small strips on one end.
  7. You can also use small cookie cutters on carrot slices to create shapes. Stick these to your spring roll with a little cream cheese.

Looking for more ideas to add a little bit of spring into your family’s lives (even if it’s still snowing outside)? Check out these instant spring ideas from Motherboard.

Your turn–have you been doing anything lately to make it feel springer at your house?

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