Love pumpkin dishes? Check out what other wonderful food bloggers made this week for Food Network’s Fall Fest!

The Lemon Bowl: Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Foodtastic Mom: Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
Creative Culinary: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Molasses Walnut Crumble
Dishin & Dishes: Overnight Pumpkin French Toast
The Mom 100: Pasta Shells with Pumpkin in a Creamy, Cheesy Sauce
Devour: Give ‘Em Pumpkin to Talk About with 4 Instagram-Ready Desserts
The Fed Up Foodie: Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup
A Mind “Full” Mom: 5 Must-Try Pumpkin Recipes That Are Not Pie
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Eggless Pumpkin Pie
Taste with the Eyes: Fabulous Fall Dessert: Pumpkin Ricotta Wonton Ravioli
Mom Loves Baking: Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Bundt Cake
Pinch My Salt: Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Bread
Swing Eats: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Molasses Marshmallows (GF)
Hey Grill Hey: How to Grill Pumpkin
In Jennie’s Kitchen: No Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie
FN Dish: 6 Surprising Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin for More Than Pie


Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls


fresh spring rolls zucchini noodles

“Have you watched the movie Babette’s Feast?

It’s a Danish film, by Gabriel Axel, full of annoying subtitles, washed out scenery, bland boring people that culminates into one of the most delectably prepared feasts I’ve ever seen, including the most expensive dish -“Cailles en Sarcophage” or Quail in puff pastry – deboned quail, seared, stuffed with foie gras and HUGE truffle slices, and a magnificent sauce of figs and truffle spooned over top. Watching these Puritan-type old spinsters warm and open up over delightfully thought-out and prepared cuisine is one of the reasons I love to cook.

Ordinary food becomes gastronomy, acquaintances become friends, relationships improve over each intimate and delicious bite.

It’s what makes you think about what would please that night for dinner, or that weekend for brunch with loved ones, new acquaintances or just the two of you on a romantic evening. Which led me to this dish, which is sadly not as eleborate or expensively delicious as Cailles en Sarcophage, but would satisfy anyone on the hottest of summer nights, or set out the fixings and rolled out as a group would be a fun project to bring even the somber-most hearts together.

I love fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, especially in the dog days of summer when the green seems to have disappeared among browning foliage and grass and the pavement is so hot you can’t walk barefoot on it without hopping back and forth between each foot. The cool is finally coming here but it’s hardly seemed like fall at all with our temps being in the 80’s 90’s!


You can fill these with any variety of vegetables, meats or tofu and you can use a choice of fresh herbs, but I sort of love the combination of Thai basil and mint in the more traditional way of things.

I did decide to go a little off-kilter however by using fresh and crunchy zucchini noodles in my version this week instead of the usual rice noodles. After all it’s summer (sort of), and fresh produce still abounds so I walked out to my garden and picked veggies and fresh herbs and got to rolling up some refreshing spring rolls for dinner one night when the Wonderful guy was at his men’s bible study….and it was a chick food kind of a night.

fresh basil mint and chives

Start off doing some prep work.  You can use either cook medium-sized shrimp – (you can use 1-2 shrimp depending on what size of wraps you’re using) or buy the pre-cooked shrimp, which is what I opted to do. Keep in mind that you’re only counting 1/2 of a shrimp as one shrimp however….(see next step).

Cut the shrimp in half as shown in the following photo.


They will be nice little flat halves of shrimp. You don’t have to cut your shrimp, but it just makes the roll a little less stuffed I think to halve them.  You will ned 2-3 of these halves per fresh spring roll, so count out how many you wish to make. I made 8 tonight so I really only needed 4-6 shrimp.

Next cut some chives into 4 inch pieces, at least 8 or more if you love chives.


Other ingredients I used to fill my wraps were shredded carrots, using a potato peeler (but you could also just buy the matchsticks for a time saver) slivered red peppers, slivered snap peas, cucumbers and radishes and thin spears of asparagus. You’ll want to tear some lettuce leaves into about 4 inch long by 2-3 inch wide pieces (I used green leaf lettuce) and also some leaves of mint, cilantro sprigs and leaves and either Thai basil or regular basil. Thai is the best if you can find it.

Fresh spring roll ingredients

It’s important to prep everything ahead of time because it will make rolling these spring rolls a snap.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, traditional Vietnamese spring rolls use rice noodles as a filler but I wanted to capitalize on summer, and fresh zucchini noodles, sometimes called “zoodles”, so I hauled out my spiralizer and began to make them on the plate with the smallest holes.

spiralized zucchini

Now for the wrapper – you can find these in Asian markets or order here. I use this brand:

fresh spring roll wrappers

These are crispy rice paper rounds that you will dip in water to soften and use. They are a bit tricky and awkward at first, but you’ll get it after a few.

rice paper wrappers

Fill up a round shallow sauce pan (one that’s bigger than the rice papers) with water.

Dip one right in and hold down with your fingers for about the count of 10 seconds.


Lay it out gently without letting the sides stick to each other. It’s kind of like a challenging game of cling wrap war….

I seriously detest using cling wrap.


Now typically you lay in your lettuce first. This makes a nice “nest” of sorts for all your small ingredients. Do your layering of ingredients down to the end of the rice paper wrap closest to you.


You can lay one or two of these down and then begin to top with the rest of your ingredients. I started with a blob of the zucchini noodles and then stacked the rest.

how to roll fresh spring rolls

Don’t layer on the shrimp yet.

We’re going to start to roll by holding the rice paper wrap closest to you. Gently pull it up and over your toppings taking care to your move your fingers to the back of the toppings to hold on to them and tuck them in as you roll.

rolling fresh spring rolls

Tuck the end of the wrapper under the vegetables.


Take the two ends and tuck them onto the roll. You can also do this at the end and because the wrapper is so gluey-like it will stick just fine!


Now you should have the back edge left still unrolled. Lay down your shrimp. This just makes it prettier when rolled up.


Next,  continue rolling all the way up!


If you want to be fancy-schmancy, you can add in a long chive stem down with the shrimp and leave the end open for it to stick out.


Then go ahead and roll the next seven of your fresh spring rolls! You can cut them in half to make a pretty presentation and serve them with my famous Thai peanut sauce for dipping (Find that recipe here!). It’s delicious!


< id="mpprecipe-ingredients-list">< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-0" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">8 rice paper spring roll wraps (I use Three Ladies Brand)< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-1" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">8 3 inch pieces of leaf lettuce trimmed to fit rice paper< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-2" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1 large zucchini, spiralized on thin holes< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-3" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">8-12 cooked medium-sized shrimp sliced in half long ways< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-4" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">8 chives trimmed 4-5 inches long< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-5" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1 medium sized carrot, julienned or peeled< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-6" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">sugar snap peas sliced long ways thinly< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-7" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1/4 red pepper sliced long ways thinly< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-8" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">3 large radishes, julienned< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-9" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">8 thin asparagus stalks, ends trimmed to 3-4 inches< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-10" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">1 small cucumber thinly sliced into julienne pieces< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-11" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">16 whole Thai basil or basil leaves< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-12" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">16 whole mint leaves< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-13" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">8 sprigs of cilantro< id="mpprecipe-ingredient-14" class="ingredient" itemprop="ingredients">*Thai Peanut Sauce for dipping

< id="mpprecipe-instructions-list" class="instructions">< id="mpprecipe-instruction-0" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Make zucchini noodles and prep shrimp, and other vegetables as stated in Ingredients above.< id="mpprecipe-instruction-1" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Dip each rice paper wrap in shallow pan or bowl filled with water and hold it approximately 10 seconds to soften.< id="mpprecipe-instruction-2" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Lay out on cutting board stretching to remove most wrinkles< id="mpprecipe-instruction-3" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Lay down lettuce leaf on one end leaving an inch or so border of rice paper wrap around the edges< id="mpprecipe-instruction-4" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Layer all other vegetables as closely as possible in center of leaf lettuce EXCEPT shrimp and herbs< id="mpprecipe-instruction-5" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Lay mint on top of all< id="mpprecipe-instruction-6" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">lay basil on top of mint< id="mpprecipe-instruction-7" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Pull the rice paper rice gently over top of all using your middle two fingers to hold vegetable and tuck the rice paper over top of all and roll leaving about 2-3 inches from end.< id="mpprecipe-instruction-8" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Lay shrimp evenly on remaining unroll end and continue rolling< id="mpprecipe-instruction-9" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Tuck ends over the bottom of the roll and press firmly to stick.< id="mpprecipe-instruction-10" class="instruction" itemprop="recipeInstructions">Serve with Thai peanut dipping sauce.



Massaman (Yellow) Curry with Chicken

Massaman Curry 1

I am a Thai curry lover.

Seriously, I love them all – Red, Green, Yellow, Panang, Massaman, Jungle…you name it. I am particularly fond of one at a local restaurant here.

The one that my daughter Tori and I crave is a yellow Massaman (Yellow) curry filled with tender chunks of chicken, soft-cooked potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes and it’s topped top with the satisfying crunch of roasted whole peanuts.  It is so delicious!

The curry paste I use. You could substitute yellow paste

The curry paste I use

I made a riff on it last night for Mr. Wonderful and I. I substituted butternut squash for the potatoes as I had some to use up and added in some red peppers, broccoli and shredded carrots to add some vegetable punch.

The curry paste and the coconut marry together in this sauce that causes one to sip spoonfuls of it alone just to savor the flavor.  We added a scoop of rainbow quinoa instead of white rice to finish it off.

massaman curry recipe

We sat and slurped on it last night as we watched the Vice Presidential debate.

No matter how frustrated you can get at political bantering between parties, curry will always soothe.

To me it’s the ultimate comfort food that’s good for you too.

Massaman (Yellow) Curry with Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4
  • 1 T. coconut or olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into ½ inch chunks
  • ½ large red pepper, cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1½ c. butternut squash or sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cubed (small cube)
  • 2 small chicken breasts sliced thinly, 1 inch long
  • 1 T. Massaman curry paste (or to taste for spiciness) I use Mae Ploy
  • 2 (8 oz) cans coconut milk
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 medium lime
  • 1 c. dry roasted peanuts
  • Garnish: Thai Basil or Cilantro
  1. Place butternut squash and potatoes into covered microwave dish and microwave on high 5-7 minutes with a tablespoon of water
  2. add coconut or olive oil to large pot and heat up over medium-high heat
  3. Add red pepper and onion to pot along with chicken and saute in oil about 2-3 minutes
  4. Add curry paste and stir to coat about 1-2 minutes
  5. Add in coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar
  6. add in squash and potatoes
  7. Simmer (barely bubbling) 5 minutes
  8. Add in broccoli
  9. Simmer an additional 3-4 minutes until broccoli is tender but not mushy
  10. Squeeze lime over top and stir in
  11. Spoon over rice or quinoa and top with peanuts
  12. Garnish with Thai basil or cilantro


See what other wonderful food bloggers are making using fall squash in this week’s Food Network Fall Fest!

A Mind “Full” Mom: Hidden Veggie Quesadilla
The Fed Up Foodie: Bread Dressing Stuffed Acorn Squash
Foodtastic Mom: Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
Dishin & Dishes: Thai Massaman Curry With Chicken and Butternut Squash
Devour: Combine Squash and Pasta for the Ultimate Fall Comfort Food
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Delicate Squash, Shiitake, Kale & Quinoa Salad
Swing Eats: Zucchini Soufflé (gluten-free)
Healthy Eats: 6 Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin in Healthy Fall Meals
FN Dish: The Very Best Ways to Put In-Season Butternut Squash to Use
Thai Yellow Curry recipe

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