Sorry I’m a bit late with this week’s post. Paul and I took a wonderful long weekend trip to celebrate…our one year anniversary!
Our main destination was Pittsburgh, but along the way we stopped in Wheeling to visit The Good Zoo at Oglebay Resort. You might ask why we went out of our way to visit a little zoo in West Virginia, when we have the fantastic Cincinnati Zoo just half an hour from home. Well, it’s because of one thing:
Red. Panda. Encounters!
At the Oglebay zoo, you can make reservations in advance to feed and interact with several of their animals. You basically get to play zookeeper for an hour. You’re in the enclosure with the animals, interacting with them in the same way that their regular caretakers would. And it was so neat! They’re not pets by any means, but it was amazing to be so close to the red pandas (and later the river otters too).
Amber the red panda eats bamboo leaves and lots of fruit. Grapes and raisins were her favorite.
This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with anything above, except that it’s the kind of fast and simple dinner that’s nice to come home to after a weekend of champagne, desserts and Primanti Bros. sandwiches. It would also make a great appetizer or shareable snack!
- 6 rice paper spring roll wrappers
- 2 oz smoked salmon
- 1/2 avocado, sliced into 6 pieces
- 1 cup shredded spinach
- 12 spinach leaves, left whole
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- pinch red pepper flakes
- Prepare a workstation with a 9-inch cake pan of hot water, a cutting board spread with a damp paper towel, and a plate with another damp paper towel. Slice the vegetables and divide the salmon into 6 portions.
- Working with one at a time, place each rice paper wrapper in the water for 10-20 seconds until softened. Lay across the paper towel on the cutting board.
- Lay down two whole spinach leaves near one edge of the wrapper so that they overlap. Top with shredded spinach, a slice of avocado and a piece of salmon.
- Fold the bottom of the wrapper up and over the filling. Fold in the sides, and roll it up.
- Place finished rolls on the plate and cover with the paper towel, making sure that the rolls don't touch each other.
- Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with the rolls.