I Always Wanted Lunchables...

By Kate Kaufman

Somehow it worked. Growing up with a personal trainer, football coach, and passionate Italian father has resulted in a full indoctrination of his oldest child into his ways of eating and living. There isn't a single breakfast I can remember from the time I was school-aged when my eggs didn't at least have a heaping amount of kale, tomatoes, pepper, and onions. I was the kid who showed up at the lunch table with Italian style tuna fish (red onion, Italian flat leaf parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper) and whole wheat matzah crackers, a red cabbage salad (with olive oil and vinegar, not ranch, of course), and NO fun pudding dessert. Lunchables, Little Debbies, Gushers, and Coke were not a thing in my household.

I know, you're probably feeling so sorry for my childhood and how scarring it must have been. I thought this as well until I was set out on my own and shot into the independent world of college, where I got to grocery shop and could buy as many packets of Oreos my little 5-year old damaged heart could desire. However, this desire to buy what was always kept from me quickly resulted in a revolt from my Julian Kaufman trained body, and I soon found that these desires were not sustainable. 

What is now the result of this indoctrination? The Vegan Daughter. I am two months in my vegan adventure, and I haven't cracked yet! If you know my family at all, you know how hard cheese is to give up since cheese is one of our main food sources, given the king of cheeses comes from our beloved motherland: Parmigiano Reggiano. But I'm doing it, and I want to invite you all to join me in this adventure in helping our planet, helping your body, and helping our communities who are so affected by our food choices. 

All of my recipes will be super quick and super cheap, because the Ramen diet in college is a real struggle and temptation, and I need something to substitute this desire. All are welcome to join in: mommas and dads, businesswomen and men, students of all ages. Here's my first recipe I made for me and my three roommates! Feel free to add or substitute whatever veggies you have with you!

Buon Appetito! 

Spring Rolls with Almond Butter Dipping Sauce


For the Rice Paper Rolls:

  • 6 sheets of Vietnamese rice paper
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 small carrots
  • 1 mango
  • 3 green onions, cut into rings
  • 1 cup purple cabbage
  • About 6 radishes
  • 1 cup fresh mint

For the Almond Butter Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (optional)


  1. Cut the avocado, the carrots, the mango, the mint, the radishes, the green onion, and the purple cabbage into thin stripes.

  2. When you're done cutting the veggies, fill a shallow bowl with water and dip the rice papers in water so they get moderately wet on both sides. Don't let them soak too long, so they don't get too soft.

  3. When you soaked the rice papers, fill them with the veggies and wrap them like a burrito. I think it's best to center the filling and then roll it up and fold in the two side flaps.

  4. Then make the peanut dipping sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter with the soy sauce, the garlic, the warm water, and the sriracha sauce.

  5. Serve the rice paper rolls with the peanut dipping sauce.