A simple summer recipe

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This simple summer dish is a favouite on my retreats and guests often ask for the recipe so I decided to write a blog post about it.

These lil’ guys are usually made from a base of fresh veggies, a protein such as tempeh or tofu, a grain like brown rice or quinoa (Okay I know technically quinoa isn’t a grain but it acts like one nicely here) and the wrap is either a nori sheet or rice paper. (Or I use a mix of both). One of the most important elements which ties the whole thing together is the moreish dipping sauce- and you have yourself a winner!

These are a great way to get 20+ ingredients into one simple meal, ensuring you get a variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals into your body for the day. Luckily the longest and “hardest” part of creating this meal is rolling these bad boys up into neat little wraps, which isn’t so bad after all. So I encourage you to experiment making these at home, they are great to serve at a dinner party, for lunch or a school- night dinner. These are just perfect for all occassions.

Below is a recipe I created but feel free to mix it up and use whatever veggies you like, as long as they look the colour of a rainbow. ‘Cause then you got the right idea. All of my veggies I source organically however I understand this isn’t always possible so I have marked all the no-go veggies with a star if you can’t find them organically, rather omit them.

Serves 8

For the filling

  • 4 baby corn

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked.

  • 2 carrots, washed, unpeeled and grated or spiralized

  • 2 beetroot, peeled and grated or spiralized

  • 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded

  • red bell pepper* sliced

  • swiss chard, shredded

  • 1 block of smoked tempeh, sliced thinly

  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper

  • 2 tsps rice vinegar

  • 1/2 cup of fresh coriander

  • 1/2 cup of radish sprouts

  • 1/2 cup pickled ginger

  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced

  • 1 cup full of edible flowers (pansies, garlic chives, pelargonium flowers, edible chrysanthemum)

  • 8 nori sheets (or a mix of nori and rice paper wrappers)

  • 4 limes, juice of

For the dipping sauce

  • 4cm piece ginger, peeled

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter (or sub peanut butter if you like)

  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon raw local honey

    1/2 teaspoons crushed chilli flakes

    Extra equipment needed-

  • A kitchen towel

  • Plastic wrap (or even better a bees wax wrap- better for the environment and your health)

To make the dipping sauce

With the motor running, drop the ginger and garlic clove into a blender and blend until finely chopped. Add the nut butter, tamari sauce, lime juice, honey, chilli flakes, and 1/3 cup water and blend, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if needed to thin, until smooth. DO AHEAD: Dipping sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

To make the summer rolls

Rinse the quinoa under cold running water to remove its bitter flavour.

Tip into a pan and add double the amount of salted water. (2 cups in this case). Place the pot over a medium heat and bring to the boil.

Reduce to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff up the quinoa and add the rice vinegar before leaving to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Slice the tempeh and fry over a medium heat with a little coconut oil added to the pan. Flip the tempeh over after a few minutes and cook the other side before taking off the heat. Get all of your veggies ready and into separate bowls for assembling and season each bowl with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice.

To assemble your rolls

Get your kitchen towel and fold it over into a rectangle and place it on a flat surface. Top with plastic/beeswax wrap, then with a sheet of nori. Using your hands dipped in water (to avoid sticking), pat a very thin layer of quinoa all over the nori, making sure it’s not too thick or your roll will be all quinoa and no filling.

Then, arrange a serving of your veggies in a line at the bottom 3/4 of the quinoa closest to you.

Start to roll the nori and quinoa over with your fingers, and once the veggies are covered, roll over the plastic wrap and towel, using it to mold and compress the roll. Continue until it’s all the way rolled up. Et Voila- you have your summer rolls.

Honestly, Ive done this without the kitchEn towerl and plastic/beeswax and they look just fine (the ones pictured above were done without, so you can just use your hands and embrace the slightly less uniformed look).
Slice your rolls in half or in four and serve on a platter with your edible flowers and dipping sauce. ENJOY