Join me tonight for a live cooking demo at 8 pm on The Wellness Wagon Facebook Page.
I love adding an assortment of raw vegetables, sprouts, lettuces together and adding proteins such as lentils, tofu or egg (animal proteins if you eat them), chicken, shrimp, smoked salmon, beef or pork too.
Take your favourite vegetables, cut them into strips and roll them up in lettuce, collard greens, seaweed nori sheets, rice paper wraps or sprouted whole grain tortillas and you have a fresh, delicious, easy to make snack, side or meal.
You want to eat as much vegetables as you can handle at every meal daily. The smoothie is a great way to begin the day, loading up a blender with greens (kale, spinach, chard) with fruit, a tablespoon of a superfood, a chunk of a healthy fat like avocado, nut butter or coconut MCT oil and you have an amazing nutritious smoothie. For lunch and dinner keep adding more veggies in salads, soups and stews on their own and use cut up vegetables plain or with dips as a snack too.
Your daily food plate for lunch and/or dinner should look like this:
- 65% vegetables and fruits
- 15% protein
- 10% grains
- 20% fats
- 8 c. water
- Include vegetables with a range of colour (blue, purple, red, orange, green and yellow), because they are filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals essential for fighting free radicals and keeping toxins at bay. Make your meals colourful, vibrant and enticing to eat so you’re getting a diversity of nutrients in your food that will nourish your body regularly.
- Eat raw, living foods as much as possible. Raw whole foods contain the natural enzymes and nutrients your body needs to do the work necessary for digestion and absorption. As we age, our ability for manufacturing enzymes declines and supplying rich digestive enzymes such as raw vegetables into our food will facilitate better digestive health.
- Soaking and sprouting your foods before you eat them such as nuts and seeds make it easier for your body to breakdown and digest. It releases the natural enzymes and eliminates the phytates, trypsin inhibitors and toxic lectins. Sprouting your food grains, beans and seeds germinates into sprouts over a period of 3 days (more can cause bacteria to grow, watch out). See my blog on The Beauty of Sprouting (scroll down) on how to sprout your food.
- When foods are cooked they lose their natural enzymes but still contain their nutrient value. The best is lightly steamed.
- Add fermented foods into your diet because they are raw foods that have gone through a lacto-fermentation process with add salt or whey restricting oxygen to permeate mold or bacteria to grow. It was a practice done by our ancestors to preserve food over the winters and maintain rich nutrients from vitamins and minerals. Also rich in probiotics for our overall digestive health.
- Include a portion of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats into your daily meals. They are the building blocks of a diet and support your body’s growth, energy output, muscle strength and function.
- Eating more vegetables contains a higher volume of dietary fibre than eating a high carbohydrate diet made with processed foods. Excellent for removing toxins out.
- When eating more vegetables in your diet drink lots of water in between meals to move the nutrients through and out of your system
- Choosing nourishing foods to eat has a direct connection to sustaining your long-term health.
In two of my past blogs, I include a chart of greens 5 Reasons to Eat Dark Leafy Greens (scroll down to bottom of post) and in Is Salad overrated?, a rating of the nutrient values of different lettuces. Believe it or not, there’s no nutrient value in iceberg lettuce!
Here’s recipe for Fresh Vegetable Mango Rolls made with rice paper, serves 6
Fresh Vegetable Mango Rolls
- 1 cup pea sprouts or any sprouts or lettuce
- 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- Mango, peach, any fruit
- 3 scallions, or red onion (julienne style)
- 1/2 avocado (cut into 6 slices)
- 4 ounces rice noodles, cooked (optional)
- 6 Rice paper wraps
- 1 tablespoon (gluten-free) tamari*
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp Juice of Lime
- Sambal Chili paste (optional)
- *You can also use Coconut Secret (coconut aminos), a liquid seasoning that is soy free
- Fill a pie plate or large wide bowl with warm water.
- Place the rice paper wrappers one at a time, into the water until they become flexible (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).
- Carefully remove wrappers from water and lay flat on a tea towel on a clean surface and gently pat excess water.
- In the lower two thirds of wrapper place a tablespoon of noodles, 1- 2 strips of mango carrots, scallions (green onion), mint or cilantro leaves and sprouts.
- Fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling, then take the bottom of the wrapper and begin to roll.
- Keep wrapped and chilled until ready to eat and then cut into pieces.
- Place on a platter with sauce in a bowl and enjoy!
There are lots of ways to make rolls and wraps:
- You can use Romaine, Boston lettuce or collard greens to make rolls. Take a leaf of the lettuce or green, add in your vegetables at the bottom fold in the sides and roll up like an eggroll or eat it like a taco.
- Try nori as a taco or roll it like sushi. Can get in speciality food stores, most supermarkets or health food stores
- Make your rolls with rice paper (my favourite). Can get in most supermarkets or health food stores
- For tortilla’s or taco’s use sprouted whole grain ones (Ezekiel’s is a good brand) and heat in a pan, or at room temperature then roll it up and enjoy!
- You can use any variety of vegetables in the wrap such as red pepper, eggplant, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, smoked salmon and egg for the wrap you can use lettuce, nori, sprouted whole grain tortilla’s, tacos, collard greens or kale, Swiss chard leaf’s , cooked cabbage leaf(cut out centre stem).
- You can add vermicelli rice noodles, brown rice or any grain.
- You can also make a spread with sunflower seeds soaked and blended with spices instead of grains or beans, grated cauliflower rice or parsnip.
Don’t forget the SAUCE, it makes the meal!
Sauces are the best part and you can make the one above, add a hot sauce, a green pesto or create your own.
Finally, The most important part of a fresh vegetable roll is to have FUN eating them!