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    Raw Food Summer Rolls with Rice Paper and Sweet Sour Dip (Recipe Video)

    Raw Food Summer Rolls with Rice Paper and Sweet Sour Dip (Recipe Video)

    Everyone loves a good sweet and sour dip, especially when there are beautiful summer rolls to accompany it. There’s no marinating or dehydrating time involved in making this party favourite, but you’ve gotta get organised and work systematically. Rice paper wrappers can be tricky to play with and may require some practice at first. They are pretty cheap, so buy extra and remember to have fun practicing. The stunning results are worth the effort!

     

    Here's the step-by-step video on how to make yours! The full recipe is also below...

     

     

    For the summer rolls:

    pack of 12 rice paper wrappers (the ones I use are 22cm/8.5in in diameter)

    lettuce leaves

    veggies (carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, asparagus, celery and bean sprouts work well)

    herbs and flowers (parsley, basil, mint and pansies or other edible flowers)

     

    For the sweet & sour dip:

    4 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

    4 tbsp agave nectar

    4 sundried tomatoes halves in oil

    juice of 1 lemon

    1 inch fresh ginger

    1 tbsp tamari

    100g pineapple, chopped into tiny cubes

     

    -Julienne or slice all the veggies into thin long strips. Set them and the herbs out within easy reach of a clean chopping board. Cover the chopping board with kitchen towel.

    -Half fill a bowl big enough to fit the rice papers in with hot water, then dunk one at a time until pliable and lay flat over the kitchen towel.

    -Arrange two edible flowers or basil leaves, if using, face down in the middle. Top with veggies which won’t blend with the colours of your herbs (carrots over basil leaves or cucumbers over purple pansies make them pop!), then top with other vegetable strips and a line of parsley, careful not to bunch them up in the middle.

    -Bring the bottom edge of the wrapper tightly up over the filling, and fold the sides in over it. Continue to roll up tightly and place on a plate, joint-side down. Cover rolls with lettuce leaves to keep them fresh, while preparing the sauce.

    -Blend all the sauce ingredients, except pineapple cubes, in a small travel blender, pour it into a dipping bowl, sprinkle with pineapple and serve along side the spring rolls.

     

    Tanya’s Top Tip: Check out the homemade tea recipe on page 39 of The Uncook Book for ideas on what edible flowers you can use for this recipe.

    Dirty Dozen Clean 15 | Clean and Mean 18 | When to buy organic

    Dirty Dozen Clean 15 | Clean and Mean 18 | When to buy organic

    I'm often asked which non-organic produce is ok to eat and which to avoid at all costs.


    Ready to hear the answer?

    As you know, we strive to only offer you organic foods at Tanya’s, but the process to become certified is insanely long, so legally we aren’t allowed to go on shouting the word Organic until we have The Soil Association stamp of approval.

    At times I feel like giving up. Why bother paying almost double on organic produce if we can’t even say ‘organic’ on our labels yet? 

    But I know my own values and it’s simply out of the question to start offering you anything less than pure natural food without anything sneaky. Or worse, anything poisonous.

    Lake Maher

    When you get a Tanya’s 'salad bowl with dressing and nuts’, I want you to feel confident that you aren’t getting a ‘salad bowl with dressing, nuts, pesticides, fungicides, a dash of herbicides and a sprinkling of artificial chemicals’.

    Then, there’s the expense of getting certified. 

    This makes me wonder how many farmers out there don’t have a spare £850 to spend on maintaining certification every single year…

    Perhaps their produce is sold in the conventional produce isles even though they use no chemicals or only natural insect repellents. 

    Or perhaps their produce is so attractive to all the insects of the world, that it must be drenched in something to explode the stomachs of those bugs from first lick in order to keep them away.

    (Btw, the main difference between our stomachs and the stomachs of those insects is the size. If we continue consuming mostly conventionally grown produce, it is only a matter of time until we too pay with serious consequences.)

    THAT is the produce you want to avoid at all costs.

    So, how do you know what THAT produce is? 

    The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™. Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

    In the US, there’s a handy list produced annually by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) called The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™.  

    Aka Dirty Dozen and Clean 15.  

    The guide ranks pesticide contamination on 48 popular fruits and vegetables and is based on results of more than 35,200 samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

    The top 15 foods with the least pesticides are called the Clean 15, while the 12 foods with the most pesticides are called the Dirty Dozen. 


    CLEAN FIFTEEN (ok to buy if non-organic)

    Sweet Corn*
    Avocado
    Pineapple
    Cabbage
    Onions
    Sweet peas frozen
    Papaya•
    Asparagus
    Mango
    Eggplant (aubergine)
    Honeydew Melon
    Kiwi
    Cantaloupe
    Cauliflower
    Grapefruit

    DIRTY DOZEN (only buy these if organic)

    Strawberries
    Spinach
    Nectarines
    Apples
    Peaches
    Pears
    Cherries
    Grapes
    Celery
    Tomato
    Sweet bell peppers
    Potato

    *A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from genetically modified seeds. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid genetically modified produce.

    The Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF)

    In the UKThe Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) survey the pesticide residues in food every quarter.

    Not all produce is tested every time, so I’ve taken the summary from (a rather outdated 2005 report by) the Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN) and pulled the data together myself from 2015 and 2016 files for the most current list -

    aka The Clean and Mean 18.

    PRiF monitors popular home-produced and imported food to check for any pesticide residues.  This is done in order to check that:

    -No unexpected residues are occurring in crops (this backs up the statutory approvals process for pesticides)
    -Residues do not exceed the statutory Maximum Residue Level (MRL)
    -Human dietary intakes of residues in foods are within acceptable levels

    The top 18 foods with the least pesticides are called the Clean 18, while the 18 foods with the most pesticides are called the Mean 18. 

    CLEAN 18 (ok to buy if non-organic)

    Apples*
    Aubergine (eggplant)
    Banana
    Broccoli
    Brussels sprouts
    Celery
    Courgette
    Kiwis
    Leak
    Mango
    Nectarine
    Onion
    Pears
    Peas without pods
    Plantain
    Potato
    Radish
    Sweetcorn

    MEAN 18 (only buy these if organic)

    Bean Sprouts
    Beans with pods
    Berries: Blueberries
    Berries: Blackberries
    Berries: Strawberries
    Chilli peppers
    Citrus: oranges, grapefruit and lemon if peel is consumed
    Cucumber
    Exotic fruit
    Ginger
    Grapes
    Lettuce
    Melon
    Okra
    Peppers
    Pineapple
    Prepared fresh fruit
    Tomatoes

    *This varies due to season significantly so personally I will always stick to organic.

    These lists are super handy to take with you on your shopping trips or while travelling to know when to buy organic and when it’s ok to buy conventional.

    I hope that in the future, Organic Certification will be Government funded and that the poisons used to grow our crops will need to be listed in the ingredients list of every label by law.

    Master of The Month | Mel Wells | Raw Chocolate Goji Berry Brownies Recipe

    Master of The Month | Mel Wells | Raw Chocolate Goji Berry Brownies Recipe

    I met Mel at a Hay House bloggers event, just before my book ‘The Uncook Book‘ was published and when her own book ‘The Goddess Revolution‘ was still only a dream.

    Today, we don’t only share the great honour of belonging to the Hay House family, we share a massive vision for a brighter, more vibrant, greener, kinder planet via inspiring others to be kinder to themselves. And Mel does this impressively well, every single day…

    She helps women worldwide quit dieting and finally end the war on their bodies through an abundance mindset and practicing true self love. She does this through her website, social media and an online academy. If you ever do get the chance to meet her in person at one of her retreats, I would seize the opportunity, if only to see for yourself how happy, joyful, beautiful and lovable you can be when you are as loving, sweet, kind, friendly and non-judgemental, as Mel is to herself and to everyone around her.

    Meet our April’s Master of the Month…

    mel wells - credit to caroline white2

    DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY OF EATING AND DRINKING.

    No matter what I choose to eat or drink, I always start by listening to my body and make my food choices accordingly. Sometimes I’ll fancy avo-toast for breakfast, sometimes it will be my sweet Sunday pancakes and sometimes I’ll just have some green juice!

    For lunch I might have a salad or eat out – there are so many great healthy restaurants in London now and then for dinner I might have my Green Goddess bowl of love or a thai green curry. I love to batch cook my main meals so dinner one night will often be lunch the next day too.

    WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO EAT WELL AND STAY HEALTHY?

    My biggest inspiration has always been my Dad. I started researching diet and wellness when he was diagnosed with cancer, and that was the catalyst for everything I’ve done since, including becoming a health coach. I have also been hugely motivated and inspired by T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study, and the work of Kris Carr. She’s amazing!

    WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST WEAKNESS WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD AND HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?

    I think my biggest weakness is my schedule! I have an amazing but super busy schedule, and often it’s just too tempting to overeat in case I don’t have time to eat later or to get too engrossed in work and then skip food altogether! I have to actively remind myself to pause and give myself the time to sit and enjoy a meal. I drink a lot of green juice and smoothies on the go though which keeps me feeling nourished all day.

    MY TOP TIP FOR:

    Improving your diet is… focus on crowding in good things, rather than cutting out ‘bad’ things.

    Staying healthy while travelling is… to plan ahead and research healthy restaurants to visit! I spent 6 weeks city hopping in the USA last year, and loved exploring all the different healthy spots.

    Detoxing is… super important but easily used as a way to crash diet. To be done mindfully!

    Immunising is… much more effective when you have less meat and dairy in your diet, less processed foods, and more raw foods, more plants and more whole foods.

    WHAT’S THE NICEST THING ANYONE HAS EVER SAID TO YOU?

    The best compliments I receive are when a client tells me that the work I do has changed her life for the better. I could not wish for anything more and there is nothing more fulfilling than knowing that what you are doing is making a difference.

    HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED?

    I’d love to be remembered as being a force for good in the diet industry, and a change-maker. I hope to inspire thousands of women to ditch dieting for good and find true food and body freedom for life.

    IF YOU GOT TO KEEP ONLY 3 OF YOUR BELONGINGS: 1 THING FROM YOUR KITCHEN, 1 THING FROM YOUR GARDEN AND 1 THING FROM YOUR BOOKSHELF- WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

    From my kitchen it would have to be my Sage Juicer. Totally adore it. From my garden it would be my herb plants, for summer salads and from my bookshelf it would be….a notebook! I am constantly scribbling down notes and making lists – I would be lost without a notebook!

    IF YOU COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY FOR 3 GUESTS (DEAD OR ALIVE)- WHO WOULD THEY BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE?

    My Dad

    Kris Carr – my biggest foodie inspiration

    Marie Forleo – my biggest business inspiration

    WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT LIFE IS BETTER RAW?

    Quite simply for how it makes you feel! Your body is so clever and will always tell you what works and what doesn’t, some way or another. The body works better when it’s fuelled with more plants, more raw foods – you will have lasting energy, sleep better, better digestion, and lower risks of getting ill. Plus you are contributing to making our planet a healthier place for us all to live in. It’s a win win.

    ——————————————————-

    Our Master of The Month shares her favourite raw food recipe…

    RAW CHOCOLATE GOJI BERRY BROWNIES

    IMG_1382

    ——————————————————-

    The Ingredients

    4 cups pitted dates
    4 cups walnuts
    1 cup raw cacao powder
    1 cup goji berries
    1 cup pumpkin seeds
    2 Tbsp coconut oil
    1 large avocado
    2 Tbsp Agave Nectar

    ——————————————————-

    The How

    Blend the walnuts and raw cacao together in a food processor. Add the dates in, and keep blending, a few at a time.
    Add in the avocado, coconut oil, and agave, and continue to blend.
    Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add in the goji berries and pumpkin seeds to the mix, striring with a wooden spoon so they are well distributed.
    Line a cake tin or deep set baking tray with parchment paper – and fill the mix into the tray. Using the wooden spoon, press the mix into the tray so it is spread out and level.
    Freeze the tray for 1 hour.
    Cut into brownie pieces and serve to your guests!

    ——————————————————-

    For more on Mel Wells, go to  www.thegreengoddesslife.com

    BLUEBERRY AND CREAM LAYER BIRTHDAY CAKE

    I love birthdays. Love it when people are proud to announce their age, love to see others wholeheartedly celebrate the day they were born, love it that I was brought up in a family where birthdays are a big deal, love the anticipation of birthdays and the celebrations that continue for an entire month starting on September 4th for me!
    I'm so incredibly grateful for this life, so why be modest and hold back on announcing the day you got the opportunity to come into it, right? 100% right! High five to that! I'm clapping now. You try high-fiving yourself :))
    This year is also a little extra special for me. You see, I have a bit of a fascination with the number 28 and that is how old I've just turned. I've always had the strongest feeling, that this year whenever it comes will somehow be even more amazing than the previous 28 and I trust my intuition big time.
    All I can say is it hasn't even been a week and already amazing things are happening for me... for instance I've employed my first ever project management assistant!!! It is only part time for now, but it's a big leap and Michelle is an absolute gem. Very blessed to work with her and will be updating you on our progress later.
    For now, it's all about the cake. THEE CAKE. Of all the cakes I've ever made, this one takes the biscuit. And it so happened that this one was my very own birthday cake, made by yours truly.
    BLUEBERRY AND CREAM LAYER CAKE
    (serves 16)
     
    For the essentials
    9 inch cake tin
    blender
    food processor
    For the base
    2 cups brazil nuts
    2 cups dates, pitted
    1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
    For the cream layer
    4 cups cashews, soaked 4-8 hours and rinsed
    juice of 2 lemons
    1 cup cacao butter, gently melted
    3 tbsp coconut oil, gently melted
    1/2 cup agave nectar
    1 banana, peeled
    2 vanilla pods, seed scrapings only
    2 tsp vanilla bean extract
    1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
    For the blueberry layer
    4 cups blueberries
    1,5 cup dates, pitted
    4 tbsp coconut oil, gently melted
    zest of 2 oranges
    2 tbsp chia seeds
    1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
    optional: 2 tbsp strawberry powder
    -Prepare the base of the cake by first processing the nuts using an S-blade in your food processor. Add dates and salt, then process again until everything is broken down evenly. Transfer the mixture to a cake tin and press it down using your first, until you create an even base.
    -Prepare the cream layer by blending all the ingredients using a tamper or pulse function. Blend until smooth. Using the measuring on the side of your blender as reference, note how much cream is in there now and divide by 2 to calculate how much half of it would be. Pour cream into the cake tin until the amount remaining in blender is down to half. Transfer the cake to set in a freezer while making the next layer. If you only have one blender jug, transfer the remaining cream into a bowl and keep at room temperature to avoid premature setting.
    -Prepare the blueberry layer by blending together all ingredients, except the chia seeds (make sure to leave them aside until last minute, otherwise the mixture will set too early). Transfer half the blueberry mix into a bowl, quickly mix in half of chia seeds (1 tablespoon) and pour the mixture over the set cream layer. Transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes.
    -Pour the remaining half of vanilla cream into the cake, briskly sliding the tin from side to side on your kitchen top to make sure the cream spreads in a nice even layer. Transfer to the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until semi set, so that it is strong enough to hold up the final layer. Make sure to keep stirring the remaining blueberry mixture every five minutes, so it doesn't set in it's bowl. Add the the last tablespoon of chia seeds, stir well and spread it over the cake with a spatula. Transfer to the fridge and store in the fridge too, where it should last for unto 7 days.
     
    One of my 'month long celebration' activities this year has been attending a Secret Cinema event with the girls. Here are a few images from the most hilarious and fun night, which was themed 'Back To School Carnival- Grease the movie'...
     
    And just one more snap of the cake. She's just too purdy not to...