Thai Winter Rolls

Thai Spring Rolls are refreshing bundles of vegetables. As the name suggests I feel these are best enjoyed in the Spring, when we can relish in the glorious new veggies nature has in store for us. But, what shall we do when there is snow on the ground and Spring seems months away... Thai Winter Rolls.

The innards of the Thai Winter Roll is a simple salad that I created years ago as a lil' node to the Raw Food Movement, Winter veggies and one of my favorite vegetable juice combinations: Beets, Ginger, Garlic, Orange, and sometimes carrots. I am also a huge fan of raw Sweet Potatoes-- often prefer them over carrot sticks.

To shred up my Raw Beets and Sweet Potatoes I use a food processor, but I have also used a simple handheld or box grater when making small batches. Feel free to make the Beet & Sweet Potato Slaw without the Rice Papers, as it is one of my favorite side dishes. I only decided to bundle up this slaw when I was asked to cater an event at Golden's Urban Escape Day Spa in January. These little guys were a smash hit!

Please let me know your experience with making these rolls.... and if you come up with any other creative ways to pack up a Thai Roll, please let me know too!

Sweet Potato & Beet Slaw

(aka... the "salad filling")

Serves 4-6

1 sweet potato, peeled

1 beet, peeled

1 orange, zest and juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 inch ginger, grated/minced

3 tbls olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp salt and pepper

½ cup cilantro, leaves picked from the stems & left whole

Shred the sweet potatoes and beets with a box grater or cut them into large chunks and grate in a food processor (quick & easy!). Make a dressing with the orange juice and zest, garlic, ginger, and whisk in the olive oil. Add the cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to your desired taste. Set aside to allow the flavors to meld. Add in the shredded vegetables. Toss until well coated.

To Make the Rolls, you will need:

1 package of Sping Rolls Skins- about 15-20 (found in the Asian Section of many grocery stores)

shallow bowl (big enough to hold the wrapper) full of warm water

2 dinner plates (if you have an assistant!)

After the salad is prepared, place a Rice Wrapper in the shallow bowl of warm water for about 2-6 seconds, until it becomes flexible. Lay the wrapper down on the dinner plate and place 2-5 pieces of the cilantro in the center. With a fork, scoop up about 1/2 cup of the salad filling-- the fork will allow excess dressing to drip off.

Next fold the two edges until they almost meet in the center.

Bring the bottom of the wrap up and tuck in the salad filling, tucking the edge insde. Continue to roll in the same direction, until the roll looks like.....

This-- Tada! You now have created a Thai Winter Roll

Please let me know if you have any other favorite variations on the Spring Roll!

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Peanut Sauce-- Quick & Easy

Peanut Sauce can be used to dip raw veggies, drizzled on a salad, or added to a saute of colorful vegetables. The ease of making peanut sauce is soooo simple and it lasts at least a week or more also. This is also an excellant dipping sauce for my Thai Winter Rolls.

Let me know your favorite way to use peanut sauce!

Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup peanut butter

½ cup coconut milkor try coconut juice

1 tbls soy sauce (wheat free if avoiding gluten)

1 tbls rice wine vinegar

2 tsp fresh minced ginger

1 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbls sweet pepper sauce (optional- if you like it spicier)

2 tbls cilantro, minced

Whisk together all of the ingredients. Adjust the seasonings to your prefered taste and add more peanut butter or coconut milk/juice depending on how thick you like it.