Vegetable Egg Rolls with Ginger-Plum Dipping Sauce

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Makes 12-14 Egg Rolls

Egg Roll Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 12-14 egg roll sheets

 Ginger-Plum Dipping Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper, seeded & minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 prunes, re-hydrated by simmering in 1-cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onion, including green shoots

Egg Role Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Sauté ginger and garlic in oil until nicely browned.
  • Add the vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.  Do not over cook; the vegetables should remain slightly crispy.
  • Add the chili flakes, soy sauce and black pepper, cooking for 2 minutes more.  Set aside to cool.
  • Lay an egg roll sheet on a dry surface. Place one heaping tablespoon of stuffing on the bottom third of the sheet, brush a little water along the edges and roll up like a burrito.
  • Spray a sheet pan with olive oil and put the rolls on the pan. Lightly spray the rolls with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes at 350˚F.

Dipping Sauce Instructions

  • Combine the garlic, agave, red chile, ginger and lime juice in a small bowl.
  • Bring the water to a boil and add 4 dried prunes, reduce to a simmer and cover.  Simmer the prunes for about 5 minutes, or until very soft.  Remove from heat and cool.
  • Add the prunes and their liquid to the ginger and lime mixture and transfer to a blender.  Puree until smooth.
  • Serve sauce in small bowls with a sprinkle of green onion in each bowl.

Enjoy!

Cranberry Persimmon Salsa

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Cranberry Persimmon Salsa, Rancho La Puerta Style

.  A tasty seasonal topping for tacos of any kind, or grilled shrimp kebabs. On Rancho La Puerta’s organic farm, they cultivate the squat persimmons known as fuyu, which are ready in the fall. Fuyus are non-astringent (more free of tannins) and get sweeter after picking, but don’t confuse ripening with rotting; chop while still somewhat firm. The larger heart-shaped persimmons are NOT suitable for this recipe. Mango can be used instead of persimmon.

Makes 2 cups. 

1 cup

Ingredients:

  • fresh cranberries
2-3 tb
  • rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
¼ cup
  • diced red onion
¼ cup
  • chopped cilantro leaves
¼
  • minced Serrano or Jalapeño pepper, seeded
dash
  • sea salt, to taste
4 tb
  • fresh lime juice (or to taste)
4
  • whole small fuyu persimmons (or substitute 1 mango), peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice

Directions:

Cook cranberries very gently in sweet rice wine vinegar until skins pop. Monitor fluid level carefully. Set aside to cool. Combine all other ingredients in a serving bowl, adding cranberries and persimmons last. Serve over tacos or other grilled favorites.

Exotic Mushroom and Spinach Beggars’ Purses in Phyllo

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This makes a lovely appetizer for a dinner party or any special event.  Tie each purse like a gift with a ribbon of green, and a fresh, edible flower. Mushrooms are a gift: delicious and packed with antioxidants. For the filling, use a variety of exotic mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, portobello, and cremini. The filling may be made a day ahead.

The purses are very quick to make with versatile phyllo leaves, found in the freezer section of most super­markets. Spraying the purses with a small amount of oil helps the phyllo bake up crisp and brown. Use a refillable household spray bottle of oil rather than expensive cooking spray.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more to spray the phyllo

½ medium white onion, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

4 ounces fresh exotic mushrooms, such as oyster or shiitake, stemmed and roughly chopped (about 2 cups)

1 pound fresh spinach leaves

6 basil leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

⅛ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

½ cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup crumbled feta

¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 extra-large egg, beaten

1 package phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions

Long chive stems with flowers, or green onion tops, cut into long “ties,” and small flowers with stems (optional)

Directions:

1. In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes, or until soft.

2. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring until they are soft. Scrape the mushrooms into a small mixing bowl and return the pan to the heat.

3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to the pan and cook the spinach until just wilted. Cool, drain, finely chop the spinach, and add it to the mushrooms. Add the basil, dill, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg, and stir to combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

4. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, feta, and mozzarella cheeses with the beaten egg, then add to the mushrooms and spinach. (The recipe may be made ahead to this point, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Drain thoroughly in a large sieve before proceeding.)

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

6. Read the package directions on phyllo dough. Unfold the phyllo sheets. If they are full sheets, cut in half across the middle to make approximate 6-inch squares. Discard any cracked or broken sheets. (To prevent drying, always keep the phyllo covered with a dry kitchen towel when not in use). Set 1 square of phyllo on a baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil. Set 2 squares of phyllo on top at an angle to the first, and spray the top sheet. Set another square of phyllo on the top at a different angle and spray the top sheet. You should have 4 phyllo leaves in the stack. If the phyllo cracks at any point, add a patch.

7. Spoon ½ cup of filling into the center of the phyllo sheets. Gather up the corners of the phyllo like a kerchief and hold in one hand. Pinch the bundle just above the filling and squeeze gently. Give a little twist to make a purse. Repeat with the remaining phyllo and filling.

8. Bake the purses for 35 minutes, until the filling is very hot all the way through and the phyllo is crisp and brown. Serve within 15 minutes, or the bottoms will become soggy.

9. Just before serving, cut the flower from the chive, leaving a 2-inch stem. Pour hot tap water over the chives to soften them slightly, drain, and pat dry. Gently tie a chive around the neck of each purse and tuck in the flower. If using green onion tops, prepare them in the same way.

Variations

※ Make tiny purses for a party, with 1 tablespoon of filling. (Tying with chives is up to you.)

※ Make one big spanakopita by lining a large baking dish with several layers of oiled phyllo sheets. Spread the filling evenly over the top and finish with four more layers of oiled phyllo. Bake until crisp and well-browned, then cut into small squares to serve.