Recipe: Rainbow Kale Rolls
These colourful, nutrient packed kale rolls are from the 21-Day Sugar Detox book by Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites. I’ve been following Dianne’s work since I started my own paleo journey because of her sensible and practical approach to nutrition and paleo (I think her Practical Paleo book is a fantastic introduction to the diet and lifestyle by the way), so I was very excited when her new book arrived in the post.
If you’ve never done a sugar/carb detox or a similar program before, Diane’s 21-Day Sugar Detox would be a really great place to start. First of all, it’s only 21 days long so it’s not as intimidating as some of the other similar programs.
And when you look through the meal plans and recipes you kind of forget that it’s a detox or a diet at all – everything looks tasty and satiating – I think that anyone would breeze through it. Also, the program has multiple versions with modifications for athletes, pescatarians and those with the autoimmune issues so you can really tailor it to your own needs and lifestyle.
The book is laid out very well (I am a design geek so these things matter) with lots of useful tips and facts about food and nutrition. It feels like Diane has thought of everything when putting it together. And the food is very accessible with lots of creative, tasty recipes and plenty of options for those avoiding eggs or nightshades, for example.
I know from my personal experience of cutting down on sugar and carbs that anyone would feel fantastic after the program so please check it out either on Balanced Bites website or on Amazon. Oh, and I think this is a great video to give you a good overview of the book. If you feel like you need some motivation and encouragement, you can join one of the monthly support groups, check out the forum discussions here.
Now back to the rainbow rolls as they caught my eyes as soon as I opened the recipes section. Mine are not as ‘rainbowy’ as Diane’s as I didn’t have the beetroot or the red cabbage but I used turnip fermented with beetroot juice, red tomatoes and avocado so there is definitely a rainbow of colours there. You can pretty much roll anything you have on hand as long as you try and get as many colours in there as possible, which is what makes these rolls so nutritious. I have these for lunch and even breaky but you could also have a dinner party with guests rolling their own versions from a spread of colourful ingredients.
- 3-4 tbsp of Almond Cheese spread (see recipe below)
- 4 kale or collard greens leaves
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 8 turkey or salami slices (Diane’s recipe used thinly sliced turkey or chicken breast)
- 2 tbsp chopped green onion
- 2 tbsp sliced fermented turnips
- Other options: thinly sliced red cabbage, beetroot, cucumber, asparagus
- Make almond “cheese” spread ahead of time as it requires to soak the almonds for 8 hours. It will last in the fridge so you can use for other purposes.
- Lay the green leaves on a cutting board and remove the stems with a knife, keeping the leaves connected at the top. See pic.
- Overlap the greens so there is no space in between, forming a circle or oval layer. Depending on the leaf size you can either do individual leaf rolls or use 2-3 leaves to form a giant roll like me.
- Lay a few slices of salami or sliced turkey on the bottom and spread 1-2 tablespoons of “cheese” spread on the bottom. By the way, if you don’t have the time to make the spread, you could use a ready-made babaganush or beetroot dip. Layer vegetables on top.
- Wrap everything like a burrito, folding the bottom up first, then the side and then roll up until everything is tightly packed inside. Wrap in plastic to store in the fridge until mealtime or cut in half and tuck in.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 0, unless you fry up some chicken or beef
Number of servings: 2 big rolls or 4 smaller ones
Herb Almond “Cheese” Spread (also from 21-Day Sugar Detox)
1 cup raw almonds
2 1/4 cups water, divided
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
2 tbsp minced fresh chives
sea salt and pepper to taste
Place the almonds and 2 cups of water in a glass or other container and let them soak, covered, in a dark place, for 8 hours or overnight (this is called activating the almonds and also softening them for the dip). Drain and rinse the almonds, then place in a food processor with the remaining 1/4 cup of water and the rest of the ingredients. Process until smooth and creamy, stopping and scraping the sides of the processor, about 5 minutes total. Diane recommends adding a little extra water for a lighter texture if that’s what you like.