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How to make healthy salad rolls (AKA your new favorite lunch)

Photo: Mikaela Reuben

Coconut Mushroom Salad Roll_1Mikaela Reuben is a rising (healthy) rock star chef, cooking for celebrity clients like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, and traveling the world to whip up meals for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on tour and host wellness retreats. We teamed up with Reuben, who has training in holistic nutrition, for a series on super-seasonal, Ayurveda-influenced recipes—to give your own healthy kitchen the star treatment.

While the warmer months may be coming to a close (tear!) there are still those warm days in September when soup and hot food just doesn’t really fit the bill.

Behold, these coconut mushroom salad rolls. “Cooling herbs, such as cilantro and Thai basil, will decrease the heat we experience during these months,” explains Ayurvedic and healthy cooking expert Mikaela Reuben.

“The coconut is a great source of healthy fat and fiber, which also has a balancing effect for this warmer season. The addition of highly nutritious, raw vegetables such as carrots, spinach, and cucumber provide the six essential tastes to calm all the doshas [or your personal constitution, according to Ayurveda].”

Whip them up on a warm September day and enjoy them for a healthy lunch all week long. —Jamie McKillop

20131112_Mikaela-Reuben_5753Coconut Mushroom Salad Rolls

10 crimini mushrooms
1 young coconut
2 heaping tsp. grated ginger (about 1 1/2 inches whole ginger)
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 1/2 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 package bean thread noodles (about 100 grams)
1 carrot
1 cucumber
1 cup chopped spinach
⅓ cup diced cilantro
2 Tbsp diced sweet Thai basil
1 1/2 avocados
1 package 8 1/2-inch salad roll wrappers

Cut the top off of the coconut, drain water (save to drink) and scoop out meat. Dice mushrooms and coconut meat into small pieces. Boil 4 cups of water. Once the water is boiling, turn off heat and soak noodles until the noodles are cooked. Strain and rinse with cold water and let dry. Add the ginger, lime juice, Bragg’s, and toasted sesame oil to a bowl with coconut and mushrooms.

Peel the carrot skin off, then continue to peel the rest of the carrot into thin slices. Peel the outside of the cucumber and continue to peel pieces until you reach the fleshy inside. Put the strained noodles into the bowl and cut into smaller pieces with scissors. Stir all ingredients together and add more sesame, lime, or Bragg’s to taste. Cut the avocado into thin pieces. Chop spinach into thin strips.

A good workable surface for rolling is a moistened paper towel so the rice paper does not get stuck to the surface. Put warm water onto a plate and allow rice paper to sit for 5-7 seconds. It should soften and be pliable when ready to use. Put a small handful of carrots and cucumbers, a few pieces of thinly sliced avocado, a small handful of spinach, some of the noodle mixture down the middle of the wrap and roll. Fold the corners in to hold the contents inside.

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(Photos: Mikaela Reuben)