cooking

A favorite healthy snack

We ran away this last winter to SE Asia. We were mainly in Vietnam, but had some side visits to Cambodia and Thailand. It was an amazing trip! You can scroll through my Instagram to see some of those adventures. We definitely fell in love with the food. One dish that I just can’t stop making are the fresh Salad Rolls with Peanut Sauce. This last weekend I demonstrated how to make them at our mountain Farmers Market. I thought you all might enjoy seeing the video my friend took of the process. Plus I wanted to share the recipe. This is my rendition from a class we took at the Eco Coconut Tour in HoiAn, Vietnam. I didn’t link this tour as it just wasn’t what we had expected and I can’t recommend it. But the very next day we found a great restaurant and cooking school! We took two classes at Kumquat Restaurant and highly recommend it. I haven’t made any of the recipes we learned there yet, but they were memorable and easy to follow.

For these Salad Rolls I love adding lots of seasonal herbs and of course why not put in some edible flowers to up the game. Right now I am using marinaded Dandelion leaves, a mix of mints, lemon balm, chives, a variety of basils, calendula petals, chive blossoms, thyme blossoms. Really the sky’s the limit!

Vietnamese Salad Rolls


  • rice paper

  • lettuces

  • herb mix (include mint and basil if possible)

  • halved shrimp or thinly sliced chicken or tofu

  • slivered carrot

  • slivered scallion

  • toasted peanuts (optional)

  • fried shallots (optional)


Marinade for the carrots and scallion. Mix all ingredients together. Keep in marinade 1 hour.

  • chopped ginger (to your liking)

  • 1 Tbl sugar

  • juice from a lime

  • 1/4 cup water


Moisten rice paper in room temp water and place on a plate. Put a small amount of your ingredients, except protein, on the lower lower half of the rice paper. Make sure you are a 1/4 inch in from edges. Place protein just above greens. If using shrimp place so each outside half is down on the paper. Begin to roll, tucking in sides as you go. If you have to many ingredients you will find them hard to keep together.

Peanut Sauce

mix all ingredients together

  • 4 cloves garlic minced

  • 2 Tbl sugar

  • 2 Tbl light soy sauce

  • lg pinch salt

  • 3 Tbl sesame oil

  • 3 Tbl creamy peanut butter

  • 3/4 cup water

  • juice of 1 lime

  • lg pinch red chili flakes


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Wild Foods

This last Saturday I took a class over the river at Wild Craft Studio School. I should say I took another class in the studio, as I could honestly be there every Saturday for the wonderfully curated class schedule. This particular class was taught by Herbalist and wild foods educator Elise Krohn. I took a Tree Medicine class from her in the fall that blew my mind. If you ever have a chance to learn from her take a class. She approaches each subject in a unique way. The Spring Wild Foods class began with a trail walk near a stream bed. I took this with the understanding that I wasn't going to learn about new plants, just new ways to use them. Well that idea was dispelled in the first 5 minutes with the flowers of the Big Leaf Maple.IMG_2687 I've really never paid much attention to them other than the golden beauty of the trees in the spring against the evergreen background. It didn't occur to me that they were fragrant or that they were edible. Just like Elder or Hawthorn you can pick the flowers, batter them and fry them as fritters. And later that day we did. We had an afternoon tea of nettle liquor with our flower fritters and dandelion flower biscuits topped with nettle pesto. IMG_2690 Look how bright green that is! Mine tends to be much darker color. The group that worked on this added other wild greens we gathered on our walk. I was so happy that I was going to learn new information I was like the eager young school child always with her hand in the air. After a while I felt like I should probably have kept quiet, but I was just too excited all day.

I love learning! I love adding new knowledge to a subject (like nettles). The walk was beautiful--even on a rainy day. I saw old plant friends and met several new ones. Found that a fiddle head I'd eaten in the past should probably be passed up in the future. Back in the studio we made the pesto, pickled dandelion buds (to which I've added chive buds at home) and a nettle, sesame salt. Mainly I just plain had a blissed out day with like minded people that enjoy getting dirty outside with the plants.

I was very inspired by our discoveries and of course see a different kind of future class on this little spot of Mt Hood. I love the idea of mixing cultivated and wild foods. Of investigating the healing properties of food. Of bringing out the best flavors with minimal additional ingredients. And of course have this all be as pleasing to the eyes as well as to our taste buds. My little spot is not ready for prime time yet. But it will be eventually. I have a list of classes that will be back yard based. For me taking classes inspires me more and more. Some for teaching, some for my own writings (definitely not for prime time yet), all for learning  and keeping the brain juices flowing.

100 Days of Making

Today begins the #100DaysProject. Each participant creates (builds on) a project over a 100 day period. You chose your own project, medium and level of challenge. It is daily posted over at Instagram with your own # that dedicates a series of 100 photos to your individual project. I am documenting #100daysoffood. I'll be posting photos of food I've made, been inspired by, am eating while traveling. All food that speaks to me in some way. Here I will be doing some writing (prose or recipes) about what I feel about said food. Not all the writing will end up here, but this is a great way for me to jumpstart some getting recipes on paper. I love this kind of creative accountability. I need it on occasion. Here is a link to the original post about this project. And here is a link to Cynthia Morris from whom I found this project. Cynthia will be creating a painting each day for the next 100 days! It's not too late to join in the fun--Today is Day 1! What would your #100dayproject be? It can be absolutely anything. This is perfect timing as we began lunch service at Gino's Restaurant today. I am always food focused whether from the very beginning of that food still growing in the garden or placing a lovely plate of something in front of my guests. I love what we were serving today and I love that it might be totally different by Wednesday. Following along on Instagram will bring you lots of photos of tasty Gino's food.

However, as the 100 days progress there will be change of scenery as we will be traveling abroad for 5 weeks. I am excited to be inspired by new food experiences and traditional spring dishes that I haven't had in quite a few years.

And I am feeling better. Not 100%, but at least 90%. I have been drinking a lot of medicinal teas and finally slowed myself down and just plain slept. I hope to be back to yoga by week's end. The best way not to get sick is to live the healthy life. Movement, drinking lots of good water, eating foods and herbs that are full of health, positive thoughts can't hurt either;)