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Lessons from Speakers Institute’s Weekend Premier Bootcamp

Speaking Lessons

Have you ever been so nervous you can’t hear yourself because you heart was beating so fast and so loud?

I hadn’t, not until a few weeks ago at the Speaker’s Institute’s Premiere Bootcamp.

Honestly, I’ve never been interested in speaking on stage. I’m more into one on one conversations or talking to a small group of people in an intimate setting. But I’ve always wanted to become a better storyteller and have more confidence when I speak. I think being able to speak with influence is a great skill to have and that is why I went to this bootcamp: simply to be better than before.

I’m glad I did.  I learned so much during this bootcamp and met so many wonderful people. I learned not just how to speak better, but also about myself, my fears and my abilities. I also learned a bit about recycling technology, health and nutrition, physiotherapy, psychology, recycling technology, ocean conservation, agile software, and so much more!

The wonderful people at September 2018 Premiere Bootcamp

Today I thought I’d share some of the key lessons I learned from this transformative event. But first, let me tell you how I got there in the first place.

As with many people who were at the bootcamp, I went to Sam Cawthorn’s one-day free “StoryShowing” event back in June after being invited by my friend Stella, who, I can safely say, is an event junkie. But the event was so impressive that I signed up to their paid weekend bootcamp event on the spot. Already I learned valuable lesson number one – the free event ‘funnel’ works.

Honestly, I think I waited way too long for the bootcamp. Owning to prior commitments, I chose a date that was four months ahead. By then, the excitement from the one-day event had already worn off and the thought of spending the whole weekend learning to ‘speak’ (not to mention the gruesome 8am-8pm daily schedule) was becoming less and less appealing. Thankfully, I had the best accountability buddy in the world: Money. The only thing that kept me from bailing out was the fact that I had already paid for this event, and it wasn’t cheap.

And so, I went, completely unprepared. I had selected a topic to speak about, but apart from that, had done zero practicing or rehearsing. Day one was the worst. I completely flunked it on stage. I felt completely out of my depth, stupid, and scared.  It is quite ironic really, because my talk was about embracing the “comfort zone” and – yet there I was, in the most uncomfortable position I could ever imagine, and failing miserably.

However, through this experience, I gained so much clarity not just on my idea, but also with the best way to convey it. Every day of the bootcamp I had to got to speak on stage. And every day I was able to refine my message through feedback from expert speakers and other fellow students. The best feedback I received was from one of the students who said that with my first talk, he disagreed with my idea completely. For the second talk he was not fully convinced but thought that there was something there. But with the third and final speech, he was completely on my side. Same idea, same message, different speaker – me, version 2.0. And with that said, here are the key things that I’ve learned that completely transform me as a speaker, as a storyteller, as an influencer, as an individual. Are you ready?!

 1. It’s not about you. It’s never about you.

This was the biggest lesson from my first talk, after I completely bombed.

Imagine this, you’re standing on stage in front of strangers, eyes looking at you, a big digital clock counting down, you’ve forgotten your next line and your hands and legs are trembling. You’re terrified. You don’t want to look stupid. You don’t want to look bad. And you start saying ‘stuff’.

The more you’re trying to make yourself look good, the more nervous you become. You become obsessive with trying to remember every single word, and when you don’t (and trust me, it will happen), you’ll get even more nervous and start saying things that don’t make sense. Game over.

But it’s not about you. You need to free yourself of the fear that you might fail, that you might look like a fool, that you might bomb. Because your audience don’t really care about you, they only care about your message, and how it can help them.

If you forget about your own ego and start thinking about your audience, the people you’re talking to, and how you can give them something valuable to go home with, that’s when you start becoming a better speaker. And it’s quite liberating, really.

“Stop focusing on trying to look good/avoid looking bad and start focusing on making a difference.”

2. Speak from the heart.

I know this sounds very cliched and hippie-like. As a scientist and a professional auditor, I struggled with this idea myself. I am pro-fact, evidence-based, and head-first. In my line of work, I assess and review evidence and facts, not what people say or ‘feel’.

But as I dig deeper into this idea, the more I see the point, especially if you want to be an effective storyteller, or an influencer.  Studies have shown that buying decisions are made based on emotion and not logic. Even with what we believe are logical decisions, there is always an emotional part (or whole) made by our subconscious mind. Our conscious mind then uses our logic to justify that decision.

As a speaker, understanding this is essential. Especially when you’re trying to get others to support your idea. You need to connect with your audience by speaking not just to their rational minds, but also to their emotions and their subconscious mind.

‘How to speak from the heart?’ I hear you ask. Well, here’s how you can do it:

  1. Tell a genuine story from your personal life. “There was this one time when I…”
  2. Connect the story with your message. “That’s when I realised….”
  3. Explain how your message can benefit your audience. “This can help you with…”

When you speak from the heart you build a deeper connection with your audience. They’ll be able to relate to you, buy into your idea or see your point of view. It can be scary to talk about some of these personal stories but often, the reason is because of how significant it was for you. And if it was significant for you, chances are, it will be for others too.

3. Notes will f*** you up

If you want to be a better speaker, you must get rid of your notes. Though I get that they might provide you with some level of security and comfort, at the end of the day you (should) already know what your message is. You don’t need your notes, truly. If you absolutely need to have them, then make them talk points, not a script to read from. And if you’re worried that you’re going to forget, stumble and look like an idiot without your notes, go back to point number 1.

I saw first-hand how this played out during the bootcamp. I remember it very clearly.  It was day 2 of the bootcamp. Everyone had to do their six-minutes talk on stage. One of my fellow students went on stage and he had his notes with him. You could tell that he was nervous. He was started reading from his notes, and then went off for a while, and when he returned to the notes in his hands, he looked like he might have lost his place among his notes. There was this long awkward pause, and the speaker was getting more and more nervous with every second that passed. I could feel the suspense as the room was dead silent and everyone was waiting to see what he was going to do next.

And then something drastic happened. He tossed his notes onto the table in front of him in frustration. He shook himself and then just started talking. In that moment something changed. He was a completely different speaker. The difference was night and day. He was more ‘himself’, his voice got louder, he became more relaxed and he was much enjoyable to listen to. At the end of the talk someone asked him why he threw away the notes. He said, ‘the notes f-ed me up, man!”. He already knew what he wanted to say. His notes were holding him back!

There are so many more gold nuggets I’d love to share with you, but hopefully these three will get you off to a good start. Whether you need to present at work, give a talk at your local community, or even pitch a holiday idea to your partner, I think it’s worth honing your speaking skills. If nothing else, it makes you feel more confident and comfortable whenever you speak in front of crowd, and that, my friend, is a wonderful feeling.

Yours sincerely,

Keren

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Living your unremarkable life

A couple days ago I learned about a incredible woman. A woman who was once dubbed ‘the most beautiful woman in the world”. A woman who did not only conquered the big screen, but whose intelligence saw her inventing a technology to help combat the Nazis in World War II, which later on formed the basis of WiFi we have today. A woman whose patriotism saw her giving her invention to the U.S Navy for free, only to be told that it would be better if she supports the war effort by selling kisses instead. Which she did by the way, $7million worth of kisses, all in just one night.

When I learned about actress and one the 20th century’s most notable inventors, Hedy Lamarr, I couldn’t help but feel so inspired and fascinated, but also a tad sad. Her glamourous day job as a starlet and her past time hobby studying weaponry and pattern of frequencies, make my life seems so…unremarkable.

But the more I studied this gorgeous, intelligent and amazing woman, who from the outset looked like she has had it all, I realised that being amazing doesn’t always translate to feeling amazing. Despite of all her notable accomplishments, she didn’t seem happy, especially in her later years. She had 6 marriages and 6 divorces. She was estranged from her own son, had a disastrous plastic surgery in an attempt to preserve her beauty, and became more and more recluse towards the end of her life.

Learning about this and at the same time being shocked by the news of suicide carried out by people who led a similarly remarkable lives, people like Anthony Bourdain, the great culinary vigilante whom I used to love watching on TV back in the ol’ days, or the uber-talented Kate Spade, whose playful yet sophisticated line of handbags had taken the world by storm, made me wonder about the significance of it all.

Maybe being remarkable isn’t all its hyped up to be.

Maybe the question shouldn’t be whether or not you lead an extraordinary life according to world’s view, but rather…

Do you like your life?

Are you pursuing things that interest you?

Are you surrounded by people you love?

Are you happy?

And if the answer is yes, then maybe your life is not so bad afterall…

Because at the end of the day… aren’t they the things that matter most?

 

With love,

Keren x

How To Pick a Healthy Snack: 3 Essential Tips

With all the sneaky marketing tricks that food companies like to play on us, it can be difficult to distinguish a healthy snack from its unhealthy counterpart. In fact, if you were to really inspect all the “healthy foods” that we’re surrounded by at the grocery store, you’d be surprised at how many of these foods aren’t actually healthy at all. With all the little advertising tricks and traps that have been so carefully set for us, it’s crucial for us to be hyper-conscious of what we’re snacking on. But rest assured, if you follow these three guiding principles while you’re shopping around for something to munch on, you’ll be well on your way to worry-free snacking.

1. Look At The Nutrition Facts

Every time you’re considering eating something packaged, flip the package around and check out the nutrition facts. Two things to look out for in particular are protein and fiber. If you eat foods that have a high protein and fiber content, you’ll feel fuller than if you were to just eat something that’s full of carbohydrates. Speaking of carbs, watch out for snack foods that are loaded with added sugars. Oftentimes they’ll just leave you craving more sugar!

2. Check Out The Ingredients

Looking at the nutrition facts simply isn’t enough. Harmful ingredients like preservatives, chemicals, dyes, and sweeteners are all hidden in the ingredients; so if you’re only looking at the nutrition facts, you’re going to miss them! And unfortunately, many of the popular snack foods we’ve grown accustomed to are stuffed with these kinds of things, so be on the lookout. If you can’t confidently pronounce the majority of the ingredients listed on a snack food, then you probably shouldn’t be eating it! Products that are proudly marketed as low-sugar, light, fat-free, or something similar, are often filled with a bunch of junk ingredients to maintain the flavor of the product, so be particularly careful with these foods!

3. Choose Whole Grains

Many snack foods are made with grains, but not all grains are created equal! Stick to whole grain foods instead of refined grains when choosing a carbohydrate based snack like granola bars, popcorn, pretzels, and the like. These kinds of snack foods can also be tricky; many of them are advertised as whole grain, multi-grain, or some other variation. Don’t just read that and think it’s healthy! Make sure you read the ingredients list and look for the actual whole grain ingredient. If the whole grain ingredients aren’t within the first couple listed, then the actual amount of whole grains in the product is probably small.

The best way to avoid all the label checking before you eat something is to just eat wholesome foods that don’t have labels! Things like fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are perfect snacks that you don’t need to meticulously inspect before you eat. But if you are going for something that’s packaged, typically the fewer the ingredients it has, the more wholesome and healthy it is. Here are a few go-to snack brands to look for when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to read a bunch of labels!

When it comes to healthy snacking, wholefoods are definitely the way to go. With all of the vitamins and minerals that things like fruits, veggies, and nuts provide, snacking on these foods is a great way to make sure you’re giving your body all the nutrients it needs.

P.S If you like a healthy drink to go with your healthy snack, you might want to check out Beyond Latte’s organic Spicy Hot Chocolate. Formulated by yours truly, it’s chocolatey, spicy, delicious and nourishing. Perfect for morning or afternoon cuppa!

Keren x

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GoodnessMe Box Review + Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Hi everyone,

Hope you are well. I honestly can’t believe that March is here. I’ve taken some time off from social media as some of you may have noticed and it felt really good. Sometimes you have to stop, re-focus, re-centre, and remember why you do what you do.

Anyhow, a week ago I did an unboxing video of the February edition of GoodnessMe Box, perhaps one of my favourite boxes of all time. It was loaded with a lot of pink deliciousness and boy do I love pink.

I also made Cashew and Almond Energy Bars inspired by Lorna Jane’s Energy Bars recipe that came with the box. They were delish! Mildly sweet, nutty, and oh so satisfying.

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

These bars are so easy to make and perfect for an afternoon pick me up or as emergency snacks. I’ve been making them in double batches to freeze. So so good! Check out the video and the recipe below and I do hope you will give them a try.

  Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars
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Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

A delicious wholefood snack for whenever you need a boost of energy
Course Snack
Cuisine Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword cashew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 -30
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashew
  • 1 cup raw almond
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter I used Pic's Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup soaked dried dates or 10 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 4-8 tbsp boiling water

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients, except the boiling water in a food processor until crumbed.
  2. Slowly add boiling water until the mixture forms a ball.
  3. Firmly press the mixture into a mold (I use heart-shaped mold) or into a lined slice tin.
  4. Allow to set in the fridge for about 1 hour before eating.
  5. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for 4 weeks.

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Goodness Me Box September Edition

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Best ever gluten-free vegan waffle

This really is the best ever gluten-free vegan waffle I’ve ever made.

No complicated gluten-free flour mix (one of my pet peeves in gluten-free baking), no egg, no dairy, and no fuss! You just need to throw all the ingredients in the blender, blend, and then you have a thick and creamy waffle batter which will yield waffles so delicious you’ll forget about taking a snap for Instagram (there’s a reason why you haven’t seen any waffle posts on my Instagram account until now)

You just need to throw all the ingredients in the blender, blend, and you have a lusciously thick waffle batter which will yield waffles so delicious you’ll forget about taking a snap for Instagram (Note: there’s a reason why you haven’t seen any waffle posts on my Instagram account until now).

The only ingredient that might be difficult for some to find, is dairy-free yogurt. I make my own soy yogurt so I’m overflowing with this stuff but you can use either use Coyo or any other type dairy-free yogurt you can find at the store. If you’re desperate for waffles and you don’t have the yogurt, you can replace it with 2/3 cup of dairy-free milk. It will change the texture and flavour of the waffles a little bit but they will still be tasty.

These waffles are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, with mildly sweet and nutty flavour. This recipe makes about 6 -8 waffles depending on your waffle pans. I like to make a double batch so I can keep some waffles in the freezer for whenever I feel like one in the morning. The real challenge is trying not to eat the whole batch as you’re cooking it!

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Best ever gluten-free vegan waffle

A simple yet delicious gluten-free vegan waffle that will blow your mind
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice whole rice
  • 1 cup dairy-free yogurt I used homemade soy yogurt
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil olive oil works fine too
  • 1 tbsp sugar or your <g class="gr_ gr_59 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="59" data-gr-id="59">favourite</g> sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda sifted to prevent blobs of baking soda in your waffle
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Pour all ingredients into a blender and for a few minutes until smooth.
  2. Pour enough batter into your waffle pan and cook until crispy. I use a stovetop waffle pan so I cook each side for about two minutes on <g class="gr_ gr_57 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="57" data-gr-id="57">medium high</g> heat, but just follow your waffle maker's instruction if you’re using an electric waffle maker.
  3. Slather with loads of your <g class="gr_ gr_53 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="53" data-gr-id="53">favourite</g> nut butter and maple syrup and serve.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. Just pop them in the toaster to reheat.

If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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Vegan Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

A healthier frosting that’s creamy and delicious, but also good for you. It’s light, refined sugar free, dairy-free, and oh so addictive! Use it to frost carrot cake, muffins or serve with pancakes.

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Vegan Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 1/2 cups
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight, drain
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or power blender, blend all ingredients on high for a few minutes until creamy, scraping the sides to ensure even blend.
  2. Chill in the fridge to thicken for at least 1 hours before using.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Recipe Notes

**Prep time does not include the time needed to soak cashews.

If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

Sadhana Kitchen Cake Shoot – April 2017

Sadhana Kitchen | Vegan Chocolate Cake

Renowned for their delicious vegan foods, Sadhana Kitchen now do cakes. And I had the pleasure of shooting them.

10 Functional Christmas Gift Ideas

 

I’m not good with buying gifts. In fact I’m pretty awful at it. If you’ve had the misfortune of having me as your secret Santa, expect a box of chocolates, because that’s what I often give to people. But everyone likes chocolate, right? So maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.

The thing is, I want my gifts to be functional, useful, and potentially… good looking. This is why I always buy chocolates. Because you can eat them, they give you pleasure and energy, and they look good. Don’t you think?

But, I’m putting a bit more effort this year. No more chocolates. (Except if you really absolutely want chocolates). Instead, I’ve found some really cool things to stuff the Christmas stockings and I thought I should share them with you.

So here are my 10 functional gift ideas for Christmas to help you this silly season.

1. Tile Mate

Coming first is the Tile Mate. A stylish and highly functional gift, Tile Mate is perfect for those who tend to lose their stuff (e.g. me). You can easily place it on any hook, loop, or strap. You can even get one to stick onto any item you don’t want to lose. Simply use the app on your phone to play a sound when you can’t find the item, or check its last known location. The best thing is, you can also use it to find your phone when that’s the item missing.

2. Sticky i-Phone case

Image from Pocket-lint.com

Second is the sticky i-phone case from Mega Tiny Corp. It makes a cool gift for any i-Phone-fan. It allows you to stick your phone to surfaces so you can do fun stuff with it like reading a recipe while you cook, or perhaps, when taking a selfie :D

3. Glass straws

Plastic straws are so yesterday. Glass straws are where it’s at. These straws are not only stylish, but they are also great for the environment. Also, there’s something about the smooth glass surface that makes drinking from them so much more pleasurable.

4. Yummy teas

Coming fourth is a selection of unique blend of premium teas for your tea-lover friends, all of which I have tried and liked. Such as the Christmas spice organic tea blend from Ovvio, the riveting blue coloured Crystal tea from Life of Cha, or the Ginger latte blend from Beyond Latte (made by yours truly).

5. A winged jug

I added this one because, seriously, who wouldn’t want a winged jug for Christmas? It is beautiful and highly functional. It’s perfect for wine, juice or cocktails. I found this exquisite piece at Glass by Emma Klau and it is aptly named “Take Flight Jug”.

6. Personalised jewellery

 

 

Almost every girl I know wanted to own that Sex in The City Carrie-style necklace at one point in her life. There’s nothing like seeing your name engraved on a piece of precious metal, at least that’s what I think. My mum gave me a ‘Keren’ necklace when I was 12 and I still cherish it to this day. How is it functional? Well, you won’t have to have your name spelled incorrectly at Starbucks, that’s for one. And this gorgeous little necklace is from Belle Fever.

7. A round Yoga Mat

Because everyone who yoga wants a round Yoga mat (even though they say they don’t). Seriously, how cool is this mat? It may be slightly impractical to take to a group class but it’s perfect for home use. I particularly like the mandala print mats, such as this one over at Camel Rock Yoga.

8. Adult Colouring book

You may laugh, but this stuff has been scientifically proven to calm and relax the mind. I think we all take ourselves too seriously and that we need a bit more play in our lives. Some of the adult colouring books are so beautiful that they, in itself, are art Like the Secret Garden Colouring book by Johanna Basford.

9. A Nutri Ninja

A Christmas gift doesn’t get more functional than this. This is perfect for anyone who wants to jump on the smoothie band-wagon and improve their health. I actually got a Nutri Ninja myself this Christmas to complement my Vitamix. It’s very handy when you’re only blending for one, or making small quantity sauces, etc.

10. A Service Voucher From You

Yep, that’s right. Dedicate a service as a gift to you friends! It could be something simple like washing their car, walking their dog, or giving me a massage as a Christmas present. It’s personal, memorable, and the best part is, it’s free. And if you’re looking for other Christmas gifts ideas that won’t cost you a cent, check out this post.

What would be the perfect functional Christmas gift for you? Let me know in the comment box below.

Keren x

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Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Tofu

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

I love Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls. Not only because they’re light, healthy and delicious, but also I can eat them with my hands and still be lady (not that I am one, but it’s nice to pretend). I love the sensation of the rice roll sticking to the skin of my fingers as I hold the roll, and the balancing act of trying to get enough sauce, but not so much that it would drip every which way, and the explosion of taste in my mouth right after taking the first bite. They’re very sexy.

vietnamese-rice-rolls-2

I remember when I was little and growing up in Jakarta, my mum would feed me with her hands. And so did my grandma, my auntie, my housekeeper, or whoever was like feeding me at the time. Sometimes they use spoon, but most times hands. Never forks. And it was always the right hands. And no, you were not allowed to be left-handed back then.

For me, there’s something primal and nostalgic about eating with your bare hands. Once you get over the fright of getting your hands dirty (what’s with that, anyway, after all, we touch everything else with our hands) and embrace your inner child, it’s quite exciting and liberating. I always feel more connected with my food when I eat with my hands as I can feel it before I taste it.

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Tips For Making Rice Paper Roll

Making good, tight rice paper rolls can be daunting if you’re new at it but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. You just need a bit of practice.

  1. Don’t soak the paper for too long. You want the wrapper to be still slightly firm. If it’s soft when you take it out, it will be too soft.
  2. Don’t over fill. The key is to making a nice, tight roll, is to avoid overfilling your wrapper. Use half the quantity of fillings you think you’ll need and start from there.

These Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are very simple to make. There’s a lot of preparation involved, but minimal cooking. It also makes a great meal prep for lunches. It’s delicious, light, satisfying and perfect for the warmer months such as now (at least in Australia). You can also experiment with other noodles such as soba noodles, use tempe instead of tofu, coriander instead of mint, whatever your creativity takes you. You can even make a sweet version with fruits and yogurt. Check out this tutorial video I made which will hopefully inspire you to start rolling.

vietnamese-rice-rolls-12

Vietnamese Summer Rice Paper Rolls With Tofu and veggies

Ingredients

Rice Paper Rolls

  • 100g vermicelli (or you could use soba noodles)
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • Baby Cos lettuce, shredded
  • 250g extra firm tofu (I use Simply Better Foods Organic Tofu
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp refined coconut oil
  • Sea salt

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp warm water, or more as needed

Directions:

  1. Pat dry tofu block of any excess water with paper towel. Cut into 1 cm strips. Pat dry again. Rub each strips with a pinch of sea salt. Let sit while you prepare the noodles.
  2. Place rice noodles in boiling hot water and cover for about 10 minutes (read instructions on the package). Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium-high heat and then add the marinated tofu. Cook for several minute each side or until tofu is cooked. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the dipping sauce. Mix everything together in a bowl until smooth. Add extra warm water or until you reach desired thinness.
  5. Prepare the rice paper wrappers. Pour hot water into a large bowl or a baking pan. Dip the rice paper wrapper into the water one at a time and immerse for about 15 seconds. You want the wrapper to be still slightly firm (if it’s soft when you take it out, it will be too soft).
  6. Add the fillings. Place a few sticks of veggies on top of the bottom end of the rice paper. Add a small amount of rice noodles, mint and then lay tofu on top. Remember not to overfill the wrapper. If it doesn’t look enough, then it is probably enough. Start with a small amount and increase it as needed, as you roll each one.
  7. Roll them: Pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Fold the the sides of the rice paper roll and roll tightly. Place on a serving plate and serve with peanut sauce.

Storage tip: Wrap the rolls individually in plastic wrap and store up to 2-3 days in the fridge.

 

vietnamese-rice-rolls-5