Detox roll

Alumni Recipes: The New Year Reboot Roll

Posted January 13, 2015

The start of every year has a sense of déjà vu to it. The resolutions of sleeping more, working less, or getting fit; the excitement of what lies ahead and the melancholy of what is left behind; the gift or promise given by a loved one beside the Christmas tree; the slightly uncomfortable feeling of having overindulged in the season.

Being a graduate of the Chef’s Training Program at NGI, one of the most common questions I am asked by clients and friends is which detox I would recommend. Generally, I don’t advocate any restrictive, far-reaching diets over a long term – especially if your food choices are mostly healthful anyway. But it makes sense to give your body a break after a period of excess, be it a rich four-course restaurant meal or a week-long Christmas celebration. Adjust the “break” in question according to your own needs, be it avoiding alcohol, or cutting out refined carbohydrates for a while. What I recommend is having a large salad twice a day for a few days, drinking plenty of water, and having more vegetables than you normally would.

These lettuce rolls are a great recipe for times of reboot. It’s a fun, completely refreshing and easy way to help your liver do its job.

(Yield: 4 rolls)

For the roll:

  • 8 large lettuce leaves (Boston, Romaine or Red Leaf)
  • 1 small beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 red apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into thin slices lengthwise
  • Sea salt

For the dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed to a pulp with a pinch of salt
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, (tough outer layers discarded) finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon grated peeled galangal (or ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon grated turmeric root (or a pinch of turmeric powder)
  • A handful of basil and mint leaves, finely shredded


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar – shake and set aside.
  2. Trim the bottom quarter of each lettuce leaf and, if using a crunchy leaf, carefully press down on the stalk to make it pliable.
  3. Layer two lettuce leaves together and arrange some of the rest of the ingredients in the center. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with salt and roll the leaves up around the filling. Either eat immediately or place seam-side down on a plate. Repeat with remaining leaves.

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