Friday, April 28, 2006



I researched this topic and wrote the following while trying to understand, feed, and live with a son who has multiple food allergies to many common foods. I also have food allergy issues in a smaller way. I hope you are helped by the information found here. Please comment below to let me know you stopped in.

By Dori Harvey, BA
It is estimated that true IgE related food allergies are rare and that only 8 - 10 % of the population suffer them. This number appears to be growing as more patients with digestive difficulties see their doctor for relief. New understanding into the bodies allergy process can offer new treatment methods that result in a great reduction to the number of IgE related foods in a patient with multiple food allergies and relief from the allergic response in others. Most food allergies are not fixed and the development of new food allergies can be stopped! This paper will offer basic allergy understanding and then focus on the dietary treatment prescribed to help many suffering from food allergies overcome them.


Allergy (2): exaggerated or pathological reaction (as by sneezing, respiratory embarrassment, itching, or skin rashes) to substances, situations, or physical states that are without comparable effect on the average individual Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
All allergic responses in humans take place after histamine is released into the body. Histamine is a chemical produced by the body . It’s job is to yell "HELP!" to the immune system which can release the IgE antibodies (the army) to fight off substances that can harm us. This is for our own good most of the time, but is a problem when the body begins to fight things that will not harm us, such as food or even our own working body parts as is the case in many the 128 auto-immune diseases, such as fibromyalgia, commonly diagnosed today. The way the "army" goes to work on a bad cold bacterium is the same as the allergic response with a good food protein, when the protein histamine is released we experience a wide variety of symptoms ranging from excess mucous, eye irritation or even sometimes an asthmatic reaction as the lungs try to block off the passageways in which foreign matter gets in.

An allergy is considered a problem because our body is at war with many things that usually do not affect humans or are considered harmless. (Much could be speculated about the harmless chemicals in the air we breathe, the synthetic carpet we walk on, or the laboratory made orange juice cocktail we drink, but this is beyond this essay’s scope.) When the immune system army is constantly at work we experience the irritating and sometimes life threatening side effects that can stop us from living productive lives, so we try to correct the symptoms by taking medication. Allergy medications are called anti-histamines and their purpose is to stop the histamine from alerting the immune system to respond. Although helpful at the moment because it can stop or help lessen the IgE mediated allergy symptoms, we can speculate the long term use of this remedy especially when a harmful cold bacteria comes in and our cells are not allowed to cry for help. This realization may lead us looking for other solutions, possibly ones leading to a real correction of the problem.

While many people experience food intolerance or sensitivities, this is not the same as an immune system response type of allergy. Usually a person diagnosed with a classic food allergy has allergies to other things such as inhalants, dust, molds, etc. and often has a first generation relative with allergies. A classic food allergy involves the protein in a food as it is released into the blood stream via the intestinal walls. The immune system sends out IgE antibodies that attack the protein in the same way that the IgE antibodies would attack a dust, mold, or "cold" bacteria protein. Some people seem to be born with an allergy and know very early in life while in other allergic reactions seem to come and go or develop/ worsen with age. With all this unpredictability it is hard to know what is a true allergy! Understanding that the body acts the same way with any allergen gives us an idea of why this is so.

Consider that our body is like a bucket that can only hold a certain amount of water before some begins to spill out if we keep adding to it. (1) It doesn’t matter what we are reacting to (food proteins, air fumes, chemicals in detergent, etc) , when the histamine response occurs the kind and type of reaction will vary depending on the amount and location that the histamine is released. This can make it nearly impossible to single out which foods may be triggering the histamine response creating a spillover of symptoms.

hayfever, asthma, bronchitis, recurring ear infection, sinus conditions, rhinitis, laryngitis, allergic sore throat, hoarseness
gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, constipation, colic, malabsorption
headache, dizziness, sleep disorders, learning disorders, tension fatigue syndrome, foggy thinking, irritability, depression
dermatitis, eczema, angioedema, hives, rashes
arthritis, myalgia, urinary irritation, conjunctivitis, edema, hypoglycemia, diabetes, overweight, underweight, premenstrual syndrome, fatigue

Food allergy testing can assist with finding out what food may be helping to trigger the allergy responses as you travel toward the destination of good health. There are several methods of food testing available. The method you choose may be dependant upon the type of professional you see to help you in your search for good health. The range of doctorate level professionals specializing in helping others regain good health come from disciplines such as nutrition, orthopedics (chiropractors) who often take further study in naturalopathic remedies but may offer "new age" testing and treatments , doctors of medicine (commonly paid by most major insurance companies and offer laboratory drugs to relieve symptoms), and metaphysical doctors who may do "new age" muscle strength testing using food synthetics held in a glass vial in combination with aurora sensing. Just as the kind of help each professional offers may vary, the reliability of each type of testing varies greatly. Skin tests are often not recommended for food allergies because the allergic response may be severe. Since our definition of classic food allergy requires IgE antibodies to be present, only blood testing can be considered the most reliable test for diagnosis.

There are many varieties antibody level blood tests in which hundreds of foods can be tested using one blood sample. The RAST (radio-allergo-sorbent test) blood test involves mixing 96 differing food proteins with a small amount of blood to see if there are antibodies already present in the blood to "attack" the food. If IgE antibodies show up in reaction to the food then a positive IgE response occurs. This means that the blood already has built a defense against this food (thanks to the immune system) and histamine will be released. If the response occurs immediately the test results will conclude that there is a high level sensitivity, slower responses indicate a moderate to a low sensitivity. A slower response also indicates a lesser amount of histamines will be released when the protein molecules leave the intestine and enter the blood stream, helpful information when planning a rotation diet. Studies have shown about 95% of IgE-mediated reactions are not fixed and after avoidance for a few months they can be brought back into the diet occasionally in moderate amounts. (2)

1. Heredity
A recessive gene has been identified as being linked to IgE-mediated food allergies. (1)
2. Food introduced before intestinal maturity
Don’t feed babies solid food before one year old. The intestine is not mature and foods can be mistaken as harmful by the immune system opening the door for allergic responses or intolerance (2)
3. Repeated exposure to the same foods, especially in large quantities (4)
4. "Leaky Gut" or increased intestinal permeability (2)
Small openings in the lining of the intestine that allow large molecules of undigested or partially digested food protein molecules to be released into the blood stream. If the quantities are to large for the liver to work on the immune system then goes into action and produces IgE antibodies against them. Then when the food is eaten repetitively the antibody connects to the food in the bloodstream and can go to any part of the body to cause trouble.

1. Food introduction before intestinal maturity as a baby
Alcohol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, arthritis medication, etc), corticosteroid drugs, antibiotics, and cancer treatment drugs
Nutritional deficiencies, inflammatory bowel disease, poor digestion, and food allergies (you know the chicken or the egg thing - did the allergy cause the problem or did the problem cause the allergy.)
candida yeast, dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and botchulism,, or parasites
6. LACK OF HCI, a digestive acid, in the intestine that can cause food not to be digested enough thus allowing it to go into the blood stream in it’s undigested form

Through personal study and experience, author Nicolette Dumke says, "Most of the factors that increase intestinal permeability (leaky gut) can be treated or eliminated from the lives of patients with food allergies. By doing this, the "why" of out leaky guts can be treated, and therefore our food allergies can be lessened and our health can be greatly improved." (P. 5) MOST FOOD ALLERGIES ARE NOT FIXED! She continues saying, "Dr. Leo Galland estimates that in his practice of patients with digestive problems, after he treats their dysbiosis (unfriendly intestinal organisms), nutritional and other problems, and promotes intestinal healing, only 25% of those who come to him for EPD (allergy desensitivity) treatment for their food allergies still need it." (P.11)

Medication and supplement: Gastrocrom, take before allergen exposure, or other anti-histamines to suppress symptoms
Digestive enzymes to help break down food into smaller less allergenic molecules
Vitamin C is an anti-allergy supplement
4-6 grams of quercitin
Pantothenic acid supports adrenal glands to make hormones that help us cope with reactions
Bicarbonate preparations such as Alka seltzer gold are a quick fix for food reactions. The Ph of the body becomes more acid during reactions and these help alkalinize the body, but also neutralize the stomach acid which is required for good digestion so should not be taken frequently
Inmmunotherapy, neutralizing drops to turn off the reaction to the specific food
EPD (enzyme potentiated desensitization) to suppress allergic reactions
Restoring healthy intestinal flora - probiotics or symbiotics
Nutrition and Diet
Further investigation into treatments other than dietary related is beyond the scope of this paper.

Rotation or rotary diversified diet is the most common way to treat food allergies. If the cause of food allergies is a leaky gut as theorized by Nicolette Dumke (2), the goal of the diversified rotary diet would be to keep the body from producing antibodies against non-allergic foods. If this hypothesis is correct the body will have ample opportunity to become allergic to more foods as any food in abundance in the diet can pass through the intestinal walls into the blood stream partially digested. If this happens in greater quantities than the liver can detoxify then the immune system will send out antibodies and a new food allergy will be born.

While the doctor can help heal the intestine the diet rotation accepts the leakage problem and instead focuses on lowering the antibodies created to attack the food from being released in the bloodstream. This happens when smaller amounts of a food protein (eaten on a rotational schedule) is released into the blood system and emptied out of the system before it is consumed again. This method also lowers the chances of the body creating new allergens against the unbroken down proteins to current non-allergic foods because food consumption quantities due to the rotational timing will be no burden the system as they remain small enough that the liver will carry the "toxins" out before the immune system has the chance to respond. The goal of the diversified diet is also to help recover from current food allergies, so that the body will no longer react negatively to these foods. For a period of time allergic foods should be avoided. This avoidance period should give the body time to slow down or stop the production of antibodies. Then the food will be added into the diet again, for one meal and not consumed again for at least four or more days.

Avoiding all allergic foods when dealing with multiple food allergies could cause nutritional deficiencies. The goal of the rotational dietary treatment is to be able to enjoy as many foods as possible again as soon as possible. The avoidance time of an allergic food is set depending on the antibody count to that particular food in the blood stream. High level allergic foods mean that the number of antibodies in the body at the time the IgE test was taken is high and an allergic response is quick, lower numbers of antibodies show a slower response and the food is considered a moderate or a low level allergy. When allergic foods are added back into the dietary schedule the frequency or quantity of the food will be adjusted if there are any adverse reactions. Some high level allergic foods may take a couple of years before a body can tolerate them again. Living without one or two foods at that time in recovery may be an acceptable and many people choose this and never desire to eat those foods again. Lower level allergic foods could be added into the diet as soon as three months on a 4 day rotational basis. Some foods will require a longer rotation, such as consumption once every two weeks. It is not uncommon to find other foods that were not tested can cause a negative reaction, the rotational diet will help identify these foods also.

Finding 12 recipes you enjoy for each meal and snack listed on a chart would be a good beginning goal to strive for. As you find your meals write them down so you always have a good supply of meals ideas you enjoy. This chart will also help as you begin to create a rotational diet schedule.
1. l l l
2. l l l
3. l l l
4. l l l
5. l l l
6 l l l
7. l l l
8. l l l
9. l l l
10. l l l
11. l l l
12 l l l
It is important to keep your diet varied so you do not repeat foods within a four day period. After you have avoided high and moderate level IgE mediated allergens for three to six months you may begin to add high allergens one meal each week or two, if tolerated. Low level allergens may be used every four days, as tolerated. The goal of food avoidance is to allow your blood system to lower the levels of antibodies it had for any one food to the lowest levels possible. Rotating an allergic food when you do begin eating it again after several months and then consuming it again for a few days doesn’t give the body a chance to create a bunch of antibodies again or add to histamines levels.

I have seen very complex food rotation diets. Personally I need simple guides and a list of possible choice ideas. If you need more of a rotation diet guide I would highly recommend any of the fine books cited in the bibliography.
muffins (vary grains) grilled meat sandwich fish soup (finnan haddie)
oat and bean waffles w/ allergy free chips nut or seed butters
buckwheat pancakes and salad or soup egg replacer for baked goods
cashew "yogurt" bean and veggie soups baked potato with topping
allergy free cereal mix chicken noodle soup chili with cornbread
cashew, oat, or soy milk salads of lettuce, cabbage, chili smothering potato fries
porridge grains with fruit and other veggies
potato hashbrowns vegetarian "meats" or tofu
leftover supper sandwich Fresh Fruit
Use proper substitutions for any item listed in the suggested menu (i.e. can’t have chicken, make chickpea or soy noodle soup, NO black beans, use white or red OR no kidney beans, use pintos). If you can tolerate soy or use other grain or nut milks. Can’t do potatoes or tomatoes, try white bean "chili" with a few chopped red peppers.
Leftover pancakes make great sandwich "breads"
Leftover muffins, crumbled and dried make a nice grapenut style breakfast cereal
Commercial pasta made from a wide variety of grains to fit any diet are now available
Keep leftover muffins or individual soup servings in the for quick heat and eat grabs in four days

1. Walsh, William E, M.D. Food allergies: The complete guide to understanding and relieving your food allergies. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000.
Provides an in depth explanation of classic food allergies, but has a special focus on "MALS" food chemical allergies. A general rotation diet description is offered, charts for finding allergens in commercially prepared products, identification of food families, and help with monitoring and relieving food allergy symptoms.

2. Dumke, Nicolette M. 5 years without food: The food allergy survival guide. Adapt Books, Louisville, Colorado, 1997. (P. 1-21)
Ms Dumke is the only author of the many books I read about food allergies who offered hope that food allergies can be overcome. Although the book was endorsed by her primary care giver and bibliography sites a multitude of professional medical references, Nicolette Dumke is not a doctor, nor a nutritionist - she is a woman who suffered from an allergy to literally every food and mothered two children with the same type of problem. She had been there and walked the path leading to good health.

3. Freund, Lee H. And Jeanne Rejaunier. The complete idiot’s guide to food allergies. Alpha Books; 1st edition, November 2003.

4. Jones, Marjorie Hurt, R.N. The allergy self help cookbook: over 325 natural foods recipes, free of all common allergens: wheat-free, milk-free, egg-free, corn-free, yeast-free. Rodale Books; Compl Rev edition (April 7, 2001).
This book teaches how to build your own rotation diet. The author uses a wide variety of grains with the exception of wheat and non-grains (amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa) often in the same recipe. There are helpful charts listing the properties of certain. A muffin recipe may list a big variety of grains or non-grains to use to that one could have a muffin every day of the week without repeating any one grain during an entire roatation. Nuts and fish are used freely.
(c) 2004

5. Melina, Vesanto, MS, RD. and Dina Aronson, MS, RD. Food Allergy Survival Guide: Delicious Recipes and Complete Nutrition. Book Publishing Company, Summertown, TN, 2003.
This book offers many vegan recipes and foods without wheat or dairy. Gluten free help is offered here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Raw Vietnamese Spring Rolls: Steamed veggies, tofu, me*t, and mango variations with an excellent peanut dipping sauce.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts: Served with twisted rye noodles and a raw tomato sauce

Caraway Pickled Beets: A great canning recipe with a sugar free option!

Mango Salsa: These aren't locally grown here, but they sell at a good price this time of year.

Mushroom Asparagus Struedel: Yum!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Balsamic Vinagrette


makes 1 and 1/2 c.   

 Add all to the bender or largest magic bullet mixing cup. Mix on high for 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened.          

1 1/4 c. water

2 tsp. instant clear jel OR 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

10 T.  balsamic vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 and 3/4 - 2 tsp. sea salt,

1/4 - 1/2 tsp  KAL brand stevia extract powder

Place the water or broth and starch in a small pot and stir over high heat until it thickens and turns clear (cornstarch has to boil; potato starch does not).  Whisk or blend in the remaining ingredients, bottle and store in the refrigerator.



The original recipe I based mine off of:


makes 1 and 1/2 c.   

This is one of our favorite dressings.  It keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator-- just shake it a little before serving.

1 c. water or light broth

2 tsp. cornstarch or potato starch

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

10 T.  balsamic vinegar

1 to 3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 and 5/8 tsp. salt, OR 2 and 1/8 tsp. herbal salt

OPTIONAL:  2 and 1/2 T. brown sugar or Sucanat

Place the water or broth and starch in a small pot and stir over high heat until it thickens and turns clear (cornstarch has to boil; potato starch does not).  Whisk or blend in the remaining ingredients, bottle and store in the refrigerator.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Brussel sprout filling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Saute or microwave cook, 5 minutes:
1/4 Cup minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 C minced mushrooms
1/4 C dry white wine
Add the following to the sauted mixture and combine well:
1 lb brussel sprouts, cooked and chopped well
1/2 C whole wheat bead crumbs
1/4 C soy parmesan
1/2 vegan lite mayo (I used spectrum lite canola oil mayo)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Add 1 1/2 tsp mixture to middle of round pasta wonton (or dumpling) wrapper. Place the wonton in a mini muffin pan cup. It should look like flower with a drop in the middle. Bake 4-5 minutes, until egdes of "muffin" are browned. Serve with your favorite oriental meal dip. We used a sweet and sour sauce.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Spicy Southern Greens

4-5 lbs. of fresh greens (collard, turnip, mustard, kale, or a mixture)
2 large onions, chopped
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
6 cloves garlic or 1 1/2 Tbsp minced jarred garlic
6 Cups vegetarian broth
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
salt and pepper to taste
1.  Wash green thoroughly in a full sink of water to remove grit.  Drain water and repeat three times, drain greens in a colander.  Although there are alot of fresh greens, this will cook down considerably!
2.  In a large lightly oiled soup pot, saute the onions and  garlic until softened.  Add the broth and greens in batches, as the green cook down add more.... they will cook down quickly (note spinach cooks more quickly than other greens, add it last if using).
3.  Add liquid smoke.  Cover and cook for 45-60 minutes, add red peppers the last 20 minutes of cooking time.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Serve the greens and "pot juice" in bowls with vinegar and hot sauce if desired.  Balsamic vinegar is my favorite.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


ONIONY KALE DIP (from the vegna cookbook called CalciYm by Davis Bronfman.
6 C finely chopped kale, ribs removed (2 Ccooked unsqueezed; about 1 C cooked squeezed)
1 1/2 C vegan mayo
1 (12.3 ox) box x-firm silken tofu
3 Tbsp lemon juice
4 green onions chopped
1 pkt onion soup mix (Fantastic Foods has an organic one)
4 1/2 Tbsp fresh dill or 1 1/2 Tbsp dry dill weed)
Steam or boil the kale until tender. Drain and cool enough to handle. Squeeze it as dry as possible. In a food proceesor, combine the tofu, mayo, lemon juice and soup mix Process until smooth. Add the kale and green onions and dill. Mix well. Transfer to a bowl and serve in a french loaf like a spinach dip.

IF YOU HAVE NO MAYO: use 2 boxes of silken tofu ADD: 1 1 /8 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1/8 tsp white pepper, 2 more T of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
2 C well cooked chickpeas
1/3 C lemon juice
2 Tbsp sesame tahini
6 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb cleaned greens (spinach, kale, or chard)steamed tender and squeezed dry.
Place all the ingredients except the greens in the food processor. Process as smooth as you like it, ass a bit of water if necessary (remember it thickens up in the frig). Add the greens and process briefly. Place in a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My main blog - the bakehouse

Roasted brussel sprouts and salsa cruda con olive recipes are posted on my main THE BAKEHOUSE daily blog. Check there first. Any recipe I make will be posted there first and occassionally I will include a link to this page to avoid very long posts. I hope you enjoy my blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 03, 2006


(can be wheat-free)

I’m sure that all of us have had our share of tasteless vegetarian cabbage rolls filled with unadorned rice, cooked until soggy. I think that this is because carnivorous cooks don’t think vegetarians like flavor, so they just leave out the meat, bacon fat, etc., that give the rice flavor, and don’t substitute anything else! Here’ s my “meaty” vegetarian cabbage rolls—always well-received. I also offer you a different way of softening the cabbage leaves—no cooking required, just a little thinking ahead!

By the way, you can freeze the filled, uncooked cabbage rolls, so it pays to make lots. Thaw them out before cooking them . (There’s a microwave option below for cooking half the recipe at a time.)

1 large head of green cabbage

4 c. leftover cooked brown rice (OR use other cooked whole grains, such as quinoa, bulgur wheat, buckwheat, millet, etc.)
3 c. vegetarian “hamburger crumbles, or browned crumbled vegetarian “sausage”
1 T. roasted (Asian) sesame oil
2 medium onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. soy “bacon” chips (I like ClubHouse brand) or bits
OR 1/2 c. chopped vegetarian “Canadian back bacon” or “ham”
1 T. vegetarian worcestershire sauce OR 2 T. Lea and Perrins Steak Sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: some chopped sauteed mushrooms
1 tsp. dried thyme

3 c. water
1 (5-6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 T. unbleached sugar, white beet sugar, Sucanat or brown sugar, or maple syrup
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt

3 DAYS BEFORE MAKING THE CABBAGE ROLLS: Place the cabbage (any unsightly outer leaves removed) in a plastic bag. Fasten shut and freeze the cabbage for at least two days.

1 DAY BEFORE MAKING THE CABBAGE ROLLS: Thaw the head of cabbage out.
After the cabbage has thawed, the leaves will be wilted and it should be fairly easy to separate them. I usually cut them from te stem one-by-one with a sharp knife and carefully peel off. It’s okay if they tear a little. Select 20-24 of the nicest leaves. (The rest can be used in soup.) If any of the leaves have a large ridge at the bottom, you can trim that even with the rest of the leaf, or cut it out.

TO MAKE THE CABBAGE ROLLS: Give yourself an hour to make them (not counting cooking the rice). They take two hours to cook, but during that time you are free to go about your business.

Before you start, cook the brown rice, if you haven’t already. Rehydrate the textured soy protein if you are using that instead of “crumbles”.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions soften and brown a little.

In a large bowl, mix the rice, the “crumbles”, the sauteed onions and garlic, the “bacon”, Worcestershire or steak sauce, any Optionals you might be using, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

TO FILL THE CABBAGE ROLLS: Place each cabbage leaf on your work surface with the inside curve facing up, the stem end down towards you. Place a scoop of the filling in the center, towards the bottom of the leaf. Since the leaves will be of different sizes, there is no one measure for the amount of filling you will need. Fill it generously, packing it together, but not so generously that it spills out the sides when you roll them up. This will take a little experimenting on your part. If you have cut out the stem ridge from any of the leaves, pull the cut ends together before filling. Roll te filled leaf away from you toward the center. Fold in the sides (envelope-style) and then continue rolling up. Some people like to secure these with cocktail toothpicks, but I never do this.

Place the rolls, seam-side-down, in a large oiled baking dish or pan. Mix the Sauce ingredients together with a whisk and pour it over the cabbage rolls. Cover the pan and bake for 2 hours. Serve with commercial or homemade (see below) tofu sour crème.

MICROWAVE OPTION: For HALF THE RECIPE, you can microwave the rolls WITHOUT the sauce (in a microwave–safe baking dish, covered) for 9 minutes on HIGH. Make the sauce with HALF AS MUCH water (and use only half of the sauce, since you are cooking only half of the recipe). After the first 9 minutes of cooking, add the sauce, cover and cook 9 more minutes on HIGH.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spring Rolls and Peanut Dipping Sauce

Spring Rolls
Prepare ahead and set aside:
10 -12 dried 8" Vietnamese rice wrappers
12 oz tofu seasoned and pan seared, cut into thin slices
2 Cups finely shredded lettuce
1/4 C hoison sauce mixed with 1/2 tsp chili paste
1/4 tsp dried basil per rice paper sheet 
Saute until softened:
2 1/2 C shredded cabbage
1 C julienned carrots
2 C shredded fresh spinach or frozen, will thaw while cooking)
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbp soy sauce
1 Tbsp shallot pepper (Penzey's Spices)
Assemble fililng ingredients in order of use for easier preparation.  Lay out a dampened towel to lay wet rice papers on while rolling.  Dip rice papers in warm water for 10 seconds (fully immerse).  Place on towel.  Layer each filling ingredient on bottem 1/3 of rice paper, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp basil.  Roll up like an envelope.  Perfect roll os 1" wide by 4" long.  Serve whole or cut in half.
Peanut Dipping Sauce:
Combine all thouroughly:
1/3 C hot water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
4 tsp vinegar
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 Tbsp green onion, chopped
hot sauce to taste