Monday, October 24, 2011

Vegan Winter Veggie Egg Rolls

As healthy as I cook (most of the time) I must admit that I do crave the bad stuff every once in a while.

I have a weakness for french fries, egg rolls, onion rings and other foods of the fried variety. I have considered, on several different occassions, purchasing a fryer to have at home.

On all occassions I have refrained because I just know that would lead to me becoming the next Paula Dean. I am sure I would love it so much I would have to have an even awesomer one installed permanently next to my stove.

I can just see it. I'd be frying everything. That would be a big mistake. My midsection would surely not thank me.


And so when my willpower wins and I absolutely must have something salty and fried, I bake it. Because it makes me feel better about eating it. Like it's healthier or something. It is.

So I had all this random veg in the fridge and my new favorite thing to do is to cuisinart it. And then I thought egg rolls sounded good so I picked up some wonton wrappers and rolled some up.

Once you have the veg processed, the meal is really quite simple. Especially when baking because they essentially cook themselves, with little babysitting by the chef.

They are crunchy and salty on the outside and soft and tender with the veggies on the inside. A perfect compromise.


Yield: about 8-16 rolls, depending on how large and whether or not you want left over veg. I had leftover veg and used it for another fun recipe... it's coming.

Need:
2 carrots, cut into about 1 inch pieces
1 leek, cut into about 1 inch pieces
2 sticks celery, cut into about 1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
2-3 leaves kale, de-stemmed and cut into smaller pieces
1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 green bell pepper, quartered
1 large jalapeno pepper, quartered
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
1 small bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2-3 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 Tablespoons Bragg's amino acid
8-16 Large won ton wrappers (depending on how many you want to make)
For the sauce:
1 Tablespoon Bragg's amino acid
1 Tablespoon chili sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Do:
Place carrots, leek, celery, onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until all the veg is chopped into a very rough yet even consistency. Transfer to a bowl.

In the food processor, combine kale, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, jalapeno, ginger and parsley. Pulse until veg is the same consistency as the previous mixture. Transfer to another bowl. Note: if you don't want to dirty another bowl, you can also just leave it in the food processor for a bit.

In a large saute pan, heat toasted sesame oil over medium high heat. Add carrot mixture and stir. Let cook about 2-3 minutes.

After a few minutes of cooking, add the kale/bell pepper veggie mix and Bragg's amino acid to the pan, stir and continue to cook.

Cover mixture, turn the heat down just a bit and allow to cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

Turn heat off when veggies are just soft. Not mushy and not rock hard. Let veggies sit for a bit. Note: there should be liquid in the pan with the veggies.

Once lightly cooled, transfer batches of the veggies into a strainer placed over a bowl. Press liquid out of veggies, catching the liquid in the bowl.

Once you have pressed the liquid out, set it aside for the sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 and grab a little bowl of water. Put it next to your rolling station.

To roll, place one wonton wrapper on the counter, pointy side toward you.

Scoop about 4 Tablespoons of your veggie mixture onto the top third of the wonton wrapper.

Fold smaller top portion of the wrapper over the filling then fold the sides in.

From there, finish rolling, pressing and tightening as you go. When you get toward the end, dip your finger in the bowl of water and line the ending edges with water. This will make the wrapper to stick to itself.

Repeat for all rolls. Note: I made about eight rolls and had filling left over. And I made something simple and fun with the leftover veggie mix so if you have extra, don't worry about it. You can use it!

Place each finished roll on a baking sheet. When you have all your rolls on the sheet, drizzle lightly with toasted sesame oil then roll the rolls around, ensuring they are completely covered with oil. Sprinkle rolls with a little sea salt.

Bake in oven for about 8 minutes then rotate half way and bake another 8 minutes. Rotate again, to an unbaked side and bake for 5 minutes then rotate onto the last side and bake another 5 minutes.

While your rolls are baking, prepare dipping sauce:

In a lidded jar, combine the juice you pressed out of the veggies, 1 Tablespoon Bragg's amino acids, 1 Tablespoon chili sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar.

Cover and shake well. Remove lid, taste and add Bragg's and/or chili sauce as needed.

When rolls are done, turn off oven and transfer to a serving platter.

Serve:
Family style, with the sauce in a side dish or portion out individually on plates.

These are a great little appetizer or light meal. I served them with a simple tofu and green vegetable stir fry and it was just lovely.

Enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. Not that I generally encourage eating fried foods more often BUT this is an option for frying and you only use a tablespoon of oil so technically yuo are not doing a whole lot of artery damage http://www.amazon.com/T-Fal-FZ7000002-Actifry-Low-Fat-Multi-Cooker/dp/B002S4MVEE ----And its often on sale on the Opensky online network.

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  2. Hi Stephanie... I agree on the fried food issue, but great information on the cooker. I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the comment!

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