Egg rolls can be on the menu, even when you’re following a heart healthy diet! Hallelujah, I say. These are naturally vegetarian and can be made vegan just by selecting egg-free won ton wrappers (look in the freezer section of an Asian food market). Not only that, but they’re baked instead of fried and made with absolutely no added salt or soy sauce. At only 150 calories each, you can make a whole meal of them! Which is what I did the other night, and I loved every minute.
Heart Healthy Egg Rolls
makes 15 rolls
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
roughly 1″ piece of fresh ginger, chopped fine (I used my mini food chopper)
1 medium or large carrot, grated
about 3 cups grated cabbage
1 smallish yellow onion, diced fairly fine
about a cup of red/yellow/orange sweet peppers, chopped small
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
a 14.4 oz can mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained well (or use about 2 cups of fresh sprouts if you can)
1 small can water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and chopped fine (I also threw these in the food chopper, didn’t even clean the ginger remnants out first)
1 14 oz. block extra-firm tofu, cut into very small cubes
3 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbs water
1/2″ piece fresh ginger, chopped fine
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs peanut butter, any kind
15 egg roll or won ton wrappers
1. Leave your wrappers in the fridge until you’re ready to actually roll them, which won’t be for a while. In a large skillet or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium. While that’s getting hot, grab your grated carrot and cabbage by the handful and give it a good squeeze to remove excess water. Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the pan and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water in a small cup. Transfer it to a small saucepan and add the rest of the filling sauce ingredients. Turn the heat to medium and stir/cook everything together for about 3 minutes.
3. Put the filling mixture back over medium heat and add the sauce. Toss and cook for about 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool down a bit, so you can handle the filling comfortably.
4. When you’re ready to bake the egg rolls, preheat the oven to 425 and lightly squirt a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Have a cleanish surface to roll on, your filling and a 1/4 cup measure, a paper towel or two, a little cup of water and the wrappers handy.
So, you can see how this goes. I use a 1/4 cup scoop to measure out the filling (not presicely or anything). At step 3, where that bottom corner has been folded over the filling and looks like it’s been somehow glued down – it has been, with just a dab of water. I just dip a finger in water and then make a dab right above the filling. When you fold the bottom corner up and press it lightly into place, it’ll form a decent seal. The wrappers will totally stick to themselves if they get a little wet, and you can use this to help roll them neatly.
At step 4, where you can see the side corners being folded onto the filling, I don’t bother sealing with water. If I was frying them I would, but that’s one of the many awesome aspects of baking egg rolls: the filling stays in place easily, and you don’t have to go crazy making little Fort Knoxes out of egg roll wrappers. So after you fold in those side corners, you’ll have something before you which looks more or less like an open envelope. Now all you do is roll the bottom towards the top and seal that top corner with one more dab of water. Place the rolls on your baking sheet so that corner is on the bottom. I get filling all over my hands because I always have this burning urge to adjust it after I’ve scooped it onto the wrapper, so I give ’em a little wipe with a paper towel before I start the next roll.
5. After you have all the rolls made and on the cookie sheet (I was able to jam 15 on mine, but it was close), spray a little more nonstick right over them and bake them for 20 minutes total, ten minutes on each side.
Now, you might want a healthy sauce to dip them in. I made this, and it was super tangy and packed a real flavor punch, not to mention it’s practically sodium-free.
Orange-Ginger Dipping Sauce
makes about a cup
the juice of 2 oranges
the juice of 1/2 a lime
1 Tbs rice vinegar (I used a garlic-infused vinegar and it was excellent)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs water
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1″ cube fresh ginger, chopped or grated very fine
1. Combine the juices, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. In another, dissolve the cornstarch in the water.
2. Heat the sesame oil on medium in a small saucepan. Add the garlic powder and ginger and cook together for about 2 minutes. Give the juice mixture a whisk to make sure everything’s well combined and add it to the saucepan. Bring it to a boil.
3. Turn the heat to low and stir in the cornstarch mixture. You should see the sauce start to thicken right away. Cook and stir until it’s thick enough to dip in, then remove from heat. It’ll thicken a bit more while it stands and cools.
Per roll, approx. 130g: 150 calories; 3.1g fat (0.6g sat, 0g trans); 3mg cholesterol; 238mg sodium; 24.4g carbohydrates; 6.6g protein; 2.0g fiber; vitamin A 16%; calcium 8%; vitamin C 35%; iron 11%
Per heaping tablespoon, approx. 18g: 13 calories; 0.3g fat (0g trans); 0mg cholesterol; 1mg sodium; 2.3g carbohydrates; 0.1g protein; vitamin A 0%; calcium 0%; vitamin C 7%; iron 1%