I love food.
I really love Thai and Chinese food. For realsie.
So, a healthy (gasp!) and vegan (double gasp!) Asian inspired meal is right up my alley.
Love or hate the girl, Rachael Ray can write a mean recipe for the home cook. And this one comes from her.
Start by preheating your oven to 400.
Please don’t be scared because this recipe begins with soft tofu. I feel for tofu. It has a pretty bad reputation amongst those of us that enjoy eating meat. And I would like to acknowledge that it can taste awfully nasty. However, when prepared correctly and married with yummy ingredients, it is pretty darn good.
If you are new to tofu, you can generally find it in the health foods area (sometimes in the produce area) in the refrigerated section. For this recipe I chose soft tofu. It comes packed in water, so your first step is to drain off the water.
Put a nonstick pan over medium heat, and add a little olive oil. Pick up your brick of tofu and crumble it directly into the pan. It should look a bit like scrambled egg whites.
If you are adamantly opposed to tofu and meat is a necessity, you could use ground chicken or turkey or pork.
But be adventurous. I really think you might like the tofu.
You real only need to heat the tofu through.
Crank up your heat to stirfry mode AKA high heat. Then add in 2 choppity chopped up ribs of celery and a good amount of chopped shitake mushrooms. They sell the shitakes in 4 oz pre-chopped packages and my store, so I just picked up one of those.
Stir fry for one minute.
During that one minute, feverishly chop up 1/2 of a head of napa cabbage (napa cabbage is oblong instead of round- it is mostly white with some lighter green, and most grocery stores carry it).
Drop that into your pan.
Add a handful of bean sprouts- I like the fresh from the produce section. They are found near the alfalfa sprouts usually. If you prefer canned, go for it. They are in the international foods aisle.
Dump in a small can of drained chopped water chestnuts (also in international foods).
Add in 2 finely chopped garlic cloves.
And grate in 1 inch of fresh ginger root. If you don’t have the fresh ginger, you can use 1/2 t. of powdered ginger.
Cook for about 2 more minutes to make sure everything is heated through.
Then, stir in 2 T of Tamari. Tamari is a smoother, better tasting, slightly richer version of soy sauce. If you don’t have Tamari, feel free to use regular old soy sauce.
Stir that all together and turn off the heat. You have completed making the filling for your giant egg rolls.
Allow the filling to cool a bit before making your egg rolls. This way you don’t burn your precious fingers.
I’m always looking out for you.
Now, it is time to be an artiste.
Lay out one sheet of phyllo dough- found in the dessert section in the freezer aisles at your grocery store.
Side Note: If you haven’t used phyllo dough before, you’ll need to allow it to thaw out prior to trying to work with it. The package comes with several very thin sheets of phyllo. Have a clean, dry kitchen towel handy to cover the sheets you aren’t currently working with. If you don’t, the phyllo gets dry and crumbly and impossible, and you will hate it forever and ever, Amen.
Paint some olive oil on to the sheet, and then lay a second sheet on top.
You could also use butter or a butter substitute.
Dab with a little more of your oil and then fold the phyllo in half.
Spoon about a cup of your filling into your phyllo.
Tuck in the right and left sides of the phyllo, and then fold up the bottom and roll your dough into an egg roll shape.
Please don’t be put off by the bland looking color of this filling. I assure you, this is anything but bland.
Once you’ve got them all rolled up, plop them on a pan.
Give them another quick dab of oil.
May I suggest using some parchment paper? These buddies have the potential to get super sticky on the bottom.
And cleaning sticky pans is the worst.
Actually, having your kid poop in the bathtub is the worst.
Nope, I take that back- having your kid poop in the bathtub, and in your moment of panic using your hands to scoop up the poop- is the worst.
But I digress.
Bake at 400 on a center rack for 15 minutes.
They come out looking beautifully golden brown.
Serve them up with some delicious Asian Slaw.
I used a sweet chili sauce as a dipping sauce for the eggroll. If you like spicy, you could use those little spicy mustard packs that you get if you ever order Chinese takeout.
These buddies are so good, and super filling- and baked NOT fried. Yum.
I’ll leave you with this kid. He also approves of these eggrolls. He certainly scarfed his down.
And then he pooped in the tub.
Good thing he’s cute.