This week I have something new to share with you! I was recently accepted into a really special community of food bloggers called Recipe Redux. Each month we are assigned a theme or challenge around which we have to create a new recipe. I am so excited to be a part of this community and also to have this new source of inspiration for developing delicious, healthy, easy recipes to share with you! So this month the theme was:
Stir up some of your earliest culinary recollections. Did you stand at your grandmother’s elbow to learn to cook? Or did you learn by stumbling through a cookbook by yourself? Share a healthy recipe and the accompanying story about one of your first cooking memories.
For me, it is all about my mom. I have so many warm and wonderful memories of her cooking, about how she always welcomed us into the kitchen to cook with her (which, of course, I largely rejected). I remember her ability to make any meal feel special, her enthusiasm for trying new things, and her passion for cooking from scratch. My mom also really wanted us to be good cooks and when I was in high school she announced one day that from that moment on my brother and I were each going to be responsible for dinner one night a week. We had to plan it and cook it. I was horrified!! But I started poking around in cookbooks and making dinners, some of which were absolutely inedible! One of the first dishes that I truly enjoyed making was eggrolls. I loved the ritual of it: the creation of a filling, the rolling them just right, the frying, and then the hot crispy pockets that you got to enjoy.
But, of course, they were deep fried, so as I got more and more wrapped up in teen body image issues I rejected them and forgot about how much I loved to make them… until this challenge!
So the obvious first step to making eggrolls healthier is to take out the deep frying. Baking them, I discovered, doesn’t give you quite the same shell quality, but the crunch is still there and they are still tasty and fun! I also wanted to incorporate more vegetables into these eggrolls, so I cut the meat in half and added in mushrooms, which can give a similar textural experience as meat. Finally, instead of a jarred plum sauce, I decided to make a peanut sauce to add a little more protein and less sweetness. With the healthifying done, I also wanted to make them a little less labor intensive, so I took the grating of the vegetables step out and bought a bag of slaw mix. This definitely saved time and dishes, but if you want to do your own grating, good vegetables to put in would be carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and sprouts. The result? A HUGE hit in my household! Even my more vegetable-resistant kid adored them and never even mentioned how many vegetables he was eating.
So give these a try and also check out the links below for a whole bunch of great recipes created by other Recipe Reduxers!
And I’d love to hear about your earlier cooking memories! Leave them in the comments! What did you first learn to cook? Who taught you? Do you still make that dish?
- Egg Rolls:
- 1 package of egg roll wrappers
- ½ Tablespoon of coconut oil
- ½ lb ground turkey (you could also use ground pork or crumbled tofu)
- ¼ lb button mushrooms, finely chopped
- ½ inch piece of ginger, minced (or more if you want more ginger flavor!)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 5 cups grated slaw mix (or your own vegetables grated)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons soy sauce
- salt to taste
- Cooking spray
- Peanut Dipping Sauce:
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- ½ inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons honey
- red pepper flakes to taste
- In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil until it melts and is shimmering. Add the ground turkey and stir well, breaking into small pieces.
- When browned, add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Stir until mushrooms start to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add the slaw mix or grated vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and taste to see if you need salt.
- Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool.
- Preheat oven to 400 and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- While the mixture cools, make your dipping sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste.
- When you are ready, lie a wrapper out on the counter so it looks like a diamond, with one corner pointing down at you. Place about 2 Tablespoons of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner up over the filling and then fold the two sides in as well. Roll it tightly up to the top corner, rub a tiny bit of water on the top corner and press down to seal the roll closed. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers and filling.
- Place the rolled egg rolls onto the sprayed baking sheet and spray the tops with cooking spray.
- Bake 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown
- Serve hot with dipping sauce