Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BEAUTYS: Vegan Vegetable Dumplings/Eggrolls

WHOA! These were WAY simpler than expected. The filling is PACKED with protein, light, savory and generally delicious.Very palate friendly for picky kids, as the veg is not so VEGGGG!!!!! The super easy part helps too! 

As usual, I am tremendously surprised about how LITTLE effort it takes to make that same kind of food i usually buy frozen, only better. It just takes a TINY bit of forethought....AND it's cheaper.

Now i work, so adding all this cooking to my schedule isn't easy, But i have actually grown to love the process more. The MAKING of things, where i used to HATE recipe cooking and could only tolerate making my own (almost always) savory throw togethers.

...and I hate the dishes, But what are you gonna do? Everyone can't have a huge kitchen with much cabinet and counter space, an actual dishwasher and an oven that works 100% of the time. :)

****I won't go into the the fact that I ALSO tried to make GF dumpling wrappers...which were a miserable horrible soul degrading FAIL. Uncharacteristically, I didn't even take pictures because the scene ended up being so ugly. Luckily, i had extra wrappers on hand. I'm getting smarter about these things.

BEAUTYS: Vegan Veggie Dumplings

1 1/2 cups Savoy or green cabbage, chopped
1/2 small red or yellow onion chunks
1/2 cup crumbled firm tofu
1/2 cup celery lightly chopped
1 large carrot, lightly chopped
1/2 cup water chestnuts

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon Soy, Tamari or Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons oil for pan (i always use coconut)
sea salt
30 square dumpling wrappers (Find packaged ones near the tofu in the refrigerator section of your supermarket.) *** You'll see I used egg roll wrappers accidentally and all was well.

Optional for dipping:
3/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 rice wine vinegar (flavored if you like)
2 tbsp sesame or olive oil.
     -whisk together!

Pulse the onion, carrot, water chestnuts and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. On medium-high, heat these ingredients in large non-stick skillet and add the cabbage and pinch of salt.

Stir until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the tofu, peas and quinoa and continue cooking just until the peas are soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

Now...Line a few of the dumpling wrappers on a flat, dry surface and put 1-3 tablespoons of the filling mixture in the center of each wrapper depending on if it is small or large (see pictures).  Carefully bring each of the edges together to form what resembles a little pyramid, making sure you press all the edges to form a good seal.

Don't forget to lay it out in a DIAMOND shape, points north and south
Fold #1.
If you are making smaller dumplings just bring the #1 fold ALL THE WAY up to the top and press edges firmly, firmly firmly.
I used a bit of egg wash to seal if you arent vegan, but you dont have to.
Fold # 2 & 3 for eggrolls.
Press edges after each fold,
 like you are trying to nicely wrap a package with sharp edges

There is a bit of a learning curve with the wrapping.
Don't worry...If you seal them well, it doesn't really matter if they are all EXACTLY the same does it?!
To Cook:

You have options.... 
1. Place the dumplings in a steamer for 4 minutes. No oil, no browning.

2. Do a combination of frying and steaming, by heating a bit of oil (again i would use Coconut or canola, and not easily burning Olive Oil) in a large nonstick skillet on HIGH heat. Lightly brown the dumplings for 2 minutes turning ONCE. Then add 1/2 cup of water and steam them for another 2 minutes with a top on. This is the method have done with much success in the past, but not what i did, which i regret....

3. Lay them out on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and brush with a bit of olive oil. Bake at 400 till golden brown. I tried this method, and had to turn them. They look gorgeous, but still have that slightly chewy middle. I would go for #2.... but do what you will.

**Gratefully adapted from G. Paltrows veggie vegan dumpling recipe.