Friday, October 15, 2010

Foodie Friday

I'm the world's worst when it comes to diets. I love to eat but have very little willpower. However, the battle of the bulge can be fought valiantly, and deliciously, with spring rolls. They're baked rather than fried, which makes them heart-healthy as well as guilt free.
There are many recipes for spring rolls, but when I'm dieting, this is my tried-and-true favorite.
You can mix-and-match ingredients (and you won't go wrong). I like: bean sprouts, water chestnuts, carrots, peppers, cabbage or romaine, leftover rice, green onions, and ginger. I found broccoli in the fridge and broke it into tiny pieces (or tiny trees, as Bandwidth used to say).

Saute the vegetables in Pam and a little sesame oil. Add a pinch or two of Kosher salt.
Cook till the peppers, carrots, and onions are tender. Then fill the wraps. Spoon the veggie mixture into the center of the "diamond".

Fold edges of the diamond and seal the edges with water.
Starting at the lower, "open" end of the diamond, start rolling toward the other open edge. The first roll won't touch the filling--it'll be all wrap--but keep rolling and you'll get there. Seal the edges with a little water.
Set on a Pam-sprayed pan. Be sure to spray the rolls with Pam.
Twenty minutes later, supper is ready--or you can serve them as appetizers.

Each Nasoya wrap has approximately 56 calories. You're dividing the filling into 20 rolls, so it's very low cal(bean sprouts = 45 calories for the whole can and water chestnuts, 90 calories/can), even with 2 T sesame oil (45 calories/T). Romaine, carrots, broccoli, peppers, and onions --not even going to count them! I refuse. The soy sauce and chicken stock will add a few calories, too, but not many. Best I can figure (and I am horrid in math, so beware), each spring roll has 70 Gollum calories.

For a more substantial (but still reasonably low-cal) entree, add leftover rice (just use 1/2 cup if you are strictly watching calories), chicken, shrimp, pork, or ground beef.
Of course, the rolls can be fried, too, but I have to whisper that word around here or my fat cells will awaken and attack.

My mother used to save leftover rice and green peas, and the next day, she'd make these rolls for me, the Mistress of Pudge, and my skinny, salad-eating brother.

If you can find rice paper wraps, you'll save even more calories (3 rice paper wraps have 100 calories vs 3 for 170 calories in egg roll wraps).

Low Calorie Spring RollsNasoya Egg Roll Wraps (1 lb or approx 20 sheets)
La Choy bean sprouts 1 14 oz can, drained
Reese sliced water chestnuts, 1 can drained and chopped
1 head romaine, chopped -- or cabbage
1 c grated carrots
1 chopped red bell pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1 c white rice, cooked
Spray Pam in the bottom of a non-stick pan. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Heat on medium high and add vegetables. Add fresh grated ginger, if you've got it. 2 T soy sauce. 2 T chicken stock. Saute. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Add Tabasco or hot red pepper flakes, if desired. Optional: onion salt, garlic powder--just eyeball it, just a pinch of each). Add 2 packets Splenda (I tried to get by with one. No luck).
At this point, you'll want to taste the filling (as you would cornbread dressing) to see if needs more soy sauce, salt, pepper, or chicken stock. Mine was very bland until I added Splenda and chicken stock.
Preheat oven: 400 degrees.
After your filling passes the taste test, you can make the rolls. Pour an inch of water into a small bowl. You'll need this to seal the edges of the rolls.
Find a large cutting board or spread waxed paper onto your counter. One at a time, peel back an egg roll wrap and set on the board. The wrap will resemble a diamond. (Note: the wraps are very thin and fragile and will tear.) Spoon in a tablespoon or two of filling in the center of the wrap. Roll once, maybe twice (depending on the filling's girth), then fold the sides, dabbing water on the edges so they'll seal--and all you need is a dab.
Continue rolling. Add water on the final edge and seal. Set roll in pan. Continue filling, folding, sealing, and rolling. The package will make 20 spring rolls.

Spray rolls on all sides with Pam. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. You can turn them over (I didn't), and the wrap will have a crunchier (harder) texture.

You can eat four wraps with low cal dip, salad (use the 1 calorie per spritz dressing), 1 cup (halved) strawberries (45 calories), 2 T. sugar free Cool Whip (20 cal), and you've got a meal for 300 Gollum calories.
Dips are delicious with wraps but they're filled with empty calories. Make your own sauce with reduced sugar jam (apricot or peach). Add dashes of soy sauce, hot pepper flakes (if you like your dip hot), rice vinegar, and salt. I love Captain Rodney's Hot Caribbean salsa (10 calories per 2 T)because it's fruity-hot like a traditional spring roll dip, but those tablespoons add up, so you might want an alternative.

Thanks to everyone who sent get well wishes to my husband. He had minor surgery today and is feeling much better this evening (though he's not quite ready to eat a spring roll!).

I had tremendous fun reading the answers to the "strawberry quiz." Mister picked the winner, who will receive a $25 Bed, Bath, & Beyond gift card.
And the winner is....

Carol in Indian Springs Village, for her answer to the quiz "the last time I bought strawberries":
"The last time I bought strawberries, I had a red ring around my mouth from sneaking them out of the package. And I thought of my late grandmother who, even when she broke out in a rash, would eat strawberries every day she could get her hands on them!"
More fun awaits as soon as I get my sweet husband back on his feet. Until then, the winners of the 2nd photo contest will be announced Sunday. Thanks to everyone who participated. The photos are awesome!

The 3rd contest starts at midnight tonight. This time we'll be doing mosaics. You can submit as many photo mosaics (any theme) as you like to the Foodie Friday Gallery and the Decorating Gallery.
The deadline is April 30th.

Mr. Linky awaits your Foodie Friday recipe. If this is your first time to participate and you aren't sure how to link, the Foodie Friday Info Page will explain. If you need more help, send me an email and put "URGENT--Foodie FRIDAY" in the header.


  1. Thanks for hosting Foodie Friday! I made Spiced Dal for this week.

  2. I love spring rolls but I've yet to find the courage to make them myself! You make it look so easy though. I think it sounds like a great weekend project for myself.

    Glad your husband is feeling better. I hope his recovery from surgery is quick and easy!

  3. Beautiful photos! Looks and sounds yummy!

  4. Your Spring Rolls look so good, I will be making these soon! Happy Foodie Friday!

  5. Your spring rolls look wonderful, Micheal. I make them all the time and you are right, you can mix any vegetable and you can never go wrong....Christine

  6. These look wonderful! Will have to try.

  7. Welcome back Michael! Dr G has been in my thoughts- glad he's feeling better. These look really good. Allie loves Chinese, so I may just surprise her with these on Saturday.
    xoxo Pattie

  8. you can stick with low cal and keep your pretty figure, excuse me while i phone in chinese to go, i knew i was too hungry to look here first!

  9. Yum, those spring rolls look fantastic! I've never tried to make them myself, but I'm intrigued.

    This is my first Foodie Friday post! Thanks for hosting!

    Kristin @ Adventures of a Betty Crocker Wanna-Be

  10. Michael.....looks like we're on the same page with the low-cal recipes. These look delicious! Can't wait to try them.

    Elaine :)

  11. O, this looks so so good, Michel, and i will be trying them soon.
    xo bj

  12. Michael Lee, I feel so very blessed to be starting my diet at the same time as you! I really think your figure conscience recipes will help me. I hope you continue to post these DELICIOUS healthy recipes! I am making out my grocery list, and while reading your post just kept adding all the ingredients to make these tomorrow. They look fabulous.
    Now, as for my foodie friday post... butter! I still must be under the influence of my Paula Deen tour!
    Thank you for posting and hosting and being a wonderful blogging friend!

  13. I'm with you on trying to fight that never-ending battle. Love your solution. I'll add that to my "battle plan."

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  14. Craving Spring Rolls now :-) Glad your Hubby's on the mend.

  15. Those look fabulous. As always, your photos are exquisite! Great job, thanks for hosting and best wishes to your hubby.

  16. Your spring rolls look fantastic! I've never made them, but you've made it look super easy! :)

    ~Aubree Cherie

  17. I make Egg Rolls, but don't like the frying mess. I bet these will be great instead.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Those look wonderful, I always fry mine in grease because I was afraid they wouldn't turn out. ICK I will bake them from now on.

  19. These look just wonderful - bonus that they are healthy!
    Hope your hubby feels better quickly!

  20. YUMMY!!!! I can't wait to try these. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Thanks also for having me again...I just love coming to your linky party each week.

    Best wishes and please send a get well "G'day" to Dr G from me.

    Best wishes,

  21. Michael, spring rolls are favorites here! Thanks for the recipe. It's been a long time since I made some of these.
    I send best wishes to your husband for a speedy recovery. The treble clefs arrived today. :-)
    I'll do a post asap.
    Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.
    All the best to you ~ Sarah

  22. Those spring rolls look wonderful. As always, your pictures are truly scrumptious!

  23. Oh, you're good--I would never venture to do this. I made homemade stir fry tonignt. Spring rolls were from the freezer section! Hope the good dr. is on the mend. Good luck to you if he is a typical male patient :)

  24. Your spring rolls look so good. Yum! I love them! I also make one with rice pretty! Joni

  25. Dear Michael

    You did a beautiful job and it looks delicious! Your photographs are stunning! You are so talented!

  26. I have never made those, but they sound delishious. I am going to try that out! LOVE It! Thanks girl!

  27. Our grandchildren love steamed broccoli just lightly coated with butter. We have 4 yr old twins & they both say "more trees, please".

    Your wraps look yummy & I'm going to try them!

  28. These look delicious and diet friendly...I'm going to try them this weekend! Thanks so much for sharing, I can't wait!

  29. those looks so very good. I have never made them, but after your tutorial i just might try!

  30. These looks so delicious, Michael!
    I made homemade veggie wantons once and they were delicious! I need to get adventurous again... These look too good to just "leave on the internet" I need to see them on my plate!
    Have a great weekend! ~Maria

  31. We adore Asian flavors, so this sounds just perfect for us! Thanks for the inspiration!

  32. Yum! These look delish! Thanks for hasting a fun party! :) Your pictures are gorgeous!


  33. OH, I just have to try these!!! They look fantastic!

  34. Gave up making these when I stopped frying. This method is so intriguing. Looks wonderful...will have to try, and I already have rice wrappers!

  35. How I love spring rolls! It will soon be midnight and you have me so hungry! They all looks wonderful!

  36. These look great and I love that they are baked not fried. The fat in my post should be canceled out by my reading your lusciously low fat post....isn't that how it works? :-)

  37. I almost ruined my keyboard with drool!

  38. looks like we were both in the wanton isle Miss G!
    THose look fantastic and what a great idea to bake them!

  39. looks delicious. I haven't tried that kind of wrapper and I wrap it differently. Every country in Asia have different recipes. I'm hungry now!

  40. Love your wraps.. I need to go for fewer calories these days. At the moment I am oven-less because my new fancy stove had a hissy fit. Why don't they make things like they used to??? Thanks for hosting!!

  41. I've been wanting to make Spring Rolls but had not found a recipe I liked until I saw yours - and it's low calorie - fantastic! I'll definitely be giving it a try. Hope your husband continues to feel better and you all enjoy the weekend. Thanks for hosting.

  42. I have been a fan of your site for quite sometime and I have loved Foodie Friday! Now, thanks to all of Lady Katherine's help - I am able to participate! Thank you for hosting and posting this delicious recipe!
    <>< Concetta

  43. Michael those look amazing...and truly your food shots are just over the top! Love the depth of field in the one right above the recipe!
    All Things Heart and Home

  44. I am sending well wishes to your husband and kudos to you for such great looking rolls!

  45. Those look fabulous, Michael! I have an idea on how I will make a gluten-free version. ;-)

    I've linked up a "new" recipe born out of necessity--magic oat bars, instead of the classic magic cookie bars. :-)

    All the best to your husband during his recovery,


  46. These are right up my alley! Low cal and delicious, I'm going to have to try these. Thanks!

  47. These look so flavorful! Thanks for posting the recipe.

  48. I often make these for guests. I make them a head of time and freeze them ready to go. Low cal or not they are always a hit.

  49. Hi everybody, I am new this week, Lindaraxa's Garden ( ) is my blog. Love the recipe Michael, and also the pictures are stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Ooooh you've really inspired me! We were just watching something last night about how egg rolls are made, and now I see this! And they look so much healthier baked.

    I think I'd add mushrooms. Now the wheels are turning...haha

  51. I love spring rolls and actually made a batch last month. Your recipe looks so delicious!

  52. Love a good Spring roll. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Glad the Dr. is doing better.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  53. I was worried that something was going on with Dr. Big when you hadn't posted all week. I'm sorry to hear he needed surgery but glad to know he's recovering nicely. Must be that Private Duty Nurse he's got taking care of him! :-)

    Thank you for this delicious looking recipe. I'm like Yvonne...jotting down all the ingredients to I'll be sure to have it on hand when I'm ready to try it.

    You don't want to read about my Asiago cheese bread if you're dieting! Back away from the computer...close your eyes...plug your ears, too. Its that good. LOL

    Take care & pat the poochie & hug the doctor...or hug the poochie & pat the doctor, whichever works!


  54. This is one that I sure will try. It looks delicious and I love little bite size items like this. Will have to do this on our family vacation because my girls would love this. They love anything that looks like a wrap.

  55. These looks outrageously delicious! I want to jump through my laptop and grab one.

  56. Those look so delicious! I have always been scared to make spring rolls, but love them. You make it look easy. Thanks for making them low calorie and delicious at the same time. Sending get well wishes to you hubby! Hope all is going well.

  57. Those look so delicious! I have always been scared to make spring rolls, but love them. You make it look easy. Thanks for making them low calorie and delicious at the same time. Sending get well wishes to you hubby! Hope all is going well.

  58. These look delicious! Thanks for hosting!

  59. They look delicious, ML!
    Have you tried spaghetti squash as an alt to pasta? Low cal and lots of variations...

  60. Those spring rolls sure look yummy...I thought they would be harder to make! You make it look so easy! Thanks for hosting!

  61. Oh, those look so good! And diet-friendly, even. I'm definitely going to try them. Thank you!

  62. Aaaah... you are making me so hungry!


  63. I like the bake idea! It sounds so healthy, now I can't complain about the egg rolls being so fried. I will try baking mine next time! Have a great weekend.

  64. great step by step pictures sounds delicious

  65. Wishing Dr. Big a speedy recovery.
    The spring roll really look great.

  66. Thanks for the yummy looking recipe. Thanks for Foodie Friday I just started my blog and it brought quite a bit of traffic in :)


  67. Thank you for hosting this fun blog party! Your recipe looks absolutely delicious!

  68. Your spring rolls look delicious, Michael! This looks like such a do-able recipe too - thank you.

    Sorry I had to miss FF this week...darn computer!

  69. I'm new to your blog..I love to bake/cook so this is perfect for me..Thanks so much for hosting!!
    I'm Barb from
    I also am your newest Follower..I hope you'll stop by & take a peek & see if there is anything that inspires you for your Home/Family & that you will become a Follower of me too. Also can we put more than 1 recipe link for the party?? I did 2 ..I hope that is ok..

  70. Wow I didn't know you could bake these and they'd come out looking so crispy and yummy...I can't wait to try these. Thanks for the inspiration...I need it after my yard sale bombed today...needless to say I'm bummed...going for the comfort of food now :D

  71. I just found your blog and it is wonderful! I'll be back for more!

  72. When asked what blogs inspire me most, I would have to put you at the top of the list. Therefore, I passed along an award to you. Just in case there is someone out in blogland who has not seen your blog, and really must, I included you on my blog! Come on by and see, if you wish!

  73. I won??? I can't believe it! Let me know if you need an address or anything else. I'll eat a strawberry in my grandmother's honour! Thanks so much, Ms. Gollum and Mister! So glad that Dr. Gollum is doing better; sending well wishes and prayers for his speedy recovery so he can participate in future Foody Fridays!

  74. I love baking/cooking/and everything in between. I've recently decided to join the world of linking. This is the first 'food link' site I've run across...I'm looking forward to following, and finding fun recipes! Thanks for providing this zone of recipe goodness!