“Hot kale!”: Easy baked kale and tofu egg rolls

These deceptively simple little baked egg rolls are almost vegan. Not quite. They easily could be, with the right wrapper. So could they be gluten-free. So far I’m hard pressed to find  egg roll or won ton wrappers that are both gluten-free and vegan, or a recipe straightforward and appealing enough to bother with, but in truth I haven’t looked into it much. Yet.

Right now, we’re enjoying these baked egg rolls, at once both demure and a little bit boisterous, just the way they are.

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We pinch ourselves all time with mystified appreciation that  so far Little Monkey is, and has been, such a good eater. He pleads for extra carrots at bedtime, and tries with hearty and creative skill to independently grab a snack of cherry tomatoes. We’re all too well aware that this could all change in a heartbeat, as with anything with toddlers, or more accurately, humans. But for now, who would dare complain?

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Of course, greens were never the easiest to get off the plate and into little boy belly. Our go-to means of his eating greens was slipping  them into smoothies and blending or chopping  them into soups, stews, eggs…the usual. Until recently.

 

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Now, we have regular requests before, during, and after dinner: “I want kale!” Specifically, “hot kale”. And this is why. Thanks to these delightful and delightfully easy, superbly tweakable, charming little baked egg rolls, we all get oodles of power-packed “hot kale” at our house. Hot kale is popular enough, we’ve been able to diversify, branching out into kale chips, kale wraps, and even straight raw kale leaves.

 

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I’m itching to experiment with a version of these with kale leaves as wrappers. One day I’ll try. “Hot kale” demands are so pleasant for the time being I haven’t been motivated to get to that. Yet.

Baked kale and tofu egg rolls

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)
  • 12-ounce package extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups kale, ribs and stems removed and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shitake or crimini mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • cooking spray
  1. Remove excess water from tofu by pressing in between clean towels.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet, or coat skillet with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Crumble tofu into pan. Add remaining ingredients through ground pepper to taste. Cook, stirring regularly, 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are softened and fragrant and the liquid is just bubbling. Reduce heat and cook for another 1-2 minutes as needed or until the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray. Working one at a time, position each egg roll wrapper with one point toward you. Spoon mixture horizontally across the center, leaving room on each edge. Fold bottom point over filling,  followed by sides. Roll from bottom up. Use your finger to dab a little bit of water on the pointed end of the wrapper before you finish rolling, to seal the egg roll closed. Place on baking sheet, seam side down.
  6. Lightly spray egg rolls with cooking spray before baking. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or unt

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