April 11, 2012

Avocado & Sun-dried Tomato Wontons, 2 Ways

I've been obsessed with the Avocado Eggrolls at Cheesecake Factory for as long as I can remember.  The filling is vegan, but the wrapper is not.  Plus it's deep-fried.  So a definite no-no.

Plus, I've been wanting to wrap something up and make a vegan wonton or eggroll (or egg-less roll) for a while now.  So I merged these two obsessions and created the Avocado & Sun-Dried Tomato Wonton.
Steamed on the left; baked on the right
Oh wontons - so yummy, so chewy, so pop-able.  I have missed them since going vegan, but I didn't realize how much until I had these.  I accidently got wonton wrappers that had eggs in them.  Which served as a reminder to always to double check labels - just cuz it's "all-natural" or even "lactose-free" does not necessarily mean it's vegan (I've made these mistakes before too!).

Although we had the wrong wonton wrappers, there are vegan varieties out there.  Vegan wonton wrappers are hard to find, but your best bet is probably an Asian food store.  However, there are vegan rice wrappers out there, and spring roll wrappers that are vegan - both would work perfectly fine for this recipe and others like it.  Or, you could make your own wrappers using this simple recipe.

So I thought I would take this opportunity to address the question - why no eggs?

Well, most people know that eggs are incredibly high in cholesterol - 1 egg contains a crazy 200mg+, which takes a big chunk of the recommended 300mg daily limit.  Not to mention, the yolk is filled with fat (mostly saturated), and the white is a concentrated source of animal protein (what we should be avoiding, since it's linked to cancers, obesity, heart disease, etc.).  Studies have shown that egg consumption can increase colon cancer, as well as increase risk for breast cancer in women.  But I could go on and on, citing this study and that, (see a great list of published studies here) but I'll just tell you that it's best to avoid eggs.  Period.

That being said, since I had already bought and opened the package, I decided to use it.  One little slip up certainly won't kill me.  Making it a daily habit certainly will.

So we made this filling concoction with some of my favorite things - avocados, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and cilantro.  YUM!  Honestly, I were completely satisfied just eating the filling.

I had no idea what I was doing, so I decided to try cooking them two ways:  baked and steamed.

We had a Facebook survey, asking fans what they thought our preferred cooking method was.  I'll admit, it surprised us both.  The winning cooking method was.......

STEAMED!

We were so positive that we would prefer the crispiness of the baked version, but we really loved the chewiness of the steamed ones!  Go figure!  We suggest making them both ways because they were both really awesome - and let us know which version you prefer!

Love & Kale,
Ali

                          ____________________________________________
Avocado & Sun-Dried Tomato Wontons
Makes:  About 20-25 wontons
You could switch up the amounts of each filling ingredient to suit to your own tastes.  Steamed or baked, these little wontons are creamy (from the avocado), with a bite (from the cilantro and red onion), and perfectly chewy and crispy.  Oh and the sauce rocks too.  They would be great as an easy (but fancy) appetizer!

Print here.

Ingredients:

  • Vegan wonton wrappers, rice wrappers, etc.
  • 2-3 large avocados, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced finely
  • 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, diced finely (preferably the ones in water, not oil)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1/2 container of Toffuti sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg's Amino Acids
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flake
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions:
  1. Put all of the ingredients, besides the wrappers, in a large bowl and stir gently to combine.  Check for seasonings and add more if needed.
  2. Get your wonton wrapping station ready!  You will need a small bowl filled with water, your wontons, your filling, and a non-stick baking sheet (if baking).  Place a small amount (1-2 tsp) of the filling in the center of the wonton.  Fold the wonton in half, and with wet fingers, press the ends together to make them stick.  Continue until all of your wontons are done.
  3. If baking:  Spray wontons with a little bit of oil (not much!) and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 8 min.  Flip them, and bake again another 2 minutes.  
  4. If steaming:  Spray a large pan with a little bit of oil (not much!) and heat over medium-high heat.  Place wontons in pan and sear the outside for about 2 minutes on each side.  When golden brown on each side, put about 1/2 cup of water into the pan and cover.  Steam for about 4 minutes.  
  5. For the sauce - mix all ingredients together.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Serve with wontons and ENJOY!
Ingredients (but don't use those wonton wrappers!)

Mix all the filling ingredients together

Get your wrapping station together (who sees the ninja hands!?)

Place a tsp or two in the center of the wrapper

Pinch together with wet fingers to seal

If baking, place on a baking sheet and bake

If steaming, sear on the outside for a couple of minutes on each side

Then add water and cover to steam for another few minutes

Mix your sauce ingredients together (ninja spoon is so fast, you can't even see it!)

Finished Cilantro Dipping Sauce

(In a 1940s announcer's voice) "And in this corner, we have steamed wontons! And in this corner, we have baked wontons! Make it a clean fight!"

Yummy bite - creamy on the inside

Rockin' Wontons

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