Wish Upon A Dish: Kasha, Ham & Cabbage Egg Rolls with a Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce {+ the Lowdown on Buckwheat Kasha}

November 28, 2013

Kasha, Ham & Cabbage Egg Rolls with a Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce {+ the Lowdown on Buckwheat Kasha}

I know these will be tough to sell, but if you are looking for a great way to serve healthy dishes to youngins' and skeptical adults, you have to make these.

First of all you can't taste the kasha and the cabbage is sweet, the ham, salty. The egg rolls are crunchy good and the dipping sauce makes it fun.

I love red cabbage but I seem to be the only one. Did not stop me from braising a ton the other day. I could graze for days on cooked red cabbage but I wanted to use them in something different.

Currently submerged knee deep in cooking with grains & seeds made me determined to show people that not only should they embrace the healthy diabetic friendly qualities of these foods, they should also know how delicious they are and we should think about replacing almost all the carbs that we would normally eat too many of.

I took the classic Russian Jewish dish of sautéed onions tossed with pasta and buckwheat groats, added ham and red cabbage, all wrapped up in egg roll wrappers to dip in a sweet and sour sauce. Use wonton wrappers and you have a novel appetizer (maybe even for Christmas this year) but use egg roll wrappers and you have dinner. Kids of all ages love to dip and chose the dip you think your family would like. I almost went with a honey mustard dip and thought about a ranch-style one but in the end, a sweet and sour was the man of the hour. The Nudge agreed with my choice.

I made 2 dozen rolls in the morning, froze them on a sheet pan, placed them in a large zip bag and pulled out 8 for dinner/lunch.

I heated 3" of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed cast iron pan and fried them until they were browned an both sides, only about 3 minutes a side. Drain on a paper towel and place on a rack in a warm oven until ready to serve.

Let's get cooking......

Kasha Varnishkes Egg Rolls
uses 1 package of egg roll wrappers
* 1/2 cup Kasha
* 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
* 1 cups braised red cabbage
* 1 (1/4") slice ham steak
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup small round pasta (acini di pepe or Israeli couscous)
* 3 cups chicken stock
* 8 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
* salt & pepper
* 3 garlic cloves

1. Beat egg and add kaska, stirring to coat. In a skillet, barely coated in vegetable oil, saute the kasha until it is dry and browned, breaking up clumps. Add the pasta and the stock, cover and simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Remove to a large bowl to cool.
2. Place the ham steak in the bowl of a processor and pulse until minced. Add to the cabbage and spoon this mixture into the large bowl containing the kasha.
3. In the same skillet you cooked the kasha in, add a tablespoon of oil and saute the onion and garlic. Add this mixture to the large bowl.

4. The bowl should now hold the kasha/pasta, the ham/cabbage and the onion/garlic mixtures.
5. Grate the Swiss cheese into the cooled mixture and set aside.
6. On a work surface, place the egg roll wrappers along with a bowl of water and a pastry brush.
5. Place a large ice scream scoop of the mixture on the bottom half of the wrapper. Brush the edges with water and roll as you would a burrito. Place, seam side down on a sheet pan and continue until all the wrappers are filled. Throw out any leftover stuffing.

Now for the nutritionals on kasha:

Kasha (or porridge) is one of the most common meals of East European and Russian cuisines.

So, what is kasha?
Opposite to misconception that kasha is made only from buckwheat (buckwheat kasha) - kasha historically is a meal prepared using any grain (buckwheat, oats, wheat, millet, barley, rice, etc) as a main ingredient. Kasha, if prepared using whole grains, can be a great addition to a long range of delicious whole grain foods and excellent way to enjoy the health benefits of whole grains.

Kasha as a Russian food has a very long history.. In Russia for hundreds of years it was considered the most common, second in importance to only bread, meal. Even now kasha is one of the basic elements of Russian food. It can be sweet or savory,  served at breakfast, as a side dish or even as a meal in itself. Kasha can be plain or cooked with other ingredients. It is difficult to imagine any simpler and easier cooked meal that in the same time has so many varieties and flavors.

Usually, kasha is very easy to cook. Dozens of easy kasha recipes exist, including quick recipes for kids, vegetarian, vegan recipes, whole grain foods and recipes, and even raw food diet recipes. All in all, kasha is great for children and adults - maany grains used to cook kasha contain dietary fiber, the wide range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It can be a part of any healthy diet. Kasha prepared from whole grains is especially nutritionally. Some recipes may be included in the list of heart-healthy and weigh loss choices.

Some research suggests that several grains may lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, lower high cholesterol, and contribute to improvement of some allergies and skin conditions. Some kasha recipes can be an an excellent addition to a non-gluten diet. Kasha is probably the easiest meal where you can experiment by creating your own recipes. Cooking kasha is never boring - you can try hundreds of new flavors and varieties of kasha by changing cooking techniques and by adding different ingredients. Just follow these simple kasha coking tips we have on this website. You can prepare low-fat and low-calorie meals, as well as delicious vegetarian and vegan meals. With hundreds ingredients to choose from,your family, including your kids, will never get bored even eating kasha every day.

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1 comment :

chowringhee said...

Egg Rolls are my favorite thing!! This will soon be an often repeated meal at my house. It works great with our Gluten Free eating as well!! Thanks so much for the great recipe!chowringhee