Is 2011 over already?  I don’t feel prepared.  This blog post is late and I feel I need to say something profound to start the new year off right.  But I have nothing profound to say.

It feels odd to not have a well edited list of resolutions ready to post.  Honestly, I haven’t thought about it much this year.  This is not for lack of trying.  I have been easily distracted.  I like lists.  I like long numbered lists. The process of writing a list provides me with a sense of accomplishment.  I like the challenge embodied in that long numbered list. I enjoy checking items off when they are done.

This year, well, I don’t know what happened, but I’m coming to terms with this: it’s okay to not have a list.

As I’m watching television last night – January 1 – with my husband, the lower right hand corner contained the words “#resolutionfail.” Admittedly I checked out twitter so see who and what was posted already – I’m happy to report not much. Point has been made. We make New Year’s resolutions only to break them days later.

Maybe I’m rebelling? (you could ask my mom about this, it would not be first time).

Or maybe I’ve come to understand self-improvement and change is continuous and not just something to do on January 1.

So instead of something profound, I leave you with a recipe today. I’ll leave you with something yummy and healthy.

A typical New Year’s Eve at our house includes take-out Chinese food.  This year we made our own. These spring rolls are easy, low-fat and vegan.  The recipe idea comes from Sandi Richard’s “The Family Dinner Fix.”  I love that this recipe uses phyllo pastry.  Don’t be afraid, it is really easy to use, and Sandi’s technique makes it even easier.  She only “oils” the top sheet.  Normally phyllo is oiled or buttered between each layer of pastry.  But used like this, you don’t really need the extra fat.

Any 1 pound bag of fresh cut raw coleslaw mix will do. I’ve added bean sprouts, because I don’t think a spring roll is a spring roll without them, and added a dash rice wine vinegar.  To me the vinegar makes these taste just a little closer to take-out. Serve with your favourite plum sauce or any other dipping sauce that makes you happy.

Vegetable Spring Rolls

makes 20-24 rolls

  • cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 package coleslaw mix salad – 14 oz
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 8 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil for brushing pastry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Spray pan with cooking spray, add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, coleslaw, soy sauce. vinegar and bean sprouts. Saute until wilted and soft. Make sure the sprouts have released most of their water and this liquid has evapourated away. Otherwise your rolls will be soggy and you don’t want that. Set aside to cool while you prepare the phyllo pastry.

Lay 2 sheets of phyllo pastry on your work surface. If you haven’t worked with phyllo before you should know that it tears and dries out very easily.  Cover the sheets you are not using with a damp dish towel whilel they wait their turn.

Very lightly, brush the top sheet with canola oil.

Take 1/4 of coleslaw and sprout mixture and spread it along the long side of the pastry in a thin line. Like this…

Roll the phyllo around the filing and continue rolling until you have a long cigar shaped roll. You can tuck the ends in as you roll or be lazy like me and just pinch them at the end. Lay the roll on your baking sheet.

Repeat these steps until you have 4 rolls.  Score the rolls into 5-6 “spring rolls”.  Don’t cut all the way through. Spray the tops of the rolls with cooking spray and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Remove from the oven, break rolls apart, serve with plum sauce.

For Christmas I got a cool little program that calculates everything you would want to know about any recipe.  Here is the stats for this one, per spring roll, based on 24 rolls:  How cool is that!?

Calories 33.08
Calories From Fat (33%) 10.91
% Daily Value
Total Fat 1.23g 2%
Total Carbohydrates 4.95g 2%
Fiber 0.61g 2%
Sugar 0.83g
Protein 0.84g 2%

Do you have a traditional New Year’s food?  What did you eat?