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My favourite thing in the Chinese takeout bag was always spring rolls.

Yup, I was a total carb fiend, and anything crispy and fried was my ultimate weakness. It’s still a daily struggle for me.

I even had a nanny who made the best spring rolls, and I loved to make them with her. They were so simple, with just carrots, green beans, bean sprouts, and some seasoning, from what I can remember. And then we fried them in a pot of canola oil or something. Ick. (But also, so tasty, ughh!) I have become an avocado oil convert since then.

Part of what I loved was the combo of savoury soy, tangy rice wine, and sweet plum sauce for dipping. The crunch of the veggies and the wrapper was pretty awesome, too.

This recipe brings many of those flavours and textures together in a totally healthy and filling kind of way, but with ingredients are are a little easier on the body, like coconut aminos instead of soy and plum sauce, and apple cider vinegar instead of rice. While I didn’t eat pork as a kid (or until a few years ago at all), that seemed like the right way to go with this bowl, since that’s what you would find in an egg roll. Plus, there was a deal on some nice organic ground pork this week.

On that note, please take care when buying your meat. Do your best to find pasture-raised pork, meaning the animals are actually fed the natural diet they would consume in the wild (or on the pasture). When animals don’t eat their natural diets, they can’t maintain their health and development, so farmers often give them hormones and antibiotics. Eating healthy animals—or plants—make you healthy; eating sick ones makes you sick. Make sense?

With ground meat, it’s really easy to buy it in advance and keep it frozen, so when you have time to buy the good stuff at the farmer’s market or butcher, stock up. My butcher now vacuum seals meat, so I always ask for it when I’m freezing it for later use.

One of my favourite parts of this recipe is all the cabbage. The cruciferous veggie is full of amazing nutrients and, to date, more than 475 studies have looked at its role in cancer prevention due to being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and sulfuric. It also has tons of Vitamin K, C and B6. Read more about this wonderful veggie.

While cabbage can have a bit of a polarizing flavour for pickier eaters, this recipe really mellows out that distinctive taste that not everyone can get behind. I live with a recovering picky eater and he gave this one two thumbs up, so I’d say it’s kid-friendly (although I have been working on him for eight years, so he may not be as reliable as he once was.)

Speaking of people with particular dislikes or restrictions, this bowl has a great base and is totally customizable. You can use some, all, or none of the suggested garnishes. You can eat it as is, serve it over rice or cauliflower rice, or roll it in your wrap of choice. I had my leftovers for lunch today on a bed of fresh shredded cabbage, so I got a little extra crunch along with the cooked stuff.

This recipe is an easy one for any weeknight. Once you cut up the veggies, it only takes about 20 minutes to cook everything and get it on the table. You could double it to have around for lunches or dinners later in the week, too.

Any dish where you add different ingredients throughout the cooking process should be seasoned at every step to ensure you get the most flavour out of each ingredient. I said salt and pepper “to taste” in the recipe because you should be including a generous shake of each when you add new things to the pan. Then, at the end (once the pork is cooked, of course), you can taste and add more if necessary. I used about ½ to ¾ a teaspoon of salt in total.

Egg roll in a bowl

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: cabbage, coconut aminos, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, keto, nut-free, paleo, pork, whole 30
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 1 Tb avocado oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 large celery stalks diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • ¼ large cabbage ribboned
  • 4 Tb coconut aminos
  • Tb apple cider vinegar
  • Tb sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions diced
  • 2 Tb sesame seeds
  • Additional garnish optional: bean sprouts, chili flakes

Instructions

  • Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is heated, add in the onion, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sautée for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  • Push the veggies to the outside of the pan and add in the pork. Season generously with more salt and break it up with a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  • Add in the coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and chili flakes.
  • Stir briefly and add in the carrot and cabbage with another pinch of salt. Toss well to combine and let cook 3 to 5 minutes, until the cabbage is wilted, but not soggy.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with green onion, sesame, and anything else you like. You may serve this over a grain, in a wrap, or all on its own.

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