Now We’re Cookin’: Egg Roll in a Bowl

To cut carbs, try a deconstructed egg roll with all the flavor, minus the guilt. PHOTO BY MICHELLE SNOWDEN
To cut carbs, try a deconstructed egg roll with all the flavor, minus the guilt. PHOTO BY MICHELLE SNOWDEN

Editor’s Note: Artists’ creativity often spills over into the kitchen. That’s the case, at least, in The Ellsworth American’s Composing Room, where graphic designer Michelle Snowden is among the fine home cooks. Michelle comes from and lives in Bucksport. Her love of cooking springs from the tasty pies, biscuits and cookies made by her Deer Isle relatives.

By Michelle Snowden

In coming days, I’m headed out of Maine to vacation in my former hometown of Tucson, Ariz. In preparation for hiking there, I cut bread, pasta and sugar from my diet to lose weight and spare myself a lot of huffing and puffing up mountain trails.

It’s been over a month now since I quit having baked goods with my mid-morning coffee and stopped eating pasta, white rice and potatoes, tortillas and whole wheat bread.

About 14 years ago, I tried the “famous” low-carb diet of the time. I lost a significant amount of weight then, but it crept back on over the past decade.

This time around, my low-carb campaign has gone pretty well so far. At the start of this week, I had lost 14 pounds. I haven’t been tracking inches, but I do know that my clothes feel looser and I’m fitting back into some clothes that I had “grown out” of.

Early on in my campaign, launched Feb. 1, I dug out my old “Atkins” and “South Beach” cookbooks and a particular favorite cookbook called “Living Low-Carb: The Complete Guide to Long-Term Low-Carb Dieting” by Fran McCullough.

In my quest, I’ve been able to find satisfying substitutes for the things that I cut out.

Chrystal, a high school friend from on Facebook, also has been eating “low-carb” and posted a picture of a dish that appeared to be a “deconstructed” egg roll. I tried it out and the dish is delicious, inexpensive, filling/satisfying and easy to prepare!

I still miss an egg roll’s crunchy shell and the duck sauce on the side, but this recipe makes a great substitute and satisfies my craving when I pass by a certain Chinese restaurant on one of my renewed weekly walks.

Not only have I lost weight and reclaimed some of my wardrobe, I feel so much better throughout the day. I try to keep snacks handy and to “graze on” in between meals.

Occasionally, I “fall off the wagon” and splurge on sugar or carb-laden treats. I do, however, feel headachy and lethargic afterwards. These days, one of my splurges might be, say, a vegetable pizza on a low-carb tortilla or multi-grain crust.

Feeling so healthy and energetic, brings me right back to eating well and better the next day.

Egg Roll in a Bowl

1 bag coleslaw mix

¼ cup onion, diced

1 lb. chicken sausage (I used ground turkey. Check the carbohydrate count)

2 cloves garlic, minced or equal amount of garlic powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

Salt to taste

Brown the sausage in a large skillet. I browned the meat in one tablespoon of canola oil and added the other ingredients right on top. Cover and cook on the stovetop about 5 minutes on medium. Remove lid, stir, toss and taste.

Finish to your taste and texture preference I added a dash of soy sauce.

Cook’s note: For a lighter version substitute lean turkey or chicken.

Snacks I like:




String cheese

Provolone slices

Dill gherkin pickles

Pepperoni slices

Peanut butter

Sugar-free Werther’s

Low-fat plain Greek yogurt (Fage is my favorite) with berries

Atkins bars and shakes


Low-carb tortillas


Mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes (and, I have never cared for cauliflower!)

Roasted spaghetti squash, served with pesto and chicken or Alfredo sauce

Favorite low-carb treats:

Chili with no beans

Cumin-spiced sweet potato Soup

Garlic/red pepper flakes Roasted broccoli

Chopped salads at Subway, watch which veggies you pick, mostly green

Pork Carnitas and black beans on spring greens

Cilantro salsa

Tip: No eating after 7 p.m. Have an herbal, decaffeinated tea with Stevia or water with lemon or lime juice.




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