No need to give in and call up your favorite Chinese joint if you're craving takeout; these Chinese takeout recipes are just as satisfying, without busting your diet. From low-calorie kung pao to tempeh stir-fry, read on for 10 healthy Chinese takeout recipes you're craving!
This Sunday, Feb. 10, marks the Chinese New Year, the most important of all Chinese holidays. The 15-day celebration is based on the lunar cycle, beginning on the first day of a new moon and ending with a Lantern Festival on the full moon. Traditionally celebrated with family meals, fireworks, gifts, and general merriment, we think it's a great opportunity to learn a bit about Chinese culture as a family. Here, seven fun ways that you can celebrate the Year of the Water Snake with your kids!
Lunar New Year celebrations usher in the Year of the Snake and, with them, a buffet-full of culinary delights. If you've been lucky enough to partake in a traditional Chinese New Year feast, you also may have learned the significance behind each dish. Otherwise, here's a look at common Chinese foods eaten during the New Year and what they represent.
Chinese takeout is one of those comforting meals that has a permanent home on my speed dial. After a long day of work, there's nothing more satisfying than being able to order in instead of slaving away over a stove. Even if you've taken on a healthy food plan, you don't have to give up this fast and quick option altogether. There are plenty of smart and simple choices you can make to revamp your Chinese takeout order and boost the health value of your meal.
- Start with a lighter appetizer: Filling up on delicious, wonton, egg drop, or hot and sour soup helps avoid loading up on heavier Chinese entrees that come later in the meal. If egg rolls, chicken wings, or Hoisin ribs are usually your standard, swap those out for a steamed dumpling fix instead.
- Forget the fried foods: Fried dumplings, crispy egg rolls, and yes, even fried rice are foes not friends. What's actually packed into these treats may not seem that bad, but all that oil changes the equation. Luckily there are plenty of alternatives to satisfy your taste buds. Enjoy steamed veggie dumplings instead of fried gyoza, and go for rice paper spring rolls stuffed with bright veggies instead of traditional egg roll fare. Choose steamed rice over fried, and opt for braised dishes or stir-frys whenever possible.
- Look for a light menu: My favorite Chinese takeout spot offers a "health menu" with plenty of great options that offer more veggies and less oil. You may be weary of skipping out on your standard order, but you may find a new favorite, flavorful dish. If a lighter menu isn't available, ask the restaurant to use less oil and up the veggies.
- It's all in a name: Instead of city or regional descriptions, look for Chinese entrees that offer veggies up front. Mongolian beef or kung pao chicken may have been your go-to moves, but dial in for beef and broccoli, chicken with snow peas, or chicken with mushrooms. These low-calorie alternatives will help you get your meaty fix.
Keep reading for four more ideas for healthier Chinese ordering.
Celebrate Chinese New Year by eating in! Though Asian takeout has become a beloved staple in many households, it's fun to get the whole family cooking a different cuisine. With Lunar New Year celebrations kicking off tomorrow, we asked kiddie chef extraordinaire Catherine McCord, founder of Weelicious and mother of two, to share some of her healthful recipes fit for a year of the dragon fete. Check out Catherine's five options that you can serve up on a plate or in a box, but don't forget the chopsticks!
When it comes to Chinese cooking, I'm well studied in just about everything, from stir-fries, sesame chicken, and Sichuan hot pot. One of my favorite dishes is Hong Kong-style chow mein: thin, wavy noodles browned in oil until golden and crispy at the edges, then topped with a hoisin sauce and wok-fried snow peas, carrots, chicken or pork, and mushrooms. What do you reach for when you're craving Chinese?
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There's nothing more delicious than a meal made by a loved one. Here, Morrow Clark shares a dinner her husband recently prepared for her.My Husband made delicious and beautiful dinner Homemade Kung Pao Chicken. It tasted incredible.
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San Francisco certainly seems like foodie central, and sometimes dining out seems like a competitive sport here in the Bay Area. But restaurant dining doesn't need to be fraught with difficulty if you're watching calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Here are some simple tips from The Mayo Clinic Diet to follow next time you find yourself searching a menu for healthy fare. Knowing what to look for and what to avoid will help you "savor the exotic" without worrying about your waistline or heart health.