As the Year of the Rooster comes to a close and the Year of the Dog is upon us, it’s time to celebrate Chinese New Year! Many of us are still trying to stay (somewhat) true to our New Year’s resolutions of eating healthy, and if you’re like me than Chinese food is one of your biggest temptations. Although the salt and grease that comes with your favourite dish from the local takeaway may leave your mouth watering, it usually has your body feeling pretty awful. Luckily, Nutritionist Jodie Wood of Motivation Weight Management is giving us some healthy and delicious Chinese recipes that you can make right at home to ring in the Chinese New Year. What better way to celebrate this February 16th?
Vegan Low Sugar Sweet and Sour Tofu
“A favourite for many, traditional sweet and sour chicken is usually laden with sugar. You can however easily substitute the syrups and juice in sauces, and maximise the flavour by using tangy rice vinegar, rich tomato paste and plenty of spices.
The pineapple chunks in this vegan low sugar sweet and sour tofu recipe provide texture and natural sweetness but if you need a little extra you can add a xylitol or pinch of stevia into the recipe.
Do taste it first as I find it is sweet enough with just the fruit. Substituting tofu or quorn for chicken in this recipe is a great way to go meat free which we should all be aiming to do one to two days per week. You can also store this sauce in the fridge for two to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.”
1tsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 crushed garlic cloves
½ tsp fresh ginger root, grated
½ red chilli, deseeded and finely diced or pinch of chilli flakes, optional
¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 tbsp tomato puree
150ml fresh vegetable stock
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp xylitol or pinch of stevia (to taste)
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce, gluten free
200g fresh pineapple cut into small pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt
- Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli if using and stir for a minute before adding in the tofu.
- In a small bowl mix together the cornflour and 3tbsp of the vegetable stock to make a smooth paste.
- Add the remaining vegetable stock, vinegar, xylitol or stevia, tamari and tomato puree to the pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, add the pineapple chunks and cornflour paste and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: This vegan low sugar sweet and sour tofu can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Speedy low-calorie coconut-free prawn curry
“This speedy low-calorie coconut free prawn curry is super-fast to make and only has 5 ingredients, free from coconut milk which keeps the calorie content low too. Prawns are a great source of lean protein and can be relatively inexpensive when bought frozen.
Feel free to add in some extra vegetables to this coconut free prawn curry if you’d like to bulk it up, peppers and root vegetables work well.”
Ready in 15min and serves 4
2 tbsp medium curry paste e.g. Pataks
200g onion, finely sliced
180g raw or cooked king prawns, defrosted if frozen
400g tin tomatoes infused with garlic
1 large bunch or coriander
1. Fry off the onion in a large pan using 1 cal spray.
2. Once the onion has softened, add in 2 tbsp of the curry paste and continue to stir.
3. Stir in the prawns, and tin of tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
4. Chop the leaves and stalks of the coriander and add just before serving.