Takeout is convenient. But other than that, it doesn't have a whole lot going for it. You know that most of your favourite dishes are loaded with sodium, sugar and unhealthy fat. And by the time the food makes it to your house, the deliciousness has already dropped by a factor of 10 anyway. Congealed sauces, soggy noodles and dried-out dumplings? Hmm, no thanks.
Add it all up, and you're better off tossing the takeout menu in the bin and making your favourite Chinese recipes at home instead—starting with these healthy recipes. They're easy and tasty, and they come together in less time than it would take for the delivery guy to get to your door.
Photograph courtesy of Damn Delicious
Quinoa Veggie Fried Rice
Soy sauce—and plenty of it—is usually the main flavour component of fried rice. But this recipe from Damn Delicious is more complex, thanks to plenty of fresh ginger, garlic and chopped scallions. Swapping out the usual white rice for quinoa adds extra nuttiness, not to mention extra fibre and protein.
Photograph courtesy of One Lovely Life
Healthy Beef and Broccoli
Overly sweet, gloppy sauces are part of the package with most takeout dishes. But the sauce in One Lovely Life's beef and broccoli is made with light, healthy ingredients like tamari, garlic, fresh ginger and zero added sugar. Serve over brown rice and you've got a simple, satisfying meal that's paleo-friendly, gluten-free and Whole 30-approved. Nice.
Photograph courtesy of Just a Taste
Crispy Baked Chicken Spring Rolls
Traditional fried spring rolls are greasy, and they'd be a huge pain to make at home anyway. That's why Just a Taste skips the hot oil bath in favour of the oven. These spring rolls are filled with ginger and garlic-scented ground chicken, mushrooms and shredded cabbage. Brushing them with oil before baking makes them extra crispy and delicious.
Photograph courtesy of Bowl of Delicious
15-Minute Egg Drop Soup
Overly salty, one-note soup has no place at your dinner table (or couch). Bowl of Delicious amps up the flavour of her egg drop soup with pureed corn, which adds extra umami and sweetness. It's an extra step, but we promise it's easy. The whole soup comes together in just 15 minutes.
Photograph courtesy of Cilantro and Citronella
Truth: Scallion pancakes aren't very good cold—which is the temperature they're usually at once they finally reach your house. Freshly homemade ones are just plain better, and they aren't loaded with unhealthy hydrogenated oils. Plus, they're easier to make than you might think, says Cilantro and Citronella. Just roll up your dough, fold it into a coil, flatten it with a rolling pin and toss them in the skillet until they're brown and crispy.
Photograph courtesy of Dinner at the Zoo
Moo Shu Chicken
It's basically a chicken and veggie stir-fry, so you know it's a cinch to make. Dinner at the Zoo sautés shredded cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and chicken breast with ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame oil, then folds the mixture into mandarin pancakes (tortillas work, too). It's fast, easy, delicious—and will make you forget all about takeout moo shu.
Photograph courtesy of Pickled Plum
Dry-Fried Green Beans with Garlic Sauce
The Pickled Plum's green beans are proof that it's possible to get a seriously scrumptious side dish without a ton of time, effort or ingredients. Just grill the veggies until they're charred and crispy, toss them with soy sauce, sesame oil, plus plenty of garlic, and eat. See? We told you it was easy.
First published: 18 May 2017