Happy Chinese New Year! Today is the start of the Year of the Tiger – a year predicted to bring possibilities and prosperity. Now that’s good news for us all, isn’t it!

If you are planning to celebrate Chinese New Year, instead of grabbing a takeaway, here is a selection of recipes you might like to try. As well as a few Slimtone favourites, there are some new ideas too.

For those of you who have been to class in January, you’ll find two favourite recipes on the new Choose and Lose Plan. The Chinese Chicken Stir-fry is a traditional Chinese favourite and the Chicken with Pineapple is quick and easy to prepare too. Both are great with rice or noodles, as well as being tasty and filling.

There are also lots of ideas for Chinese meals in the Slimtone Lifestyle Plan, including Slimtone fried rice, a great “flash-in-the-pan” recipe on page 54. And if you’re fed up with chicken, why not try the Oriental Pork on page 45, one of my personal favourites.

Here’s a new recipe for you too.

Chicken Foo Yung
Approx 200 cals per serving – serves 2

4 eggs                                          1 medium sized onion
112g/4oz chicken breast          Salt and Pepper  

Whisk eggs and set aside. Heat a wok (or frying pan). Slice the chicken breast into strips and using low cal cooking spray, cook the chicken, then set aside. Slice the onion into thick pieces and fry in the wok, adding the salt and pepper. Add whatever additional vegetables you fancy for added flavour, e.g. broccoli, bean sprouts, peppers or spring onions. Return chicken to the wok and lightly mix together with the vegetables. Add the eggs to the wok, leave to set/cook with chicken, onion and added vegetables. Using a spatula, flip the egg mixture over, cook and serve.

This can be served with basmati rice and vegetable Mayflower curry as a healthy Chinese takeaway alternative – remember to add the calories for the rice or noodles. The Uncle Ben’s individual 62.5g bags of rice are really convenient.

Remember, you can substitute the chicken for pork, prawns or Quorn chicken in any of these recipes. And for convenience, any of the recipes can be frozen into individual portions.

You could also serve it in a wrap, replacing the chicken and onion with seriously cheese squares for a tasty breakfast alternative! “Chinese” for breakfast, now who would have thought of that!!

It’s a great time to ring the changes with your “free” veggies too and add in some different flavours and textures. Try adding bamboo shoots, beansprouts, Chinese leaves, bok choy or water chestnuts to the more usual broccoli, mushrooms, celery and peppers. Steamed, stir-fried or as a side salad, with a dash of soy sauce you’ll soon bring an oriental flavour to any dish.

And if you’re looking for something sweet, a fruit salad can be transformed by adding some exotic fruits. Try star fruit, physalis, kiwis, mango, pineapple or lychees. Or simply grab a selection of different types of melon – they look so pretty in the bowl and are a sweet and refreshing end to any meal.

I hope you enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year – and make sure you keep these recipes and ideas easy to hand to help you ditch the takeaways and have a great “Fakeaway” instead!

Marie x