Happy Year of the Fire Rooster. May it bring you luck and joy. In honor of the 5-day festival, I invite you to partake of Chinese recipes, one is an old favorite, one is a new favorite. Both fit the requirements of the Fasting Lifestyle which goes to show that Fasting can fit into any cuisine. It is possible to celebrate a variety of cultures without sacrificing a healthy diet.
Chinese Pancakes ‘Jian Bing’: 300 calories 6 g fat 3.5 g fiber 15 g protein 59 g carbs 202.7 mg Calcium PB This delicious treat is popular Chinese street-food. And now it is popular in our household. Quick to cook and fun to eat. The crisp tart apple is a nice foil to the salty-spicy food. HINT: this recipe makes 4 of which 2 will do for the breakfast. Save the remaining 2 to eat cold for lunch tomorrow.
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1.5 Tbsp white whole wheat flour 1 Tbsp semolina flour 1 two-oz egg ½ cup water ¼ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts 1 egg, whisked Kosher salt 2 tsp Sriracha sauce + 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce [or more to taste] per person: 1 oz tart, crisp apple blackish coffee or blackish tea or lemon juice & hot water 5-6 oz fruit or green smoothie or natural apple cider
Whisk together the flours, one egg, and water until lumps are gone. Hint: this can be combined the night before. Whisk again in the morning. In a separate bowl, beat the other egg thoroughly. In a custard cup, combine the hot sauce and soy sauce. Using a good non-stick pan, add 2 brief puffs of non-stick spray, then wipe with a paper towel. [Keep the paper towel handy.] Heat the pan and add 3-4 Tbsp of batter, swirling the pan quickly to distribute the batter evenly to make a thin pancake that coats the bottom of the pan. Let cook for a minute or 2, then spoon some of the egg on top and smear it around. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt and one quarter of the scallions. Cook until the egg on top is a bit set, then flip the pancake over. Brush the hot sauce mixture on top. Cook for 30 seconds, fold the pancake in 4ths, and plate. Use the paper towel to wipe the pan and repeat until all the batter and scallions are gone. Nb: I had whisked egg left over. If your hot beverage is brewed, your apples are sliced, and the smoothie is ready, then you are set for a real good start to your New Year.
Shrimp Spring Rolls: 281 calories 6.5 g fat 4.5 g fiber 22.4 g protein 29.4 g carbs 125.9 mg Calcium GF PB Spring rolls are always a treat for Chinese New Year, for they represent luck. The Spring Roll wrappers look like 8” disks of opaque plastic, but after soaking for 10-15 seconds in water, they become clear and very pliant. If you are not accustomed to wrapping spring rolls or egg rolls, you might want to practice using wonton wrappers which are easier to manipulate.
3 oz raw shrimp, cut in half across the body 2 oz carrot, peeled and sliced into thin coins or cut as julienne 2 oz green cabbage 1 oz chopped green onion 1.5 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp olive oil 3 eight-inch Spring Roll wrappers 2 oz broccoli, steamed Sriracha sauce
Chop and prepare all the ingredients and put them in small dishes near the stove-top. Heat a cast iron skillet or wok until hot and add the oil. When it is hot, add the carrot and cabbage. Stirfry for 3 minutes on heat high enough to keep the vegetables sizzling. If the pan becomes dry, add some water. This is supposed to be a no-no in stir frying, but we are cutting down on oil, OK? Add the shrimp and stir fry about 1 minute, until it is cooked. Add the green onion and soy sauce. Stirfry a bit longer until all is mixed and warm. Take off the heat. Remove the cooked mixture to a bowl. [if you want to, run it briefly through the food processor. This step is optional but it can make the mixture easier to roll.] Steam or stir fry the broccoli separately.
Put a pie plate of warm water on the counter. Add one of the spring roll wrappers. When it is clear, remove it and lay it flat on a dish towel. Spoon 1/3 of the mixture onto the wrapper. Roll up a bit, then fold in the sides, then finish rolling. Put the roll in the warm pan. Repeat with the other rolls. Wipe out the pan and put a mere film of oil on it. Turn on the heat to medium-low. In the pan, turn the rolls until they are warm and slightly browned. Serve with hot sauce for dipping.