One of the best things about Chinese cuisine is that since there are so many recipes and variations of recipes, it’s quite hard to find a dish that wont you wont find peak your interest. From veggie-based dishes to deep-fried wontons, soups to stir-fry, the average menu at the local Chinese restaurant is loaded with options. That being said, sifting through all the available dishes for lighter, healthier choices can seem like a daunting task, leading some to avoid Chinese restaurants at all costs. Today, we are going to help demystify the process and shed some light on diet friendly dishes available at every Chinese restaurant.
Image Credit: Z & Y Restaurant
This dish is a delight for both Buddha’s and dieters alike. Buddha’s delight is comprised mainly of a rich assortment of vegetables and steamed tofu. While recipes for Buddha’s Delight can vary, some of the more commonly used veggies include water chestnuts, mushrooms, gingko nuts lotus roots and bean curd sticks, carrots and broccoli. The combination of nutrient dense veggies and protein rich tofu make Buddha’s delight a go-to for anyone craving a low-calorie Chinese dish.
Beginning a meal with soup is great of a dieter looking to ensure they don’t over indulge on the main course, and egg drop soup is one of the best options out there. An average serving contains less than 100 calories, and less than a gram of fat. One cup of wonton soup has a surprisingly high amount of protein (4.6 grams) and if its prepared in animal stock it becomes a complete protein, providing all of the amino acids your body requires.
Don’t think that because looking for healthier options means steering clear of the appetizers. Veggie Spring Rolls are an excellent option when trying to avoid the deep-fried, high-fat fare usually found on the menu. Veggie Spring Rolls are steamed using low-calorie rice paper, and filled with cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, and green onions.
Another awesome entrée to consider, shrimp is a low-fat, low-calorie shellfish with an excellent source of protein. Topped with lobster sauce, which is comprised of broth, fermented black beans, and cornstarch, provides a great alternative to soy sauce. Although the dish provides excellent nutrition, one should have reservations about eating it on a regular basis as shrimp does have a significant amount of cholesterol.
Most Diets will call for skipping dessert, but fortunately a majority of Chinese restaurants provide a perfect, complementary, after dinner treat: the fortune cookie. Each cookie packs only 30 calories a piece, and is low fat, low sugar, and practically guilt-free. Don’t feel bad about cracking a couple of cookies after your meal, as they wont have anywhere close to the negative effect that a slice of cake or ice cream will have on your progress.
Sticking to the plan when eating out is often one of the harder parts of navigating a diet. With these tips, you will not have to avoid your favorite Chinese restaurant anymore!