Chinese Food Guide: Best Takeout Orders and Healthy Recipes

Mar 17 2021
Question@2x Hi Hungry Girl,

We’ve been ordering more takeout these days, and Chinese food is my favorite. Do you have any suggestions for the healthiest options to order?

Staying In with Takeout
Answer@2x Hey Staying In,

I love a cozy night in with my favorite takeout. And Chinese food is soooo good! I absolutely have some easy tips, tricks, and hacks for making healthy menu choices…

Get Souped Up

You probably know (since I say it ALL the time) that starting a meal with broth-based soup is a good way to avoid consuming excess calories overall. It takes the edge off your hunger, and it’s delicious. SOUP ROCKS!

Egg Drop Soup - About 65 calories and 2.5g fat per cup (SmartPoints® value 2*)
Hot & Sour Soup - About 75 calories and 3g fat per cup (SmartPoints® value 2*)
Wonton Soup - About 140 calories and 5g fat per cup (SmartPoints® value 5*)

Steam a Little Steam

When you order one of those protein 'n veggie dishes, ask if it can be steamed instead of breaded and/or fried. Then request the sauce on the side so you can control the amount. When it’s time to eat, DIP your fork into the sauce. You'll use WAY less than if you pour it all over at once, but you'll still get the flavor. Bonus tip: To make a portion of sweet duck sauce go further, mix it with soy sauce.

All This Can Be Yours If the Rice Is Right...

If you're a rice lover like me, here are a few tips. Try brown rice instead of white or fried — it tastes great, and the extra fiber makes it more satiating. And to keep portions in check, spoon some onto a plate filled with protein and veggies. Bonus tip: Add some riced cauliflower from your freezer!

Tricky Sticks

If using chopsticks isn't exactly second nature to you, give it a go anyway. Think about it this way — working with these sticks will likely cause you to eat slower. And eating slowly allows your stomach to process the food you've already eaten, so your brain gets the message that your stomach is full before you've had time to overdo it.

Some of My Favorites

Steamed Veggie Dumplings
Steamed Shrimp & Broccoli
Moo Goo Gai Pan (a.k.a. chicken with mushrooms)
Buddha's Feast (a.k.a. mixed veggies, sometimes with tofu)

Just Desserts!

Looking for a little sweetness filled with some vague advice, prediction, or observation about your character? Grab a fortune cookie. Fortune cookies contain about 30 calories each (SmartPoints® value 1*).

Hungry for More? DIY!

I have some great takeout-inspired recipes. Enjoy all your favorites made healthier…

Chew on this:

Happy St. Patrick's Day, March 17th! Might we suggest celebrating with a Boozy Shamrock Shake later? (Alternative: Skip the liquor and add cookies!)

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SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by WW International, Inc., the owner of the SmartPoints® trademark.


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