Chinese Food Made Healthy at Home

8 Dec

We all know that Chinese food is not the healthiest option in the world.  This recipe is a staple for me because it hits the spot and is so quick and easy, I can have it ready in 10 minutes without making a mess of the kitchen.  No pealing or chopping here.  My kind of meal.  When I opened my freezer to see what veggies we had in stock, I noticed we had a “steam in the bag” of mixed veggies that we bought a few weeks back when they were on sale.  Then I started thinking.  Then the questions started to rapidly swirl around in my head.  Then I went to Dr. Google.

I think there are two important things that people need to take into consideration if they are concerned about using “steam in the bag”, because there are pros and cons.

Main Pro – Frozen veggies are packed with nutrients because they are flash frozen at their peak, which seal in their nutrition.  Most of a vegetable’s nutrients is lost during the boiling process, so by using steam in the bag, you are losing significantly less nutrients.

Main Con – What made me do research on steam in the bag veggies was a concern that the plastic may contain BPA which would be released in the microwave.  After reading a lot of articles (I guess I wasn’t the only one with this question), I learned that the plastic they use for the steam in the bag does not contain BPA or any other harmful chemicals.  While that in itself is a good thing, the amount of plastic (and petroleum used to make the plastic) we all use is literally killing the planet.  I have been trying very hard to limit my plastic usage, so steam in the bag veggies are not something I am comfortable using very often.


Now that you know the facts, you can make the decision that is right for you and fits your lifestyle best. Got it?! Good!

Peanut Butter Stir-Fried Vegetables over Brown Rice

Yield: 2 servings


1 cup of brown rice (uncooked)

1 bag frozen veggies

2 tbsp peanut butter

1/3 cup orange juice

1/4 cup stir fry sauce

Prepare your veggies (whatever kind you want to use) and set aside  – drain if necessary.  Bring water for rice to a boil in a small sauce pan.  Place veggies, stir-fry sauce, peanut butter, and orange juice in a medium skillet, and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  While the vegetables are doing their thing, cook your rice.  When the rice is ready, place on your plate and scoop the veggies on top.  Serve immediately.


I’ve probably made this three times in the past week and a half.  Overkill?  Nah.


10 Responses to “Chinese Food Made Healthy at Home”

  1. Steve December 8, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Tasty, quick & easy… Perfect for the 3 hours we have home before bedtime during the workweek!

  2. Kristen - Swanky Dietitian December 8, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    This looks delicious! I love chinese food so making this dish at home would be a cheaper and healthier alternative.
    I am glad you shared about the BPA in frozen bags. That has been my concern now with frozen veg.

    • amy41143 December 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      Me too, I’m so paranoid about bpa

  3. Amber December 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    I usually steam my vegetables. Are many nutrients lost? I don’t really boil any vegetables. How about stir-fry? Just curious 🙂

    My 2nd graders are learning Spanish right now. How they understand anything this guy says is beyond me. I try to pick it up, but so far I haven’t been successful.

    They’re having a BALL thought. I wish you could hear all the laughter.

    • amy41143 December 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

      Steaming is fine. You’re going to lose some nutrients in the cooking process no matter what, but when you boil them most of the nutrients goes into the water and when we drain the veggies we’re also draining the nutrients.
      Sounds fun! It’s going to be hard for you to say goodbye to them in a few days, you’ll have to go back and visit.

  4. Allison @ PickyEatingRD December 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    peanut sauce on stir fry is the best! It just makes Asian-inspired dishes that much better. This looks yummy!

    • amy41143 December 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      I agree, I can pretty much put this sauce on anything!

  5. Natalie @Will Jog For Food December 9, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    Peanut butter is SO good in asian dishes! Great easy recipe 🙂

  6. Brittany December 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Yup..I am making this next week…it’s official.

  7. Kiah December 13, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Haha I don’t believe in overkill…I make chocolate chip cookies and pizza,every. single. week. Why stop a good thing?

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