The SparkPeople Blog

35 Healthy Asian-Inspired Recipes

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/20/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  6 comments   :  325 views

Herbs and spices and curry, oh my! There's nothing better than enjoying a flavorful Asian dish from your favorite Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean or Malaysian restaurant—unless it's preparing it yourself from the comfort of home. With an amazing recipe, the right ingredients and some culinary creativity, you can create a kung-pao-tastic dish that's just as delicious as your favorite takeout joint—and most likely considerably cheaper and way healthier.
Need some Asian inspiration? Here are some of our favorite regional recipes from talented food bloggers, along with a few from our own SparkPeople members.

Grilled Asian-Inspired Chicken Legs with Special Fried Rice: These grilled chicken legs are marinated in a combination of Asian-inspired flavors for an exotic flair.

Asian Broccoli Salad: This easy, light salad comes together in minutes for a healthy and delicious lunch or side dish. Add your favorite chopped nuts or other toppings to make it your own.

Image courtesy of Amanda's Cookin'
Asian-Style Tofu Curry with Roasted Eggplants: Flavored with lemon grass, basil and roasted eggplant, this savory curry pairs nicely with Chinese fried rice or Singapore rice noodles.

Image courtesy of Archana's Kitchen

Sesame Crunch Salad: Featuring a creamy, flavorful dressing over crunchy vegetables, this dish is proof that a vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free salad can be far from boring.

Image courtesy of The Big Man's World

Asian-Style Honey Roast Chicken: Enjoy the crispy, savory skin and honeyed sweetness of this marinated and roasted chicken.

Image courtesy of The Cooking Jar

Easy Cauliflower Curry: Here's a delicious way to sneak more veggies into your diet. The recipe creator recommends cauliflower, peppers, green beans and potatoes in this version, but you can use whatever you happen to have on hand.

Image courtesy of Hurry the Food Up

Asian Chicken Zoodle Lettuce Wraps: Ground chicken, mandarin oranges and vegetables are stir-fried in soy sauce with ginger, chili garlic sauce and garlic. Top with zucchini noodles or your favorite rice noodles.

Image courtesy of A Cedar Spoon

Easy Asian Noodle Salad with Chili Toasted Peanuts: This chilled noodle salad makes a perfectly portable lunch or a light side dish.

Image courtesy of Fake Food Free

Asian-Inspired Braised Duck Legs: Tender, fall-off-the-bone braised duck legs are finished with a sweet, sticky Asian-inspired glaze.

Asian Chicken Mason Jar Salad: In this healthy make-ahead lunch, rotisserie chicken is combined with edamame, carrots, peppers and an easy soy ginger dressing.

Image courtesy of Family Food on the Table

One-Pot Beef and Broccoli: Requiring just one pot and six ingredients, this easy weeknight meal might just take less time than picking up takeout.

Image courtesy of Foraged Dish

Peanut Crusted Chicken with Bok Choy and Eggplant: Partly inspired by traditional Thai peanut satay sauce, this nouveau peanut chicken recipe pairs well with a side of roasted eggplant and ginger and sesame dipping sauce.

Image courtesy of Foraged Dish

Spicy Stir-Fried Octopus with Vegetables: For adventurous cooks who prefer the spicier things in life, this is a must-try.

Asian Salmon Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing: Made with cucumbers, greens and avocados, this is a nutritious 15-minute meal that's also gluten- and dairy-free.

Image courtesy of Avocado Pesto

Sticky Garlic Cauliflower: This all-veggie version tastes exactly like  the sticky garlic chicken version at your favorite Chinese restaurant.

Image courtesy of Amanda's Cookin'

Asian Turkey Burger: This one-bowl, 10-ingredient, 30-minute, Asian-inspired turkey burger is juicy and flavorful, especially when paired with creamy Sriracha lime mayonnaise.

Image courtesy of Simply Sissom

Spicy Asian Chicken and Noodle Soup
: You’ll love this light and flavorful chicken noodle soup made with Asian flavors and a little bit of spice.

Image courtesy of A Cedar Spoon

Miso Ramen: A good miso base is essential for any ramen dish. Whether you’re preparing make-ahead lunches or a family dinner, it's worth the effort—once you make it, it heats and serves nearly instantly.

Image courtesy of Fake Food Free

Asian Pork Tacos with Spicy Slaw: Packed with flavor and perfect for taco night, pork tenderloin is marinated in an Asian sauce, grilled and thinly sliced, then added to your favorite taco shell with all the fixings.

Image courtesy of A Cedar Spoon

Cold Asian Noodle Salad with Peanuts and Sesame: This quick-and-simple recipe makes a quick weeknight dinner along with a warm soup.

Image courtesy of Archana's Kitchen

Asian Vegan Cucumber Rolls: This low-carb, low-calorie, gluten-free snack combines the tangy Asian flavors of tofu, avocados, red pepper, lightly pickled carrots and radishes.

Image courtesy of Avocado Pesto

Asian Dumplings with Rice
: Get the whole family involved in making these fun, hands-on and delicious dumplings.

Asian-Inspired Pork Chops: Enjoy this Asian-inspired version of a traditional favorite.

Asian Chicken Salad: This healthy, hearty salad is packed full of fruit and vegetables.

Quick 10-Minute Shrimp Teriyaki Stir-Fry
: Can’t decide between salty and sweet? This tender shrimp dish will satisfy all your cravings in minutes.

Image courtesy of Gimme Delicious

Asian-Inspired Cabbage Soup: Don't be fooled by its healthy name—the broth of this comfort soup is enhanced with Asian flavors inspired by both Vietnamese Pho and Malaysian Soto.

Image courtesy of The Cooking Jar

Asian Pepper Steak Kabobs: Grab your skewers for this easy-to-make recipe that's perfect for grilling and absolutely delicious.

Image courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Dipping Sauce: The Girl Who Ate Everything paired these delicacies with green beans and brown rice.

Image courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything

Asian Pan-Seared Salmon: This simple, flavorful salmon recipe is easy to whip up and tastes like a million bucks.

Image courtesy of The Big Man's World

Asian Ramen Slaw: We dare you to find someone who doesn't love this tangy, crispy, 10-minute Asian ramen slaw.

Image courtesy of A Pinch of Healthy

Asian Pork Tenderloin: Pop it in the slow cooker and top with a ginger glaze for a simple and savory family dinner.

Image courtesy of Simply Stacie

15-Minute Asian Beef Soup: Packed with flavor yet low in fat, this soup can be customized with any vegetables or protein you have in your fridge.

Asian Shrimp Edamame Stir Fry: Shrimp, vegetables and edamame are stir-fried with Asian flavors and garnished with fresh cilantro, green onions and sesame seeds.

Image courtesy of Cedar Spoon

Crispy Sesame Cauliflower BitesFrom after-school snacks to party platters to a dinner side dish, these spicy, sticky and crispy veggie bites are a delicious stand-in for chicken.

Image courtesy of Gimme Delicious

Healthy Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps: Lean ground turkey is cooked with onion, fresh ginger and soy sauce, spooned into a lettuce cup, then topped with crunchy shredded carrots, green onions, peanuts and Asian peanut sauce.

Image courtesy of Tastes Lovely

Which of these would you like to try?

How to Embrace Your Exercise Shortcomings

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/17/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  36 comments   :  6,267 views

"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch." Susie Miller

I've always joked about the fact that I'm a slow runner. I remind my kids that even though they can beat me in a sprint, eventually my endurance will win out and I'll catch them. Just as the tortoise eventually caught up to the hare, it just takes me a little while longer.

Have you ever been intimidated to try new activities because you know there's a chance you'll finish last or can't keep up? Are you worried that people will judge you because of it? Perhaps there's a class at the gym you've always wanted to try, but you're not sure if you're fit enough. Maybe you'd love to take a walk or jog around the neighborhood, but don't want everyone to judge your form or pace. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe you're too focused on other's opinions when you should just be focusing on yourself?

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The Moment That Helped a Dad Lose 75 Pounds and Get His Life Back

By: , – hmr
10/16/2017  2:00:00 PM   :  0 comments   :  10,005 views

Kevin lost 75 pounds in 12 months.*

"If you do exactly what (HMR) tells you to do, there's no way you can fail...that's the great thing about this program."

Sometimes a single moment can make the all the difference.

For Kevin, that moment came when he was climbing a set of stairs with his son. At over 200 lbs., he had to stop and grasp the railing as he struggled to keep up. At that moment, feeling embarrassed and humiliated in front of his young son, he knew he had to make some changes.

His primary care physician was concerned about his health, and recommended that he join the in-clinic Healthy Solutions® program. The simple, structured plan was what he needed to get his life back on track.

As he was losing weight, he practiced new healthier lifestyle skills he learned through HMR, like:

  • How to fit exercise into a packed schedule
  • Ways to eat lots of fruits and vegetables for weight and health benefits
  • Simple strategies to reduce calories at each meal without going hungry

With the help of his HMR coach and HMR's nutritionally complete (and filling!) meal plan, Kevin lost 75 pounds in 52 weeks. Now, Kevin is grateful for his new life— and he doesn't worry about having to take the stairs.

Watch Kevin's Story

Healthy Solutions® at Home brings HMR's clinically proven diet and lifestyle change program to your doorstep. The plan is simple: Lose weight quickly using HMR foods plus fruits and vegetables. Along the way, learn the healthier lifestyle skills you'll need to keep the weight off, long after the dieting phase is over.


Conquer Your Moment: Join today to lose weight quickly and learn the skills to keep it off.

The Eating Disorder Hiding Behind One Woman's ''Perfect'' Body

By: , – Stacey Ferrari, Personal Trainer and Motivational Speaker
10/13/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  56 comments   :  5,141 views

About 12 years ago, a friend invited me along to Miami to celebrate a 50th birthday party in style. The celebration was as to be expected: enjoying the casual beach vibes, eating and drinking with nary a thought about health or fitness. It was all good. All good, that is, until an afternoon island hopping evolved into an attack on body image with me—or more specifically, my physique—at the center of the argument.

With everyone in their bikinis, one woman turned to me, loudly declaring, "If I had a body like that, I'd rule the world!" Rather than celebrating body differences and discussing fitness aspirations, the single comment resulted in the group ganging up on me, critiquing and chiding me for being fit—all over a comment I didn't solicit and found ludicrous.

While there are countless instances in which envy over how I looked caused people to react to me in a certain way, the above example is particularly poignant. The fact that alcohol was involved (which certainly played a big part in the petty behavior) didn't ease the shock I felt from my long-time friend joining in to ridicule me with comments like, "Well, what do you expect—look at how you're dressed!"  What!? In a bikini, like every other woman on board?

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Could Your Self-Esteem Be Undermining Your Wellness Efforts?

By: , – Elizabeth Babcock, Psychotherapist and Author
10/12/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  53 comments   :  10,497 views

Do you repeatedly get on track with your self-care, only to let it slip away again despite achieving good results? Your self-esteem could be the culprit, whether you realize it or not. 
It can be tricky to know for sure because self-esteem isn't something you simply do or do not have; it can be stronger in some parts of your life than in others. If you are confident and accomplished at work, for example, you might not realize that you are showing some low self-esteem when you feel guilty or selfish about prioritizing your health.

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8 Life-Changing Health Lessons I Learned in My 30s

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/9/2017  12:00:00 AM   :  81 comments   :  17,257 views

Earlier this year, a major milestone happened in my life, an event that I'm still working to fully process. Crazy as it sounds (to me at least), I turned 40.

I had a wide range of emotions leading up to the day, the biggest being disbelief since I clearly remember when my own mother celebrated her 40th birthday. Didn't I just graduate from high school and college a few years ago? Apparently not.

When I think back to my 30s, a lot of it is a sleep-deprived blur, best summarized by just a few words: kids, kids and more kids. I had my first child just before I turned 30 and three more within the next six years. I spent most of my time being pregnant, taking care of newborns and learning to juggle the needs of four children. I'm still working on that juggling act every day, and I don't think that will ever change. Don't get me wrong: My children are wonderful and I wouldn't trade them for anything. But it was a big adjustment to go from focusing primarily on myself for 29 years, to putting myself completely on the back burner within such a short period of time.

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