Although I am not Chinese, nor have I ever celebrated the Chinese New Year, I’ve decided to do so this year in my own little way. Why? Because, quite honestly, I feel the compulsion to do so.
This is a year of change and revelation as was mentioned in my previous post, New Year, New Life. There is a vibration coursing through the planet and every being within it conveying change is in progress. Living and walking through life as the years before is no longer an option. Even small changes can lead to positive larger shifts in consciousness and life.
This year, the Chinese New Year begins on January 23, 2012. This year is the Year of the Water Dragon. According to Chinese mythology, the dragon is an inexplicable color, making it difficult for people to see its head and tail at the same time. Being that this is the Year of the Water Dragon, one may expect to feel that, like the water dragon, this year will be full of unpredictability, which opens one up to change.
With all this in mind and with my love of creating good food, I decided to begin the Chinese New Year celebration with food! Different dishes promote wealth, prosperity, longevity, etc. I made a delicious gluten-free fried rice with shrimp and gluten-free baked egg rolls. Shrimp symbolize happiness and joy and the egg rolls symbolize wealth because they look like gold bars. You can read more about what different Chinese New Year foods symbolize at SteamyKitchen.com.
Here are two gluten-free Chinese New Year recipes I created:
Gluten-Free Shrimp Fried Rice
1 c shrimp
½ c. white rice (cooked)
½ c. brown rice (cooked)
½ c. nappa cabbage, diced (or use regular cabbage head)
2 carrots, diced
2 celery, diced
¼ c onion, chopped
¼ – ½ c mung bean sprouts
2 tbsp. gluten-free tamari sauce (or soy sauce if you’re not concerned about gluten)
1 tbsp. shrimp paste (optional)
1 tsp. hot sauce or crushed red pepper
2 tbsp. coconut oil (or good quality oil that can withstand high heat)
1. Cook rice in a rice cooker or in a pot if you don’t have a rice cooker
2. While rice is cooking, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to a hot wok or pan. Once melted, add the raw shrimp. Cook shrimp until pink. Remove from wok.
3. Add the other tablespoon of coconut oil to the wok. Add the vegetables and sauté.
4. After about 2 minutes, add the cooked rice and mix thoroughly.
5. Add the tamari sauce, shrimp paste and crushed red pepper and mix.
6. Add the shrimp. Mix to incorporate.
Gluten-Free Egg Rolls
Serves 4 (2 egg rolls per person).
8 rice paper wraps
1 c. (or 1 head) nappa cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery, chopped
¼ c cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. gluten-free tamari sauce (or soy sauce if you’re not concerned about gluten)
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1. Heat wok. Add coconut oil.
2. Add garlic cloves once coconut oil is melted. Saute for 15 seconds
3. Add vegetables and sauté for 1 minute
4. Add tamari sauce and garlic powder. Saute for another minute
5. Remove from heat and set aside
6. Fill a large bowl with hot water
7. Dip one of the rice paper wraps in the water for 2-3 seconds. Quickly remove and lay flat on a plate
8. Add about 2 tbsp of the vegetable filling in the bottom third of the wrap. Fold the edge of the wrap closes to the filling over the filling. Fold in the sides like an envelope. Roll the filling the rest of the way until it is in a nice, compact roll
9. Do the same for the rest of the rice paper wraps
10. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly oil a baking pan to keep the rolls from sticking. Place the rolls in the oven and let back for about 7 minutes. Keep watch because they can burn. Baking the rolls make them hard and crispy on the outside (even though it may not look like it) and nice and chewy on the inside.
Enjoy with Sunflower Butter Dipping Sauce!
Sunflower Butter Dipping Sauce
3-4 tbsp sunflower butter (or peanut butter if not allergic)
2 tbsp fish sauce (or gluten-free tamari sauce)
1 small chili pepper, crushed
1 ½ tsp. sesame oil
½ tsp. ginger, grated
Juice of ½ a lime
Juice of ¼ an orange
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
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