Non-Traditional Lunar New Year Recipes


unar New Year is one of my favorite times of the year! When you grow up with Lunar New Year, you're showered with red envelopes filled with dollah dollah bills until you're passed your teen years. So, it's no wonder with that type of reward system that I would still love this holiday - even if I'm now the one to give out those envelopes.

Many Asian cultures, not just the Chinese, celebrate this time of year. Not only does each culture celebrate a little differently, but surely each family has their own nuanced way of honoring our ancestors and wishing for a prosperous New Year.

There are plenty of recipes out there in the internet world that provide traditional Lunar New Year recipes, so Cheryl and I wanted to provide some non-traditional recipes as a starter kit to those who are new to celebrating this super fun time. You don't have to roast a full pig or bust out 100 soup dumplings to celebrate, you can keep it simple, thoughtful, and most importantly joyful.

Here are two easy recipes to celebrate Lunar New Year that you and your family will enjoy. (Oh, they're pretty healthy, too 🤫).

Spicy Peanut Broccoli Slaw Salad - HLC Version*

Prep Time: 10-15 min.
6-8 bowls

  • 1 package broccoli slaw, includes carrots (Trader Joe’s makes it easy!)
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 bunch parsley (roughly 4-5 stems)
  • 1/3 cup peanut halves
  • 1/2 cup edamame beans (cooked)
  • Spicy Peanut Dressing (Trader Joe’s… again!)
  • Optional: diced chicken or beef


  1. Finely chop parsley & dice zucchini.
  2. Combine dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  3. Add in dressing to taste, roughly 1/4-1/3 cup for the entire mixing bowl, or 1-2 tbsp per smaller serving bowl, depending upon preference.
  4. Pro tip: keep the dry ingredients separate until you want to eat a bowl of dressing, THEN adding the dressing in right before you’re going to eat for optimum freshness!

* HLC = Healthy, Lazy Chef Collection. No fuss, but all of the flavors and nutrients!

Chicken Meatball Soup

Prep Time: 30 min.
4 bowls

  • 1 (4-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 jalepeno
  • 2 pounds of ground chicken
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce (sub soy sauce, but trust me, just use fish sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (avocado or olive oil is okay, too)
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 (14oz) can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coconut sugar
  • 5 ounces of baby spinach
  • 12 ounces of cauliflower rice (fresh, not frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice, plus 4 wedges for serving


  1. Grate the ginger, garlic, and jalapeno (pro tip, wear gloves if you have them). Transfer half to a large bowl and set the rest aside. To the large bowl, add the chicken, finely chopped cilantro, 2TBS of fish sauce, and salt. Use your hands or fork to combine, do not overmix.
  2. Use an ice cream scooper to form 2-inch meatballs (hands are cool, too). In a large pot, heat oil medium-high heat. Working in about 4-5 at at time add the meatballs and cook flipping half way through (about 5-8 minutes) Meat balls should have a nice sear on both sides. Transfer to a plate. Repeat until all the meatballs are seared.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the reserved ginger, garlic, jalapeno mixture and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, sugar, and remaining fish sauce. Bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and any juices and simmer.
  4. After about 5-8 minutes add the cauliflower.
  5. Once the flavors come through and cauliflower is soft, remove from heat and add the spinach and lime juice.
  6. Serve topped with cilantro and lime wedges.

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