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Chinese New Year

Try these healthy and low-cost recipes to celebrate the coming of a new year. 2020 is the year of the rat.

If your SNAP-Ed program works with people who speak several languages, you can filter SNAP-Ed Library searches by language. 

Download the cookbook:

English cookbook for Chinese New Year Spanish cookbook for Chinese New Year

apple carrot soup in a teacup with parsley garnish

Apple Carrot Soup

Ginger and orange peel are the secret ingredients to this pork, apple, and carrot soup.

Makes 8 servings.


  • 1 pound pork (lean, cut into chunks)
  • 4 apples (with skin, cored and quartered)
  • 4 carrots (large, peeled and cut into chunks)
  • orange peel (dried, 1 teaspoon, optional)
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 20 cups water


  1. In a large pot over high heat, combine all ingredients, bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soup reduces to about 8 cups of liquid, about 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Skim fat from surface and serve.
  4. Store leftover soup covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For nutrition information, please visit Apple Carrot Soup at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

Stir Fried beef and vegetables on a plate

Stir Fried Beef

Enjoy this quick and tasty meal on a cold winter night. Add spinach, steamed in the microwave as well as an apple or orange to serve on the side.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 1 1/2 pounds steak (sirloin)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 onions (large, sliced)
  • 1 tomato (large, sliced)
  • 3 cups potatoes (boiled, diced)


  1. Trim fat from steak and cut steak into small, thin pieces.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté garlic until garlic is golden.
  3. Add steak, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring beef until brown.
  4. Add onion and tomato. Cook until onion is transparent. Serve with boiled potatoes.

For nutrition information, please visit Stir Fried Beef at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

baked tofu

Baked Tofu

Ginger, soy sauce, and garlic fill this tofu with flavor. This dish is protein-packed and friendly to a vegetable-based diet.

Makes 4 servings.


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic (minced, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 package tofu (firm or extra firm, water packed, 14 ounces, drained)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Drain water from tofu. Wrap tofu in paper towels. Let set for about 5 minutes.
  3. While tofu is draining, combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger and vegetable oil in a small bowl.
  4. Slice tofu into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place tofu slices on foil lined baking sheet.
  5. Pour soy sauce mixture over tofu. Using a spatula or pancake turner, gently turn slices over to coat both sides with sauce.
  6. Bake tofu for 15 minutes. Turn slices over and bake for another 15 minutes. Tofu should be light golden brown and firm. Serve hot in place of meat or cut into slices or cubes and add to a stir-fry, fried rice, soup or salad.

For nutrition information, please visit Baked Tofu at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

fried rice with broccoli and carrots

Fried Rice

Low-sodium soy sauce and garlic powder create a delicious flavor for this brown rice, vegetable, and chicken dish.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 carrot (cut into 1/4-inch slices)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low-sodium
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup cooked bite-size pieces of chicken


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add rice and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in carrot, bell pepper, onion, broccoli, soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  4. Remove mixture from pan.
  5. Pour eggs into pan and scramble.
  6. Put vegetable mix and rice back in the pan and mix with scrambled eggs.
  7. Add chicken and cook until hot.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers.

For nutrition information, please visit Fried Rice at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

fried noodles on a green and white plate

Five Happiness Fried Noodles

Enjoy carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and green onions with fried noodles and a simple sauce.

Makes 5 servings.


  • 10 cups water
  • 1 pound egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil, divided)
  • 3 cups bean sprout
  • 1 cup bamboo shoots (julienned sliced thinly in strips)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms (dried, soaked, stems removed, and julienned)
  • 2 green onions (julienned)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


  1. In a large pot on high heat, bring 10 cups of water to boil. Cook noodles in boiling water until tender or “al-dente,” approximately 5 - 7 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a non-stick wok or pan over high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil, swirling to coat the pan, add noodles and pan-fry until noodles are golden, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove noodles from wok.
  3. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to wok, add vegetables, and stir-fry until just cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Return noodles to the wok, add salt, sugar and soy sauce.
  5. Stir to combine and serve.

For nutrition information, please visit Five Happiness Fried Noodles at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.

fruit salad in a bowl with a mint garnish

Mixed Fruit Salad

Fresh and canned fruit make this juicy salad a wonderful snack or dessert.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 apples (chopped)
  • 1 banana (sliced)


  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers.

For nutrition information, please visit Mixed Fruit Salad at What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl.