Food Facts: Benefits of Eating Nuts
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In general, nuts are good sources of fat, fiber and protein.

Most of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. However, they do contain some saturated fat.

Nuts also pack a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E.

Many studies have investigated the health benefits of increased nut intake.

One meta-analysis of 33 studies found that diets high in nuts do not significantly affect weight gain or weight loss .

Yet, despite having little effect on weight, many studies have shown that people who eat nuts live longer than those who don't. This may be due to their ability to help prevent a number of chronic diseases.

For example, nuts may reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels .

There are several yummy dishes at Windchimes that include a type of nut like our Honey Glazed Shrimp, any Kung Pao dishes, any Cashew dishes, and my favorite Honey Glazed Cashew Chicken!

Recipes to Try at Home: Cantonese Noodles
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Have you ever wanted to venture outside the typical meal? Do you want to impress someone with a new dish or just want to try to make one of your favorite dishes at home? Well, you’re in luck! Today I’m posting how to make one of our favorite dishes Cantonese Noodles!

The recipe comes from The Little Spice Jar website. Check it out below:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces Hong Kong style egg noodles

  • 8 scallions

  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce

  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons high heat oil (such as canola, vegetable)

  • 1 ½ cups mixed veggies (such as coleslaw style cabbage, shredded carrots, and bean sprouts)

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Bring a large stockpot of water to boil. While the water is boiling, separate the greens from the whites of the scallion. Cut into one-inch pieces then quarter the 1-inch piece vertically so you end up with thinly julienned scallions, set aside. In a bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, stir to combine, set aside.

  2. When the water comes to a boil, add the noodles and allow them to boil for 2-4 minutes (according to package directions). Drain and rinse under cold running water.

  3. Heat a large wok or a 16-18 inch skillet over high heat. Let the skillet heat for several minutes until it becomes SCREAMING HOT. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of canola oil. When the pan becomes very hot and the oil starts to shimmer, add the noodles in a thin even layer. Grab the handle and carefully swirl the pan so the oil evenly coats all the noodles. Allow the noodles to cook for 4-6 minute or until they become crispy.

  4. Flip the noodles over using a large spatula. Do this carefully, don’t worry if you cannot get all of them to turn at once. Do it in portions if necessary. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of canola oil around the perimeters of the pan and again, lift the skillet with handle and swirl the pan to allow the oil to distribute. Let the noodles fry for an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove the noodles to a plate.

  5. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, along with the white part of the scallion and let sizzle for just 10 seconds. Add the shredded carrots if using, and let cook for an additional 10 seconds. Add the noodles back into the skillet and toss. Separate the noodles so there aren’t any large clumps. Toss in the shredded cabbage mix, if using and drizzle with the soy sauce mixture and toss continuously for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce distributes evenly over the noodles.

  6. Add the bean sprouts if using and the greens of scallions. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

NOTES:

  1. For vegetarians, you can swap the oyster sauce for dark soy sauce or an oyster flavored sauce (see ingredients some of them actually don’t contain oyster extract at all!)

  2. If you do not have a skillet/wok large enough to fit all the noodles, you can do this in 2 batches (use a ½ tablespoon of sesame oil and ½ tablespoon of canola oil per batch/per side.)

The prep and cook time all take about 15 mins totaling in half an hour. Now if that doesn’t sound easy and . like a complete meal I don’t know what does!

Try it out today and post your images to show how you did!

Monthly Horoscope: March Fire Rabbit
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The month of the Fire Rabbit of the Chinese calendar starts on March 7th and end on April 5th.

Though your luck for wealth is somewhat stable, the excessive waste in daily life will make you out of cash at the end of the month and ruin the investment opportunities. In workplace, you Rabbit people will be prone to misunderstanding and you should watch your tongue in communication with coworkers; some secrets and gossips you talked with them might be spread by someone. As for love relationship, you'd better say it directly and you will get an unexpected answer or surprise.

Your work will go well and you will be as busy as a bee for the project or business in your charge. The high-intensity state will improve your efficiency significantly and the work will go well with your efforts. The stressful work, however, will make you short-tempered and you should watch your attitude toward colleagues, or you will be envied and hated. Your income from work will be good but not for windfall, so stay away from gambling and consider about conservative investments or conventional savings.

Unique Vegetables in Chinese Food: Bamboo Shoots
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China is a large continent which in turn brings a lot of different food varieties. One vegetable that is seen in a lot of different Chinese cuisines in Bamboo shoots. What are they you ask?

As the name implies, bamboo shoots are the edible shoots of the bamboo plant, which is native to Asia. They are cut from the plant once they appear above the ground to preserve their tenderness and because if they are left to grow exposed, they will turn a green color. 

Fresh bamboo shoots are available at Asian or Chinese markets, or you can find canned bamboo shoots at most local grocery stores. Fresh shoots need to be boiled until tender, then husked and cut into pieces. Canned bamboo shoots only need to be heated since they are pre-cooked.

You may have eaten bamboo shoots at a Chinese restaurant as they are often part of a stir-fry. You can try them at home in almost any stir-fry dish, including stir-fry beef with bamboo shoots and stir-fry mushrooms and bamboo shoots.

Next time you order your favorite dish from Windchimes thing…does this have Bamboo shoots in it?

 
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Recipes to Try at Home: Spring Rolls
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SPRING ROLLS

  • Yield: 24 spring rolls

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

  • Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Course: Appetizer, dim sum

Spring Rolls are the vegetarian super light, crispy and tender vegetarian appetizer cousin of the traditional egg roll.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup canola oil divided

  • 8 cups napa cabbage sliced thinly

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 2 carrots sliced thinly

  • 8 ounces bamboo shoots sliced thinly

  • 2 tablespoons mirin

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 24 8" square spring roll wrappers

  • canola oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add half the canola oil to a large heavy skillet on medium high heat and add in the napa cabbage cooking 8-10 minutes while stirring until almost all the liquid it releases has cooked off.

  2. Add in the garlic, carrots and bamboo shoots and cook for 1 minute while stirring before adding in the mirin, soy sauce and sesame oil and stirring again then let filling cool completely.

  3. Mix cornstarch with two tablespoons of water.

  4. Lay out the spring roll wrapper, brush cornstarch slurry around the edges to moisten and add about 2 tablespoons of filling in a long rectangle shape, folding in from the sides and rolling the wrappers closed tightly.

  5. Heat 3 inches of oil in a dutch oven to 325 degrees and fry the spring rolls until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).

Celebrating Our Customers
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Google Business Image from one of our customers

Windchimes has been so lucky to have such great customers through out the years. We are so happy that you enjoy our food and keep coming back for more!

We love to hear from you whether its through liking our Facebook posts or using our hashtag #WindchimesChinese food on any social media to connect all of us together.

One place that we’ve been seeing a lot of love is on Google Business. We get so many great reviews from you on our food and even get some great pictures too! We would love to celebrate how much you love us and will even feature your images on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Business. We love to see you get creative!

We love you and would love to show our appreciation! So, next time you’re in snap a picture and tag us #WindchimesChinese and find us on all the different types of social media!

 
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Year of the Earth Pig: Lucky Foods to Eat
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Theres’s several ways to preserve your luck during this new year! One way is to eat lucky foods.

This years lucky food is Lychee!

During this year of the Earth Pig the two elements that allow the 12 signs of the Chinese calendar to maintain positive harmony through out 2019 are Fire and Metal. These signs are than associated with different features like Fire being associated with red color and Metal with white and grey. Applied to food and Chinese medicine, any food, fruit or vegetable with red and white as dominate colors has the energies (or movements as Chinese elements are called) to Fire and Metal.

Through out the year we want to create a balance or harmony with Fire and Earth in our own signs. Below are foods that will help your specific signs.

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Lucky starters 2019: cabbage salad, mozzarella and tomato salad, white radish salad

Lucky main dishes 2019: Bolognese spaghetti, Neapolitan pizza, seasons pizza, stuffed eggplant, Thai red curry

Lucky desserts 2019: Lychee fruit salad, cherry clafoutis, strawberry tart, raspberry charlotte, yogurt, floating island

Happy Lunar New Year: The Celebration Begins
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Just because the new year has begun doesn't mean you're allowed to rest.

While most countries that observe Lunar New Year offer three to seven days of public holidays, celebrations don't end until the 15th day of the first lunar month, also known as the Lantern Festival. (Lunar New Year in 2019 lasts from February 5 to February 19.)

There is a list of superstitious dos and don'ts for the new year but the rule of thumb is to say a lot of "kung hei fat choy"or "gong xi fa cai," and avoid saying things that may sound like a less auspicious word.

During the festival, people will travel around to visit relatives, who will prepare snacks and fill up candy boxes for the visits -- except for the third day of the month.

It's believed that arguments are more likely to happen on that day -- February 9, this year -- called chi kou (or "red mouth"). Hence, most people will engage in other activities like visiting a temple. In Hong Kong, a major spring festival horse racing event takes place every year on the third day.

During the 15 days, married couples have to give out red packets filled with money to children (and unmarried adults) to wish them luck.

The seventh day is renri, or the people's birthday (February 11). when the Chinese mother goddess Nuwa is said to have created mankind.

The highlight comes on the last day, during the Lantern Festival (February 19).

Being the only day when young girls in ancient Chinese society could go out to admire lanterns and meet boys, it's also been dubbed Chinese Valentine's Day.

Nowadays, cities around the world still put on massive lantern displays and fairs on the 15th day of the festival.

Some create more sparks than others. Like Nuanquan, a small Chinese town that puts on a spectacular "firework" show by throwing molten metal against a cold stone city wall.

Kung hei fat choy!

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Chinese New Years: Lucky Foods
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February 5th is Chinese New Years and there’s so much to celebrate! One thing that is very important to the celebration is food. There are certain dishes that are eaten for the symbolic meaning and luck.

The auspicious symbolism of these traditional Chinese New Year foods is based on their pronunciations or appearance. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, and ways of serving and eating mean a lot.

The most common Chinese New Year foods includes dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao. We've rounded up 7 essential Chinese, or Lunar, New Year dishes, and included the symbolism behind them all.

Here are the 7 lucky foods to eat:

1. Fish — an Increase in Prosperity

In Chinese, "fish" (鱼 Yú /yoo/) sounds like 'surplus'. Fish is a tradtional Chinese New Year dish. Chinese people always like to have a surplus at the end of the year, because they think if they have managed to save something at the end of the year, then they can make more in the next year.

Steamed fish is one of the most famous Chinese New Year recipes. What fish should be chosen for the New Year dinner is based on auspicious homophonics.

  • Crucian carp: As the first character of 'crucian carp' (鲫鱼 jìyú /jee-yoo/) sounds like the Chinese word 吉 (jí /jee/ 'good luck'), eating crucian carp is considered to bring good luck for the next year.

  • Chinese mud carp: The first part of the Chinese for "mud carp" (鲤鱼 lǐyú /lee-yoo/) is pronounced like the word for gifts (礼 lǐ /lee/). So Chinese people think eating mud carp during the Chinese New Year symbolizes wishing for good fortune.

  • Catfish: The Chinese for "catfish" (鲶鱼 niányú /nyen-yoo/) sounds like 年余 (nián yú) meaning 'year surplus'. So eating catfish is a wish for a surplus in the year.

  • Eating two fish, one on New Year's Eve and one on New Year's Day, (if written in a certain way) sounds like a wish for a surplus year-after-year.

  • If only one catfish is eaten, eating the upper part of the fish on New Year's Eve and the remainder on the first day of the new year can be spoken with the same homophonic meaning.

2. Chinese Dumplings — Wealth

With a history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings (饺子 Jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/) are a classic Chinese food, and a traditional dish eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve, widely popular in China, especially in North China.

Chinese dumplings can be made to look like Chinese silver ingots (which are not bars, but boat-shaped, oval, and turned up at the two ends). Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you can make in the New Year.

Dumplings generally consist of minced meat and finely-chopped vegetables wrapped in a thin and elastic dough skin. Popular fillings are minced pork, diced shrimp, fish, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. They can be cooked by boiling, steaming, frying or baking.

How they're made: Almost all Chinese people can make dumplings. First they mix the dough, second make the dough into round "wrappers" with a rolling pin, third fill the wrappers with stuffing, fourth pinch the "wrapper" together into the desired shape, and fifth cook them.

Different Dumpling Fillings Have Different Meanings

Chinese don't eat Chinese sauerkraut (酸菜 suāncài /swann-tseye/) dumplings at Spring Festival, because it implies a poor and difficult future. On New Year's Eve it is a tradition to eat dumplings with cabbage and radish, implying that one's skin will become fair and one's mood will become gentle.

How to Make LUCKY Dumplings

  • When making dumplings there should be a good number of pleats. If you make the junction too flat, it is thought to purport poverty.

  • Some Chinese put a white thread inside a dumpling, and the one who eats that dumpling is supposed to possess longevity. Sometimes a copper coin is put in a dumpling, and the one who eats it is supposed to become wealthy.

  • Dumplings should be arranged in lines instead of circles, because circles of dumplings are supposed to mean one's life will go round in circles, never going anywhere.

Lucky Saying for Eating Dumplings

Zhāo cái jìn bǎo (招财进宝/jaoww tseye jin baoww/): 'Bringing in wealth and treasure' — a felicitous wish for making money and amassing a fortune.

Read more about Chinese dumplings.

3. Spring Rolls — Wealth

Spring rolls (春卷 Chūnjuǎn /chwnn- jwen/) get their name because they are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival. It is a dish especially popular in East China: Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, etc.

Spring rolls are a Cantonese dim sum dish of cylindrical-shaped rolls filled with vegetables, meat, or something sweet. Fillings are wrapped in thin dough wrappers, then fried, when the spring rolls are given their golden-yellow color.

Lucky Saying for Eating Spring Rolls

黄金万两 (hwung-jin wan-lyang/): 'A ton of gold' (because fried spring rolls look like gold bars) — a wish for prosperity.

Read more about spring rolls.

4. Glutinous Rice Cake — a Higher Income or Position

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Glutinous rice cake (年糕 Niángāo /nyen-gaoww/) is a traditional Chinese New Year recipe. In Chinese, glutinous rice cake sounds like it means "'getting higher year-on- by year"'. In Chinese people's minds, this means the higher you are the more prosperous your business is a general improvement in life. The main ingredients of niangao are sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and lotus leaves.

Lucky Saying for Eating Niangao

年年高 (niánnián gāo /nyen-nyen gaoww/): 'Getting higher year-after-year by year', can imply children's height, rise in business success, better grades in study, promotions at work, etc.

Read more details on Glutinous Rice Cake.

5. Sweet Rice Balls — Family Togetherness

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Sweet rice ball (汤圆 Tāngyuán /tung-ywen/) is the main food for China's Lantern Festival, however, in south China, people eat them throughout the Spring Festival. The pronunciation and round shape of tangyuan are associated with reunion and being together. That's why they are favored by the Chinese during the New Year celebrations.

Lucky Sayings for Eating Tangyuan

团团圆圆 (Tuántuán yuányuán /twann-twann ywen-ywen/ 'group-group round-round'): Happy (family) reunion!

6. Longevity Noodles — Happiness and Longevity

Longevity noodles (长寿面 Chángshòu Miàn /chung-show myen/) unsurprisingly symbolize a wish for longevity. Their length and unsevered preparation are also symbolic of the eater's life.

They are longer than normal noodles and uncut, either fried and served on a plate, or boiled and served in a bowl with their broth.

7. Good Fortune Fruit — Fullness and Wealth

Certain fruits are eaten during the Chinese New Year period, such as tangerines and oranges, and pomeloes. They are selected as they are particularly round and "golden" in color, symbolizing fullness and wealth, but more obviously for the lucky sound they bring when spoken.

Chinese New Year fruits

Eating and displaying tangerines and oranges is believed to bring good luck and fortune due to their pronunciation, and even writing. The Chinese for orange (and tangerine) is 橙 (chéng /chnng/), which sounds the same as the Chinese for 'success' (成). One of the ways of writing tangerine (桔 jú /jyoo/) contains the Chinese character for luck (吉 jí /jee/).

Eating pomeloes/shaddocks is thought to bring continuous prosperity. The more you eat, the more wealth it will bring, as the traditional saying goes. The Chinese for pomelo (柚 yòu /yo/) sounds like 'to have' (有 yǒu), except for the tone, and exactly like 'again' (又 yòu).


Chinese Food: A Christmas Tradition
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I was recently was looking over the numbers on Windchimes website and noticed that last month on December 25th there was a large spike in business. I know a lot of America celebrates Christmas on that day and typically spend it with family/friends and home cooked meals. But what if that wasn’t your holiday or you didn’t want to cook? The answer is Chinese food.

This is no surprise. The tradition of going out for Chinese food on Christmas day has been around since 1935 when Jewish American’s were one of the largest non-Christian immigrant groups along with Chinese people. That meant there were new populations that didn’t typically see December 25th as a holiday. While a lot of stores/restaurants were closed many Jewish and Chinese immigrants found something of a shared experience of celebrating who they were together in a safe space.

“Chinese restaurants were safe. There was definitely an era for Jews when they felt insecure about being American and being perceived as foreign, especially since a good, good number of them came from Eastern Europe,” said Jennifer 8. Lee, author of Fortune Cookie Chronicles and producer of the documentary film The Search for General Tso. “They knew at least in Chinese restaurants they wouldn’t be judged about being foreign.”

Today you can find more restaurants open on Christmas this tradition has stuck through and through. It’s even been popularized in movies A Christmas Story. Even though the original film has a few flaws on political correctness the remake of it in 2017 fixed that:

All in all Chinese food is a staple during the holiday season so maybe next year instead of stressing out on what to make why not make a new tradition and go out and celebrate at Windchimes! It’ll be great time!