Let’s be honest, we all love ordering a takeaway. It doesn’t matter if it’s to celebrate some good news, brighten up a bad day or just because we fancy it – for many of us fast food will be one of our favourite meals. There’s no reason not to treat yourself to a takeaway every now and then because as with most things, it’s all good in moderation. But if you’ve found yourself spending more and more on takeaways lately, or if you’re looking to give your diet a shakedown then swapping out luke-warm deliveries for home cooked meals could save you money and make you feel (and train) better.
It can be hard to imagine how you’ll recreate your favourite greasy foods in your own kitchen so to get you started we’ve picked three of our personal favourites and provided some simple, healthy recipes for you to try.
In Pizza We Crust
Hot melting cheese on a crispy base, topped full of all your favourite flavours – does it get any better than a slice of fresh pizza? No, we didn’t think so either. Pizza is one of the quickest and easiest takeaway-style dinners to make at home and it can be a really fun activity for the whole family to get involved with. If you don’t want to bother making dough from scratch most supermarkets will have the ready-made stuff or if you want a quick snack rather than a full meal you can use a pitta bread as your base.
For the dough
500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried yeast
400ml warm water
For the toppings
Cheese (mozzerella, cheddar or whatever you fancy)
Red peppers, ham, spinach, chicken and mushrooms are nutritious toppings that most people will have in their fridge, but as with most meals loading up with veggies (and even fruits – hello Hawaiian) is going to make this meal as healthy as possible.
- Put flour and salt into a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl mix the yeast into warm water.
- Slowly add the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix.
- Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes (this is a great workout) until the dough is shiny and bouncy.
- Please the dough back in the bowl and cover with cling film and then a tea-towel. Put the bowl somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size.
- Shape into a pizza-like creation, using flour if it gets too sticky.
- Place on a floured baking sheet and cook in the oven (as hot as it will go) until crispy and delicious (about 10 minutes).
Source: Basic Pizza Dough
Suns Out Buns Outs
The classic cheeseburger is hard to beat. Whether it’s a sit down restaurant or a post-night out curb feast the combination of meat, carbs and cheese is always a winner. In this recipe we’re using lean mince (or you could use turkey) to make a healthier version. Just like with pizza the power is in your hands when it comes to toppings and how healthy they are – crispy lettuce and juicy tomatoes are always a winner in our eyes.
For the burger patty
1 tbsp oil (for frying)
1 red onion
500g lean mince
2 gloves of garlic
- Heat oil in the pan and fry off your red onion. Once softened, leave to cool.
- Mix your cool onion with the mince, egg, breadcrumbs and garlic and season well.
- Divide your mixture into 6 even balls and flatten so they look like burger patties.
- Pop them in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- When you’re ready to eat, cook burgers in the oven for 20-30 minutes on 200C. Remember to flip them halfway.
Introduce burger to bun and fill with all your favourite toppings and sauces. Serve with chips or wedges (sweet potato can be a great – and healthy – addition here).
Thank Cod It’s Fryday
Traditional Friday tea and much-loved British classic, we couldn’t leave fish and chips off our list. Of course much of the charm of this seaside-staple comes from the vinegar soaked paper and fear of seagull attack but even at home the soft, white fish and salty chips can brighten even the worst day. Chippy tea orders will vary, we know some of you will want gravy on your chips and others mushy peas (we won’t judge) but the core ingredients of crispy cod and thick-cut chips will please everyone.
We’ve swapped out the deep fried batter for breadcrumbs to make this meal a whole lot healthier. We didn’t dare meddle with the chips (this is a classic after all) but if you wanted to go even further swap your white potatoes for sweet potatoes.
For the fish
25g grated parmesan
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 lemon zested
1 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper
Fillets of cod (or another white fish like hake)
Sunflower oil for frying
- In a bowl combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, lemon zest and oil. Season generously.
- Pat your fish dry with kitchen paper and spread the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the fish
- Bake in the oven until the crumbs are golden brown and the fish is translucent (we suggest around 15 mins)
For the chips
Potatoes (Maris Piper are great for chips)
- Peel and slice your potatoes into thick chips.
- Put onto a baking tray and pour over oil, season well and mix the chips up so they’re evenly coated.
- Put into a 200C oven for 40 minutes, or until crispy.
Looking for more simple but tasty recipes? Try these five dinner recipes and take the pressure off your evening routine.