Make healthier takeaways at home – it’s easier than you think!

You might be thinking, “healthier takeaway, is that really a thing? And does it taste any good?” Well, I’m here to tell you that when you make it yourself, it’s well worth the effort, because it tastes fantastic!

Eating healthy versions of your favourite junk foods and takeaway meals does involve some time and effort – you have to cook the food yourself. If you’re willing to make the effort though, your body (and your taste buds) will thank you for it.

Pizza, chicken nuggets, fish and chips

Buying takeaway may seem like a quick and easy option, especially at the end of a long day. Or on the weekend, when you just want to relax, and don’t feel like cooking.

I’m not saying that you should never eat takeaway food. There will always be times when ordering takeaway is a good option. It just depends on how often you’re eating it.

And there are healthier options, like Indian or Italian restaurant meals versus junk food from burger chains with very little nutritional value.

Once you realise that home cooked pizza, fish and chips and burgers are way tastier than any you could buy, you’ll be more willing to spend the time it takes to make them.

And the best thing is that you can make them exactly how you like them; everyone chooses their own individual fillings and toppings.

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 Here are my top 5 suggestions for creating your own healthier takeaway at home:

Fish and chips on a newspaper

1. Fish and Chips

Let’s be honest, fish and chips always sounds like a good idea at the time. But how often do you feel a bit queasy in the tummy afterwards from all of the oil?

And drinking soft drink with your fish and chips to ‘cut the grease’ doesn’t really work, it just adds a ton of extra sugar and some empty calories to your intake!

So cook your own instead. Buy some fillets of your favourite fish, wild caught if you can get it. Season it with some salt and pepper and add a light dusting of flour & paprika. Pan fry the fish in a little bit oil – olive oil please, not canola.

An easy alternative is to wrap the fish in foil and bake it in the oven with some herbs and lemon juice

Now let’s talk chips! We like to make our chips chunky and we cook them in our air fryer, but they will cook just as well in the oven. You only need to coat them lightly with oil (olive oil or coconut oil, of course).

We cut the potatoes into chips and par boil them for 10 minutes before air frying, and they are really, really good.

pan fried fish with a side salad

So you really don’t feel like cooking?

Another option, for when you don’t feel like cooking and want fish and chips. Order the takeaway, and ask for your fish to be grilled. Order a salad to go with it, and you’ll automatically eat less chips!

Takeaway burger and chips on a table

2. Burgers

Making your own burgers is really easy, and it doesn’t take long, it’s just a little bit messy. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have a an aversion to sticky mince fingers, so I usually ask my hubby to make them!

Use whatever mince you prefer, beef or turkey are always good options. We often use lamb mince, and then top our burgers with tzatziki – my HOMEMADE TZATZIKI, of course. 

When it comes to flavouring the burgers, onion and mixed herbs are our base ingredients, but it depends on the type of mince you’re using.

You can add breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, peanut butter, or even sauces such as Worcester, Tamari or Soy Sauce.

turkey burgers on a plate on a chopping board

Mix all of your ingredients together, shape the mince into burgers and then either pan fry in a little bit of oil or oven bake.

The fun part is building individual burgers with everyone’s preferred fillings and toppings. Don’t forget some salad, at least some lettuce and tomato. Beetroot is always a popular burger topping in Australia.

The other thing to think about is bread, or burger buns. We usually don’t even bother with bread anymore. If you use a lot of fillings/toppings, you’ll have a very filling burger, without even noticing that there’s no bread.

home made pizza with cucumber and yoghurt dip

 3. Pizza

This is my favourite! I love home made pizza. There are a lot of different flatbread options if you’re buying pizza
bases, just check the ingredient list on the pack to make sure you’re not getting any nasties.

If you want to make your own, it’s really easy if you have a bread maker. All you do is throw in the ingredients. An hour or so later you’ll have perfect pizza dough that you can roll out as thick or thin as you like. We make a large batch so we can freeze half for next time.

Best of all, everyone gets to choose their own toppings. So keep it basic, or make it gourmet, it’s entirely up to you.

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Close up of fried rice in a white bowl

4. Fried Rice 

With or without meat, fried rice is an easy dish to make. All you need to do is stir fry some veggies and then add in some pre-cooked rice towards the end, with some seasoning and/or soy sauce. 

Add in some leftover cooked chicken (or any other meat, for that matter) for an extra protein boost.

We use basmati rice, as it’s quick to cook and low GI. If you have a pressure cooker, follow the directions in this post: HOW TO COOK WHITE RICE IN 3 MINUTES.

Don’t like rice, or prefer an alternative? Try using cauliflower instead of rice. The cauliflower doesn’t need to be pre-cooked, you simply ‘rice’ it, drain off any excess liquid and add it to the pan with the rest of the veggies. Here’s the link to my CAULIFLOWER RICE recipe.

Fried rice is always a great side dish too. Cook up a double batch and you’ll have half to freeze for a quick and easy weeknight meal. 

Whole roast chicken with a bowl of salad in the background

5. Easy chicken dinners and weekend snacks

Our favourite quick & easy dinner is to buy a hot chicken from the supermarket deli. You can quickly steam some veggies, or microwave frozen veggies, to go with it.

A simple garden salad is also good, and you can grab a salad pack while you’re picking up the chicken. This is one of the easiest ‘no cook’ nutritious meals you can buy.

Sometimes we make our own chicken nuggets and chips, perfect for a Friday night when you’re watching the footy and just want to pick!

I use a simple ‘recipe’ for tasty chicken nuggets that isn’t really a recipe. You chop a chicken breast into bite size pieces, coat it with your favourite mayo, then roll in breadcrumbs and bake the nuggets in the oven.

Bonus points if you make your own mayo. And yes, I have a recipe for you here: SUPER EASY HOMEMADE MAYO.

Make your own chips to go with the nuggets, as described above, and enjoy!

So I hope I’ve inspired you to think twice before you jump on the phone to order your next takeaway. As I said earlier, it does take some effort to make your own, but it is well worth it, trust me!

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