Healthy and easy fakeaways

by Clare Fairs, May 18, 2018

At the end of a long and busy week, it’s all too easy to pick up a takeaway on your way home or order a delivery with a quick call or a few clicks. If you’re concerned about the impact your takeaway habit is having on your health, it’s time to try your hand at a healthier ‘fakeaway’! 

Takeaways have never been more popular. British adults are eating 22 million fast food and takeaway meals every week, according to figures from Cancer Research released last year. Their report, which is based on a YouGov survey, found that over a quarter of people aged between 18 and 34 eat takeaways at least once a week, as well as over 20% of those aged 35-44 and almost 15% of those aged 45-54.

These figures are a worry to the cancer charity. “These figures show that ‘grab and go’ foods and a growing appetite for takeaways and ready meals are helping to propel us towards an epidemic of larger waistlines and increased cancer risk,” said Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer prevention.

You don’t have to give them up completely. But if you’re regularly eating too much fat, salt and sugar, why not look after your waistline and your pocket with our tasty fakeaway ideas?

Chinese and Thai 

Chinese food regularly comes out top in polls of Brit’s favourite takeaways. Yet earlier this year, health experts from Action on Salt stated that Chinese takeaway menus should carry compulsory health warnings to alert consumers to “astonishing and harmful” salt levels. 

Prawn Stir FryThe good news is healthy stir fries, noodle dishes and egg-fried rice are all incredibly quick and easy to make at home once you know how. Cold pressed rapeseed oil has a high smoke point and is low in saturated fat, making it ideal for stir frying. If you have this and rice, noodles, high quality reduced salt soy sauce (e.g. Kikkoman Less Salt Soy Sauce), honey, fresh ginger, chillies and some vegetables, you’ll be able to knock up a mouthwatering Chinese dish whenever you fancy. 

For inspiration, take a look at the 15-minute suppers section of our website, where you’ll find recipes for a pork stir fry, a prawn and noodle stir fry and a beef stir fry with asparagus, mange tout & pak choi. We’ve also just added a recipe for an authentic and delicious Thai green chicken curry. 

We’d also recommend BBC Food’s recipe for lighter egg fried rice, which is perfect for using up leftover rice.

Indian

A single Indian takeaway may contain more saturated fat than a person should eat in a day, according to research from the Consumer group Which? Fortunately, a deeply spiced curry can taste amazing without being high in fat. Cold pressed rapeseed oil can be used in place of ghee in many Indian recipes, as chef Manju Malhi explains in this BBC Food blog: Clever tricks for healthy Indian cooking. 

Make your own curry paste with the recipe below and you’ll be able to satisfy your curry hunger in no time at all by adding a tin of coconut milk and your choice of ingredients such as chicken, fish, prawns and/or vegetables, and simmering until cooked. Transfer your paste to a screw topped jar and it will keep well for several weeks in the fridge. It’s also very tasty added to hillfarm plain mayo with a tablespoon of mango chutney and cooked cold chicken for coronation chicken.

Homemade curry paste ingredients:

  • 1 small onion finally chopped
  • 1 tbs hillfarm oil
  • 1 clove of garlic finally chopped
  • 1 tbs tomato purée
  • 1.5 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 level tsp ground ginger
  • 1 level tsp ground turmeric

Method:
Heat oil and frying pan and soften onion and garlic. Add all other ingredients and combine and heat through.

If you’re craving a rich and creamy curry, try our coconut and Indian spices sauce with chicken, salmon or prawns. Watch your portion size though – this sauce should serve four! 

Coconut and Indian spices sauce ingredients:

  • 1/2 tbsp hillfarm oil
  • 1/2 onion finally chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 green chilli descended and finally chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 400ml tin of coconut cream
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Chopped coriander to garnish

Method:
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and soften the onion. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, and spices and cook for a further two minutes. Add the coconut cream simmer to thicken and then add the lime juice.

Fish and chips 

Fish and chips may no longer be the nation’s favourite takeaway, but Brits still eat around 382 million meals from fish and chip shops every year, according to the National Federation of Fish Friers. 

If you need to cut back on saturated fat, frying in cold pressed rapeseed oil is a simple way to make fish and chips healthier. For healthier fried fish, heat a little rapeseed oil in a frying pan. Dip your preferred white fish fillet into a bowl of flour, then beaten egg, and then breadcrumbs before adding to the pan and frying for a few minutes on each side. Drain on kitchen paper before eating. 

To cut the fat content of your chips, swap frying for roasting. For oven-roasted ‘chips’ preheat your oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7 while you parboil cut potatoes in water for 7-10 minutes until just tender. Drain and dry them with kitchen paper then toss in a roasting tin with a little rapeseed oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 15 minutes before turning and cooking for another 20-25 minutes until golden.

Share your fakeaway tips 

Cooking a fakeaway this Friday? Share your pics on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, tagging us! We’d love to see your favourite fakeaway creations. 

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