Swap takeaways for ‘fakeaways’
Takeaways are a great way to enjoy cuisines from around the world without having to bother about booking a table and dressing up to dine out.
If you fancy a takeaway but you're running out of SmartPoints® or weeklies - or you just fancy a healthier version of your favourite takeout - why not make takeaway-style food at home?
Sure, it’s not quite as easy as picking up the phone, but the savings you’ll make (SmartPoints and financial!) make it totally worth the little bit of extra effort.
Here are our top tips for creating your very own fakeaway dishes at home.
Delicious, aromatic Thai curries can add up to a lot more SmartPoints than you might realise. Make it at home instead, and you can have your curry and eat it too.
For the curry: Buy lean cuts of meat or some fresh seafood for the hero ingredient of your dish. Partner it with lots of crisp vegetables like sugar snap peas and broccoli, and flavoursome add-ons like ginger and fresh basil – Thai food is all about the fresh produce and herbs. Replace some of the coconut milk with stock: you’ll still get that rich sauce, but find it easier to stay on track.
For the rice: If you don’t have many SmartPoints to spare, you could swap traditional rice for cauliflower rice. Simply put cauliflower through a food processor until finely chopped and then toss in a wok with a little water or oil. Add onion and tumeric for extra flavour.
Tip: If you want white rice, go for it! But you’ll up the nutritional value, and save SmartPoints too, if you opt for brown rice instead. Find out why you should include more fibre in your diet.
Bring it to life: Make the meal feel more traditional by investing in some decorative Thai bowls and spoons. Or, if you're feeling brave, why not give chopsticks a go?
When anyone mentions Italian food, pizza and pasta – the Italian takeaway staples – immediately come to mind. The problem is they also tend to involve large serves, with plenty of cheese and oil. You can still get an amazing, authentic flavour by doing it yourself, with the benefit of balancing your SmartPoints Budget.
For the pasta: Create a SmartPoints-friendly meal by making courgette 'pasta' using a spiraliser. That way, you can spend more on the sauces and extras. A tomato passata can be made into a showstopper by adding ingredients like fresh basil, olives and chunks of grilled eggplant and pepper. If a creamy sauce is your thing, try using silken tofu as a base. Put it through a food processor with basil, garlic, lemon juice and a dash of olive oil, mustard and seasoning. It’s perfect if you’re vegetarian or vegan, too.
For the pizza: Use a wholemeal flatbread for the base or a single serve traditional base for portion control. Load up on vegetables like mushrooms, baby spinach and peppers, and choose lean meats or fish. Fresh herbs and extras like chilli are great ways to add powerful flavour hits. Use a mixed sprinkle of cheeses on top like mozzarella with parmesan and reduced-fat cheddar – it’ll give a stronger flavour and you won’t have to use as much. Try this takeaway-style three cheese pepperoni pizza for 6 SmartPoints per serving.
Bring it to life: Serve your pizza on a wooden board or serve your pasta in shallow, restaurant-style bowls.
Fish and chips
Everyone should have a stand-out fish and chips recipe in their repertoire for when nothing else will do! While shop-bought versions can be heavy on calories, the great news is you can create your own delicious version at home.
For the chips: Hand-cut regular potato or sweet potato into chips and coat with a layer of spray oil. Sprinkle with coarsely ground rock salt and some dry or fresh rosemary. Bake until tender and browned. Alternatively, peel and de-seed a butternut squash, cut into chips, season, and bake for 35 minutes at 200°C.
For the fish: Buy good-quality fresh white fish. It’ll taste great grilled with a dash of oil and seasoning, but if you want to go for a more traditional batter-style dish, try dipping the fish in whisked egg and coating in polenta that’s had a small amount of parmesan mixed into it. It’s super tasty and provides a great crunch.
Tip: Serve with a salad to bump up the nutritional value of your meal and add bulk.
Bring it to life: Serve your fish and chips on a layer of newspaper lined with baking paper.