Dietitian Melissa Meier ranks the healthiest takeaway dishes to order in, when you just can’t be bothered. From Monday to Friday.
Whether you’re loving or hating social distancing, there is one thing I can almost guarantee: you’re getting sick of your own home cooking. Right?
Luckily, UberEats can still come to the rescue and save you from yet another mid-week, meat-and-three-veg meal. But if you’d rather stick to your healthy eating habits during this period of self-isolation, ordering in can be a little tricky. To set you up for success, here’s a list of healthier weekday takeaway options for when you just can’t fathom *another* night in the kitchen.
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Fish and chips
Your local seafood joint is one of the easiest options for healthy takeaway, but say goodbye to the traditional battered and deep-fried fish and chips. For a healthier choice, order your fish grilled to slash your intake of harmful saturated fat, and opt for salad with smart carbs like quinoa or sweet potato to go with it instead of a mountain of hot chips. If you just can’t resist the urge to indulge a little, enjoy a small handful of hot chips mindfully rather than eating until you feel sick.
Yes, Thai can be a good option, too, but there’s a few things to consider. Anything deep-fried is obviously not the healthiest choice, and you should steer clear of curries and sauces that contain coconut milk.
I’d suggest a simple stir-fry flavoured with garlic, chilli and herbs, packed with veggies and a little lean protein like chicken or prawns. Rice or noodles are a nice accompaniment, but try not to go overboard – your aim is roughly one cup of cooked rice or noodles per person.
Before you order your usual two chicken teriyaki rolls, it’s time to reassess. This standard order contains absolutely no veggies, which is the ultimate ‘no-no’ when it comes to a healthy meal. Plus, many Asian-style sauces (think: teriyaki, soy, etc.) are chock-full of sodium, which isn’t good news for your heart.
If you’re craving sushi, I’d suggest a plain vegetable sushi roll, a few pieces of sashimi and a side of edamame beans. That’ll provide plenty of plant-based protein, gut-loving fibre and heart-healthy fats from the seafood. Delish!
The OG weekday takeaway, BBQ’d chicken and chips slathered with gravy is a tasty classic, but doesn’t exactly have ‘good health’ written all over it. Nonetheless, a few tweaks can turn this meal from zero to hero in no time at all.
For a healthier feed, remove the chicken skin (sorry!) to cut your intake of saturated fat, and replace the side of chips with baked veggies or a salad made with quinoa or chickpeas.
It’s the end of the week and you deserve a treat. After all, self-iso is becoming *really* difficult. When it comes to pizza, I’d suggest opting for a thin base rather than a thick or stuffed crust. Steer clear of toppings like ham, salami and prosciutto, too, because they’ll add a hefty chunk of calories and send your intake of sodium skyrocketing.
Vegetarian pizzas are often a smarter choice, as are tomato-based seafood pizzas (but ask for extra veggies). Oh, and forget about eating the whole thing – just a couple of slices with a salad on the side is a much smarter idea.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.