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Thread: 7 Takeout Nightmares
November 14th, 2011, 08:26 PM #1
7 Takeout Nightmares
7 Takeout Nightmares
These dialed-up dinners aren’t doing your butt any favors with their high calorie counts and excess fat. Here are 7 takeout dishes to ditch and their healthier homemade counterparts
Takeout seems like a fast and easy solution when you’re in a pinch, but make it a habit and you’ll quickly pack on the pounds—not to mention empty out your wallet. These takeout staples are packed with calories, loaded with fat, and often come in oversized portions, a triple play that can quickly result in weight gain. Cross these 7 items off your mental take-out menu for good, and replace them with our satisfying make-at-home alternatives.
Pad Thai with Tofu
The word “tofu” makes it sound wholesome, but don’t be fooled by this greasy dish. One serving of this vegetarian-friendly Thai standby is 750 calories and 23 grams of fat. That’s more fat and calories than 2 slices of cheese pizza.
Make this instead: Cashew, Tofu, and Broccoli Stir-Fry
This tasty tofu option boasts almost half the calories of the takeout dish and just one tablespoon of oil. Cashews add a satisfying crunch, and honey and soy sauce mimic the sweet-and-salty flavors of pad Thai. Best of all, it only takes 20 minutes to make--less time than you’d spend waiting for delivery!
1 container (14 ounces) firm light tofu
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 cups broccoli florets
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
3 scallions, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
Place the tofu on a paper towel set on a dinner plate.
Top with a second paper towel and another dinner plate. Place a can or other
similar weight on the upper plate and leave for 20 minutes to press excess water
from the tofu
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
Combine the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl
Add the broccoli to the boiling water, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute, or until bright green. Drain and set aside
Transfer the tofu to a cutting board and cut into 1/2" to 3/4" cubes. Heat 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the skillet. Add the pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Stir in the broccoli and tofu, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, or until hot. Stir the soy sauce mixture to recombine and add to the skillet along with the cashews. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallions. Serve over the rice.
You might think any meal with the word “salad” in it must be virtuous, but when the salad bowl is a giant tortilla chip, the health value plummets. Add cheese, sour cream, and a hefty helping of beef to the greens, and that taco salad can easily pack 860 calories and 46 grams of fat. Iceberg lettuce and a tomato or two do little to counter the damage done by this takeout tragedy.
Make this instead: Chicken Soft Tacos with Tangy Guacamole
This chicken tacos recipe from Rick Bayless has more flavor, more nutrition, and half the calories. Sprinkle on serrano chile peppers for a kick of metabolism-boosting heat, and savor the creamy guacamole while getting a dose of good-for-you monounsaturated fats. Top off the tacos with a squeeze of lime juice, and enjoy guilt-free.
1/4 C plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, halved
2 sm serrano chile peppers or 1 sm jalapeno, halved
1/2 C loosely packed cilantro
1/3 C freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 lb)
1 lg white onion, sliced 1/4" thick
2 ripe hass avocados
12 corn tortillas (6" size)
Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chile peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until just brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Process with cilantro, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and black pepper in blender or food processor until smooth.
Put chicken in shallow dish and spread half the garlic mixture over all sides of chicken.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden but still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes. Chop enough of the onion to make 1/4 cup and set aside. Put rest of onion on a plate. Save the skillet.
Peel and pit avocados and put flesh in a bowl. Add reserved chopped onion, remaining garlic mixture, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Coarsely mash with potato masher or fork.
Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining tablespoon oil. Lift each breast and let excess marinade drip off. Discard extra marinade. Add chicken to hot pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Brown on one side, about 5 minutes, then flip and finish cooking, 3 or 4 minutes longer. Remove to cutting board. Put reserved sliced onion in the skillet to reheat. Scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave on high 1 minute. Remove paper towels and keep tortillas warm. Cut chicken across the grain into 1/4" slices and toss with onion in pan. Serve with tortillas and guacamole.
Using up nearly three-quarters of your daily calories while providing pretty much zero nutrients, chicken Alfredo is one of the worst carry-out meals you can pick up from your local Italian restaurant. At a whopping 1,440 calories and 82 grams of fat, this creamy, cheesy, buttery mess will set your diet back for days.
Make this instead: Loaded Alfredo with Chicken and Vegetables
Our lighter version cuts the calories by more than half and ends up with 15 grams of fat—not bad for something this rich and creamy. Add in sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms to up the feel-full fiber content of this dish. Serve yourself a small portion and round it out with a side salad for a balanced comfort food dinner.
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups 2% milk
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups bite-size broccoli florets
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
8 oz cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced (store-bought rotisserie chicken works well)
12 oz whole-wheat fettuccine
To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk to prevent any lumps from forming. Add the garlic and simmer, whisking often, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until nicely thickened. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have lightly caramelized. Stir in the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot, add the sauce and the chicken mixture, and toss to coat. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water to thin it. Serve immediately.
Fried Chicken Wings
Any food served in a bucket probably wouldn’t win nutrition points from your dietitian, but if you think eating a few small wings instead of legs or thighs won’t weigh you down, think again. Each fried chicken wing contains an average of 100 calories and 7 grams of fat, making this appetizer a diet disaster. Dunk a few wings in blue cheese dressing and you’ll be approaching your allotted fat for the day.
Make this instead: Fiery Buffalo Wings
Grilling or oven-roasting your wings cuts fat significantly; it's also easier, cheaper (no quart of oil for frying), and (especially on the grill) tastier. Serve these spicy wings at your next game-watching party, and you won't feel bad about reaching for another. Want Asian-style wings? Simply sub in 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce for the hot sauce and follow the rest of the recipe.
2 lb chicken wings (preferably a mix of wing segments and drummettes)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot is best)
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
Celery sticks (optional)
Alternate Want Asian-style wings? Simply sub in 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce for the hot sauce and follow the rest of the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 450Â°F. Toss the chicken with the salt, pepper, and chili powder and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast until the skin is lightly blistered and the meat is cooked all the way through, about 15 minutes.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet or saute pan and add the hot sauce and half of the lemon juice. Remove the wings from the oven and add directly to the hot pan, tossing to thoroughly coat every piece in the sauce.
Mix the yogurt, blue cheese, and remaining lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the wings and the celery (if using) with the blue cheese sauce on the side for dipping.
Indian Curry Pork Vindaloo
Indian food tends to consist of chickpeas and vegetables, so it's a good healthy option, right? Not if the veggies and meat are buried in fatty curry sauce. Pork vindaloo can have 620 calories and 47 grams of fat—and that’s without basmati rice and bread it’s often served with. Most other creamy curries pack loads of fat, too.
Try Instead: Lime Biryani
Our Indian recipe proves that you don’t need a creamy sauce to have a flavorful, exotic dish. The fresh, clean taste of lime juice pops against curry powder for a healthy meal that packs a zesty punch. And with quinoa, almonds, and chickpeas—all healthy proteins—this dish is as filling as it is interesting.
1 C dry quinoa
1 1/4 C water
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp curry seasoning
3/4 tsp salt
10 oz shredded carrots
1 C no-salt-added canned chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 C thinly sliced scallions
1/4 C sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 C dried currants or golden raisins
3/8 tsp pepper
Zest or finely grate one lime to produce 1 1/2 teaspoons zest, then juice both limes.
In a saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons lime juice, quinoa, water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, curry seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until quinoa turns transparent and liquid is absorbed. Cool and place in a large bowl.
Add carrots, chickpeas, scallions, almonds, and currants. Toss.
In a small bowl, combine remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice, zest, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 38 teaspoon pepper; whisk until well blended. Pour over quinoa mixture and toss. Divide evenly into four salad bowls.
Makes four servings.
Chicken and Broccoli
This classic Chinese restaurant combo sounds like it would be low in calories, but what could be a healthy dish is usually derailed by too much brown sauce and oil. Chicken and broccoli from your favorite Chinese place can come with 660 calories and 26 grams of fat. Have it with a side of fried rice or lo mein noodles and your “light” dinner gets even fattier.
Make this instead: Turkey and Broccoli with Couscous
Instead of greasy takeout, treat yourself to a meal packed with filling protein and flavor, with less than one gram of fat per serving. Skinless turkey cutlets are paired with fluffy couscous and veggies for an Asian-inspired meal without the calories of Chinese fast food.
1/4 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
pinch of ground black pepper
1/2 pound boneless, skinless turkey cutlets, rinsed, dried, and sliced into 2" strips
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup couscous
Coat a deep skillet with cooking spray. Wipe away any excess spray with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over medium heat.
Add the bell pepper, onion, and black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until the onion is slightly translucent
Add the turkey and sage. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the broth and broccoli. Bring to a boil for 1 minute
Stir in the couscous
Cover the skillet and remove from the heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed all of the broth. Stir and serve.
You might think a quesadilla is healthy because it’s wrapped up in a thin tortilla—at least it's low-carb, right? Despite their flat shape, quesadillas are full of fat and are high in calories. One 13-inch dish might have 980 calories and 55 grams of fat. No amount of low-calorie chunky salsa will redeem this cheesy disaster.
Make this instead: Asparagus Quesadillas
Don’t be skeptical of a dish that replaces gobs of cheese with asparagus—we promise it’s still tasty! These little vegetarian quesadilla sandwiches still have enough Monterey jack cheese to satisfy your comfort food cravings with only 9 grams of fat. Have them with beans and brown rice for a complete meal, or serve them up alongside healthy grilled fish or chicken.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 2" pieces, and lightly steamed
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
6 flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 cup green or red salsa
6 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Alternate Replace the asparagus with green beans or bell pepper strips.
To make the asparagus filling: In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and pepper. Stir for 1 minute.
Add the asparagus, tomatoes, and cilantro. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until the flavors are blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
To assemble the quesadillas: Divide the asparagus filling among the tortillas, positioning it on one half of each. Sprinkle with the Monterey Jack. Fold the tortillas in half.
Clean the skillet and coat it with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add 2 tortillas and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until golden. Press with a spatula to flatten slightly. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
To serve, cut each quesadilla in half and top with the salsa, tomatoes, and cilantro.Life is God's gift to you......what you do with your life is your gift to God.
By heavenlyblue in forum General ChatReplies: 6Last Post: October 1st, 2007, 08:38 AM