These 4 Asian Takeaway Favourites Have Been Given A Healthy Revamp, Here’s How You Can DIY And Enjoy Them Guilt Free

Studies say people who eat takeout just once a week may significantly increase their body fat as well as other risk factors for heart disease and diabetes



Odds are, that Mr Delivery guy is bringing trouble to your doorstep. Inside that innocuous bag, he carries unhealthy versions of virtuous, protein-packed Asian dishes like salmon teriyaki and shrimp Pad Thai. Loaded with gloppy, neon-coloured sauces, limp vegetables, MSG and excess oil, the food may blunt your hunger, but it won’t be doing your waistline any favours.

Related: The Top 6 Healthy Takeaways And Cafés In South Africa

A 2011 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reports that people who eat takeout just once a week may significantly increase their body fat as well as other risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. Time to reclaim takeout.

Related: The 7 Online Food Delivery Services You Need If You’re Struggling To Eat Healthy

Where to start? From scratch. In less time than it takes the delivery dude to reach your doorstep, you can create vibrant home- made versions of your go-to Asian orders. Just deploy lean protein, produce for fibre and disease-fighting phytonutrients, and fresh aromatics like garlic and ginger. Stock up on a few Asian pantry staples and prep can be even easier. The only thing that’ll make your meals better? A strategic dose of zesty chilli.

Thai Red Curry With Beef

Upgrade: Swopping sweet potatoes for the classic white variety gives this curry a beta-carotene boost.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil (preferably peanut)
500g steak (your choice of cut), cut into 11⁄2 centimetre strips
1 large shallot, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 can of light coconut milk
1 tsp grated lime zest
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1⁄3 cup unsalted roasted cashews (optional)
Juice of 1⁄2 lime
Cooked brown rice, for serving
Chopped coriander, for serving

Related: How Eating Curry Could Undo The Effects Of Smoking

Directions:
1. Heat a wok or frying pan on medium high. When it’s hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the beef and sear it until browned, tossing occasionally for two to three minutes. Transfer the beef and juices to a plate.
2. Return the wok to medium heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the shallot and ginger; stir-fry for three minutes. Stir in the curry paste and heat for 30 seconds. Stir in the coco- nut milk, lime zest, and fish sauce; heat for two minutes.
3. Add the sweet potatoes to the wok and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, for about 15 min- utes. Stir in the lime juice and the beef and heat through. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh coriander and cashews.

Serves 4

Soba Shrimp Pad Thai

Upgrade: Pad Thai typically uses nutritionally void rice noodles. Go unorthodox and use Japanese soba noodles instead for a bonus dose of fibre and extra nutty flavour.

Ingredients:
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp roasted sesame oil
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil (preferably peanut)
1⁄2 kg of peeled large raw prawns (thawed and drained if frozen)
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
170g soba (or buckwheat) noodles cooked, rinsed and drained
3 spring onions, sliced
1⁄4 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 limes, cut into quarters, for serving

Related: DIY Asian Takeaway

Directions:
1. In a blender, combine the first seven ingredients and 1⁄4 cup water; purée until smooth and set aside.
2. Heat a wok or large frying pan on medium high. When it’s hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Then add the prawns and cook until they just turn pink, about two minutes. Transfer them to a plate.
3. Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and swirl. Add the peppers and mushrooms; stir-fry for two minutes. Return the prawns to the pan along with the peanut sauce, cooked noo- dles and spring onions. Stir-fry for one minute.
4. Serve with peanuts and lime wedges.

Serves 4

Salmon Teriyaki With Asparagus

Upgrade: A helping of asparagus adds potassium and folate to this Japanese stir-fry.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil (preferably peanut)
500g skinless salmon, cut into 11⁄2 centimetre cubes
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
Cooked brown rice, for serving

Related: The Beginner's Guide To Mastering Food Prep

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, honey, chilli sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Set the mixture aside.
2. Heat a wok or large frying pan on medium high. When it’s hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the salmon pieces and cook, stirring occa- sionally, until they just begin to turn opaque, for about two minutes. Transfer them to a plate.
3. Add the asparagus to the wok and stir-fry until crisp but tender, about two minutes. Return the salmon to the wok and stir in the soy sauce mixture. Heat, stirring, for one minute. If the sauce seems too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Serve over brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Serves 4

General Tso’s Chicken with Broccoli

Upgrade: Why weigh down chicken chunks with bland, oil-logged batter? Bake them instead to cut kilojoules without sacrificing taste. Then pile on the fresh vegetables

Ingredients:
500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 11⁄2 centrimetre cubes
4 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vegetable oil (preferably peanut)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1⁄4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chilli sauce
4 cups steamed broccoli, for serving
Cooked brown rice, for serving

Related: Wait, What The Cluck Is Butterflying A Chicken?

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. On a foil lined baking tray, toss the chicken chunks with 2 tablespoons corn- starch. Spread the cubes out and bake until they’re cooked through, about 12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil, garlic and ginger on medium for two minutes, stirring often. Add the broth, soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, honey, and chilli sauce; sim- mer for three minutes. Whisk the remaining cornstarch into 2 table- spoons of water; add that and heat until the mixture has thickened, for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the cooked chicken to the pan with the sauce and toss together. Serve alongside the broccoli and over brown rice.

Serves 4

 

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