Healthy takeaway recipes: 7 ideas to try to help you lose weight
Former Team GB athlete Stacey Smith represented her country in the 800m/1500m, competing on the biggest stage.
Now a qualified nutritionist, personal trainer and sports physiotherapist, the 28-year-old is on hand to help you lose weight and get fit
Here, the Newcastle runner explains why your health is so important - and has provided some healthy 'takeaway' recipes for you to try.
I spent some time at Newcastle United working on a project aimed at childhood obesity, a brilliant programme designed to educate children and their parents on everything from nutrition to fitness.
It was a real eye-opening job and I truly didn't know the extent of the problem in our region. Take for instance the time I once met a nine-year-old boy who had been given one jam sandwich to last him over two days.
Children regularly thought orange flavoured jelly sweets count as one of your five a day, and I once witnessed a mother giving her child in a pushchair a packet of Quavers and a Red Bull for breakfast.
We are living in a world of extremes and some of us cannot afford one meal a day - hence a rise in foodbanks. Sometimes the food we can afford are extortionately high in calories and low in nutrients.
There is a serious lack of education about nutrition, health and fitness. Now, obesity is a complex issue and currently there is a debate on whether obesity should be classed as a disease rather than a lifestyle choice.
One major contributing factor is the takeaway and fast food industry.
With draft proposals from the Government and Public Health England to introduce calorie content information on all UK takeaway and fast food outlets and potentially a calorie limit on certain dishes, it is a step in the right direction on increasing our awareness of what we are actually consuming.
A standard pizza can contain anything from 1000-2000 calories, but under new Government proposals a 928-calorie limit could be recommended instead.
If your focus is fat loss and increasing your health markers then you have to accept that you will need a reduction of fast food and takeaways (notice I am not saying ban them all together).
There is one simple thing making you gain body fat and stopping you losing it and that is you are consuming too many calories.
Here, I have made a few healthier and low calorie recipes to replace your regular takeaway.
Chicken tikka masala (serves 4)
Calories - 289
Carbohydrates - 11g
Protein - 40g
Fat - 8g
(doesn't include rice)
500g chicken breast, chopped
1 garlic clove
75g plain yogurt
1 tbsp tikka spice
1 chicken stock pot, made with 100ml boiling water
2 onion sliced
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 red chilli chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tbsp tikka spice powder
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tin of light coconut milk
1 small bunch fresh coriander
salt and black pepper
3 tbsp plain yogurt
1. Marinade the chicken - mix together in a large bowl one garlic clove, the yogurt, and one tbsp tikka spice then add the chopped chicken and cover generously. Leave overnight or throughout the day when you go to work.
2. For the tikka masala sauce, bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the sliced onions, garlic and ginger. Cut a square of baking paper or greaseproof paper large enough to cover the mixture in the pan. Push it right down to cover the onions and garlic closely, cover the pan with a lid and simmer very gently for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the paper. The onions should be translucent and soft. Add the tikka spice powder, the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and the chopped coriander and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer briskly for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then set aside to cool slightly.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to its hottest setting. Cover a baking tray with foil, and then place the marinated chicken on the tray in a single layer. Grill the chicken for 15 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through. Give the chicken a turn halfway through cooking, to ensure it’s nicely browned all over.
5. Using a stick blender or food processor, blend the tikka masala sauce until smooth. Return to the heat and warm through, then add the plain yoghurt. (Don’t boil the sauce after you add the yoghurt or it will split). Stir the cooked chicken pieces into the sauce and serve with brown basmati rice and a sprinkling of coriander to finish.
Calories - 428
Carbohydrates - 62g
Protein - 22.6g
250g pack medium rice noodles
2 tsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove
3 spring onions
2 tbsp coconut oil/veg oil
400g cooked large prawns
small handful of salted peanuts chopped to serve
1. Soften the rice noodles. Tip the noodles into a large bowl and pour over a kettle of boiling water until they are covered. Leave to stand for 5-10mins until the noodles are soft, then drain well. (You can do this part ahead of time – then just run the noodles under cold water until cool, and toss through a little oil to stop them from sticking). Next, mix together the tamarind paste, fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl.
2. Stir-fry the vegetables. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Trim the ends off the spring onions and cut into thin slices about 1cm long. Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. When it’s really hot (a drop of water should sizzle straight away), pour in the oil and swirl around. Tip in garlic and spring onions. To stir-fry, take a spatula or tongs and toss the veg around the wok so they’re moving all the time. Cook for 30 seconds, just until they begin to soften.
3. Cook the egg. Push the vegetables to the sides of the wok, then crack the egg into the centre. Keep stirring the egg for 30 secs until it begins to set and resembles a broken-up omelette.
4. To finish, add the prawns and beansprouts, followed by the noodles, then pour over the fish sauce mixture. Toss everything together and heat through. Spoon out onto plates. Serve with some chopped peanuts and chopped coriander sprinkled over and wedges of lime.
Lean Beef Burgers
Calories - 437
Fat - 6g
1 tbsp olive oil
500g lean beef mince (5% fat)
1tsp chilli paste
2tsp garlic paste
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp flour
6 burger buns
toppings (optional) - gherkins, onions,1 tbs chutney/tomato ketchup/low fat mayo
4 Sweet potato, cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika/salt/pepper
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for about 5 mins or until soft. Leave to cool slightly. When cool, put the onion in a large bowl with the mince, egg, chilli, garlic, ketchup and mix well to combine. Divide the mince into 6, roll into balls and flatten each into a nice fat burger.
2. Put the flour on a plate, dab each burger to the flour on both sides, then transfer to a baking tray. Wrap with cling film and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours.
3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan. To make the wedges, put the sweet potato on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika, season, then give them a good shake or shuffle around with your hands to make sure they’re well coated. Roast for 30-40 mins depending on how crisp you like them. Make sure you give them a good shake a couple of times to ensure they cook evenly.
4. When the wedges have been cooking for 10 mins, drizzle the burgers with a little olive oil and put them in the oven to cook with the wedges for the remaining 20-30 mins, flipping them halfway.
5. Serve the burgers in the rolls with your choice of toppings, and a good helping of wedges on the side.
Vegan burgers (serves 4)
Calories - 327
Carbohydrates - 34g
Protein - 10g
Fat - 11g
1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
1 x 340 g tin of sweetcorn
½ a bunch of fresh coriander (15g)
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 heaped tablespoons plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 small round lettuce
2 large ripe tomatoes
4 wholemeal burger buns
1. Drain the chickpeas and sweetcorn, then tip into a food processor. Pick the coriander leaves, adding half the leaves and all the stalks to the processor.
2. Add the spices, flour and a pinch of sea salt, finely grate in the lemon zest, then pulse until combined, but not smooth – you want to retain a bit of texture.
3. On a flour-dusted surface, divide and shape the mixture into 4 equal-sized patties, roughly 2cm thick. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
4. Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the patties and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, turning halfway.
5. Meanwhile, click off, wash and spin-dry four nice lettuce leaves, then finely slice the tomatoes horizontally.
6. Squeeze a large dollop of ketchup onto the base of each bun (toast them if you like), then top with the burgers. Layer over a couple of slices of tomato, a lettuce leaf, a few coriander leaves and finally the burger tops. Delicious served with a fresh green salad.
Egg fried rice and greens (serves 1)
Calories - 398
Carbohydrates - 45g
Protein - 16g
Fat - 17g
150g cooked rice
1/2 tablespoon oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1. Boil 1/4 head broccoli or feel free to have any greens you like like spinach, green beans, sprouts etc.
2. Fry onion and garlic in a wok/frying pan, add peppers and mushrooms and cook through for 5 mins, add the rice and then whisk in the eggs with soya sauce and chilli flakes. Top with fresh coriander.
Homemade Nando's-style dish (serves 1)
Calories - 558
Carbohydrates - 63g
Protein - 42g
Fat - 15g
1 chicken breast
2 tablespoons Nando's sauce
80g frozen peas
1 teaspoon mint sauce
1 corn on the cob
1 medium size (200g) sweet potato
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1. Heat oven to 220C. Place chicken breast in tin foil and cover with one tablespoon of Nando's sauce, cook for 25mins.
2. Cut sweet potato into wedges and cover with melted coconut oil, then cover with the flour and add the paprika, pepper and garlic salt to taste.
3. Place on tin tray and cook in the same over for 20-25mins. Check on the wedges every now and again and turn over to prevent them from burning.
4. Boil a pan of water and cook the corn on cob for 10-12mins.
5. Boil another pan and cook the peas for three minutes, serve and mix the mint sauce into them.
6. Serve with one tablespoon of light mayo and one tablespoon of Nando's sauce mixed together.
Fish and Chips
Calories - 540
Carbohydrates - 64g
Protein - 39g
Fat - 13g
400g baking potato
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices white bread
2 white fish fillets
1 tablespoon flour, salt, pepper
1 egg, beaten
140g frozen peas with mint
2 tablespoon crème fraiche
1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 4. Peel and chop the potatoes into thick chips, then toss with the olive oil and some salt.
2. Arrange on a large non-stick baking tray and roast for 20mins, turning halfway.
3. Lightly toast the bread, then pulse briefly in a food processor for coarse breadcrumbs.
4. Dust the fish in flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg, then breadcrumbs to coat.
5. Roast the fish with the chips for a further 20 mins, until both are golden.
6. Just before the fish and chips are ready, boil the peas for 3-4 mins, then drain and mash. Stir in the crème fraiche and season.