As we entered into week 7 of lockdown last week I realised I’d not indulged in many takeaways during this whole crisis, which of course is a good thing, but I was beginning to crave a binge on naughty food. Then I thought, why not have a whole week of comfort food but keep it healthy by making fakeaways all week? So we did! We discovered some really tasty but very easy to make recipes that still felt like a treat. These recipes would be great for all the family, and even if you’re in lockdown on your own you can make extra and freeze most of these recipes!
We did cheat one day and get an actual takeaway, can you guess which is the real takeaway from the picture below?
So here are the fakeaways we made and enjoyed…
Chinese – Sweet Chilli Chicken Noodles (Gousto recipe)
Packed with flavour and a bit of a kick, this is such a yummy dish – why not try eating your bowlful with a pair of chopsticks?
Quick recipe (20 mins) – Ingredients for 2 people:
- Approx an inch cube piece of ginger. Or a heaped tsp of the easy ginger.
- 1 garlic clove. Or a tsp of the easy garlic.
- 2 nests of egg noodles (I got the straight to wok fresh noodles)
- 300g diced chicken breast
- Sachet/4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Large handful of chopped spring greens/small pack of stir fry vegetables
- 1 lime
- Handful of salted peanuts
- 2 spring onions
- 1 red pepper
- 1 chilli
- A bunch of coriander
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the sweet chilli sauce and half the soy sauce. Pop the diced chicken breast into the bowl and mix well to evenly coat. Cover and pop the bowl in the fridge whilst you prepare the veggies.
- Peel and finely grate the ginger. Peel and grate the garlic. Trim the spring onion and thinly slice. Slice the pepper and discard the core and seeds. Slice the chilli and discard the seeds if you don’t like too much spice (I never discard them as I like a kick). Zest the lime and cut into wedges. Roughly chop the coriander and the peanuts.
- If you have bought dried noodles, cook these in boiling water now with a good pinch of salt. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large glug of oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken and it’s marinade into the pan. Stir-fry the chicken until golden all over and cooked through (approx 8 – 10 minutes). Once cooked add a little more oil to the pan and add the stir fry veg/spring greens and red pepper until slightly softened.
- Add the garlic, ginger, half the spring onions and half the chilli. Mix well and cook for a minute. Stir in the lime zest, a good squeeze of lime juice from half the lime and season well with black pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the noodles to the pan along with half the coriander. Stir gently to combine and cook for a few minutes until everything is hot. Serve everything up and drizzle over the remaining soy sauce Finish with the rest of the spring onion and chilli and sprinkle the peanuts on top.
Indian – Kashmiri Chicken Curry (A Co-op recipe, tweaked)
A warming and authentic dish that was just as good, in fact better, than a spot on takeaway!
1 hour recipe – Ingredients for 4 people:
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5cm piece of ginger, chopped. (**Did you know it was easier to peel ginger by scraping it with a teaspoon rather than a peeler!!**)
- 600g diced chicken breast
- 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 chilli, chopped
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 x microwave pack of basmati rice
- Bunch of coriander leaves
- Naans/flatbreads to serve – we made our own from mixing 2 tbsp natural yogurt, 50g plain flour & 1 tbsp olive oil per flatbread… method is below.
- Blitz the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and 50ml water into a smooth paste (add a little more water if required…we found 100ml was too much), then set aside. Heat some oil into a large non-stick pan over a high heat and fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through.
- Add the paste to the pan and fry everything together for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the paste starts to darken. Stir in all the spices and fry for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add in the tin of chopped tomatoes and half a tin of water, then season.
- Cover and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes. Once the curry has simmered for 30 minutes, take off the lid give it a good stir and leave simmering whilst you make your flatbreads and microwave your rice.
- If you have chosen to make flatbreads, add together the flour, yogurt and oil as well as a pinch of salt, mix until this forms a dough. Add flour to a surface and then knead and roll out your dough to form a flatbread shape, approx half a centimetre thick. You may need to keep adding more flour whilst you roll this out so that the dough doesn’t stick and break up. Heat a non-stick frying pan and fry the dough for about 2-3 mins either side until crisp and golden. Ensure that you keep moving the pan and keep an eye that the dough doesn’t burn.
- Once the rice and naan/flatbreads are cooked, stir in the coriander leaves into the curry and then serve everything up!
Thai – Prawn Red Thai Curry
You can make your own curry paste if you wish, but buying a ready made one will make this dish so easy to make!
Quick recipe (15 mins) – Ingredients for 2 people;
- Microwave pack of basmati rice
- 2-3 vegetables of your choice – I used 1 x onion, 1 x green pepper and a handful of spring greens (Carrot & courgette also works nicely with this curry)
- Handful of fresh coriander
- 1 lime
- 2 tbsp Red Thai curry paste
- 1 tin of coconut milk
- 150g king prawns
- 1 chilli
- I also added 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp chilli powder for extra spice but this isn’t essential
- Dice the onion, slice the pepper, chop the chilli and chop the fresh coriander. Zest the lime and then chop in half for later.
- In a wok/large saucepan, heat up some oil and when hot, add the onion and pepper and half the chilli. Fry until beginning to soften.
- When the vegetables are softened, add the curry paste and fry, stirring and coating everything in the paste for about 30 seconds.
- Add the spring greens, half the coriander,coconut milk and prawns to the pan.
Season with salt & pepper and add any extras like paprika or chilli powder now. Bring everything to the boil and simmer covered for 5 minutes to ensure the prawns cook through and the sauce thickens a little.
- Carry on simmering the curry and stir often whilst your rice cooks in the microwave. Mix the lime zest in with your basmati rice and serve between bowls.
Serve the curry on top of the rice and top with the remaining chilli and coriander.
Mexican – Mexican Chicken Burger (Quick After Work Cookbook recipe)
This recipe may not be the most photogenic but it is so simple and is so good when you bite into that juicy burger, what a treat!
30 minute recipe – Ingredients for 2 people;
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp chipotle sauce
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 rashers of bacon
- 2 breadcakes/brioche buns
- 2 tbsp guacamole
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Cut the sweet potatoes (skin-on) into chips/wedges. Mix these in oil, and coat with the chilli powder and chilli flakes. Put these into the oven on 200 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Once the chips have been in the oven for 10 minutes, put the chicken between two sheets of cling film, and use a rolling pin to beat it out to make it about twice the size and of an even thickness, this will help it to cook more quickly. Dust both sides of the chicken with the smoked paprika.
- Heat a lightly oiled griddle pan (or frying pan) over a medium heat and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Meanwhile stir the chipotle sauce into the mayonnaise.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the griddle pan and keep warm. Add the bacon to the pan. Cut your breadcakes in half and place the cut sides on the pan to toast them. Turn the bacon to crisp it, and remove the bread when toasted.
- Slice each chicken breast into two or three pieces. To serve, spoon the mayonnaise on the bottom half of each bun. Stack the chicken on top and spook over the guacamole. Top each with a rasher of bacon. Serve the burgers with the sweet potato chips.
Greek – Harissa Lamb Kofta Flatbreads
I love anything with harissa and feta, so this is right up my street, and again making the flatbreads from scratch is so easy, you’ll be addicted to making them like I am!
Quick recipe (20 mins) – Ingredients for 2;
- 1 red onion, peeled & halved
- 250g minced lamb
- 1 tbsp harissa paste (found in larger supermarkets)
- 110g feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 tbsp mint, chopped finely
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder/granules
- 1/4 cucumber, diced
- 3 tbsp greek yogurt
- A few lettuce leaves
- For the flatbreads – 2 tbsp natural yogurt, 50g plain flour & 1 tbsp olive oil per flatbread.
- Cut a few slices of onion and reserve for serving, finely chop the rest. Tip the lamb mince into a bowl and add the chopped onion, harissa, feta, 2 tbsp mint, salt & pepper. Mix together well. You can shape the mixture into koftas if you like, we just decided to cook the mixture as it was.
- Heat a lightly oiled frying pan and cook the mince/koftas until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, make your flatbreads…add together the flour, yogurt and oil as well as a pinch of salt, mix until this forms a dough. Add flour to a surface and then knead and roll out your dough to form a flatbread shape, approx half a centimetre thick. You may need to keep adding more flour whilst you roll this out so that the dough doesn’t stick and break up. Heat a non-stick frying pan and fry the dough for about 2-3 mins either side until crisp and golden. Ensure that you keep moving the pan and keep an eye that the dough doesn’t burn.
- Make tzatziki in a small bowl by mixing the cucumber with the greek yogurt, garlic powder and the remaining mint with a little salt & pepper.
- Serve your flatbreads with some lettuce topped with the mince/koftas and a dollop of tzatziki and the sliced onion. Enjoy getting messy with this one!!
Italian – Flatbread Pepperoni Pizzas
These are so easy to make and tasty that I don’t think I’ll buy ready made pizzas ever again!!
Quick recipe (15 mins) – Ingredients for 2 people;
- For the flatbreads – 4 tbsp natural yogurt, 100g plain flour & 2 tbsp olive oil
- Pack of pepperoni slices
- Pack of mozzarella (**Aldi do a pack of pepperoni and mozzarella slices, perfect for 2 pizzas!!**)
- Tube of tomato puree
- Tube of mixed herbs paste or 1 tbsp of dried mixed herbs
- Handful of basil leaves
- Grated cheddar cheese (As much as you want to go on top)
- We served ours with homemade sweet potato chips (same recipe as with the Mexican Burger) so that takes the recipe cooking time to 30 mins.
- Add together the flour, yogurt and oil as well as a pinch of salt, mix until this forms a dough. Add flour to a surface and then knead and roll out your dough to form 2 thin pizza base shapes, only a few millimetres thick. You may need to keep adding more flour whilst you roll this out so that the dough doesn’t stick and break up. Heat a non-stick frying pan and fry the dough for about 2-3 mins on the bottom until this side is cooked and turning golden, then just for a minute on the top as we don’t need to fully cook this side at the moment.
- Add your toppings starting with spreading out the tomato puree with a spoon to cover the base, add some mixed herbs into the puree too. Add the sliced pepperoni then the mozzarella and fresh basil and grill the pizzas for about 12 minutes until the toppings are bubbling and golden. Add the grated cheddar cheese on top and grill for another minute until this has melted.
Well there you have it! A week of indulging in fakeaways (and one cheat takeaway). Healthy, home-cooked comfort food that you can all enjoy making throughout lockdown!
Please share your photos and thoughts with me on these meals and your versions, I’d love to see them!