Ordering take-out from your favorite local spot can make for a special occasion, something to look forward to after a long day and offering a fresh change from your normal routine that doesn't take a lot of time.
But although the options and tastes may make your mouth water, your favorite take-out foods could hurt your health and athletic performance. Take-out meals are typically loaded with fat and salt, which will leave you feeling sluggish and groggy after you eat.
Take control of what's going into your food with these simple, healthy take-out substitutes. They may not be quite as convenient, but the payoff is worth the extra effort.
Chinese: Slow Cooked Beef and Broccoli
- 1 lb. lean beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup fresh broccoli
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup honey
- 3 cloves minced garlic
In a slow cooker, add the beef, onion, soy sauce, honey and garlic. Cook on low for six hours. Add the broccoli and mushrooms. Cook for another 30 minutes.
Greek: Chicken Gyros
- 2 chicken breasts
- Whole-wheat pita
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- Tomato, feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the extra virgin olive oil. Sauté the garlic and onions for five minutes. Season the chicken breasts with allspice and oregano. Sauté for approximately four minutes on each side. Dice the chicken and place in the whole-wheat pitas. Add tomato, feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce to taste.
Thai: Cashew Chicken Satay
- 2 leftover (or freshly sautéed) chicken breasts
- 1 bag Asian frozen vegetable medley
- 1/2 cup satay peanut sauce
- Handful of cashews
In a wok (or large frying pan), add the chicken, frozen vegetables and satay peanut sauce. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the chicken is warm. Top with a handful of cashews.
Mexican: Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Tacos
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 can black beans (rinsed)
- 1 jar salsa verde
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- Crunchy corn or soft tortillas
In a slow cooker, add the chicken, black beans, salsa verde and onion. Cook on low for five hours. Pull the chicken apart and mix it back into the sauce in the slow cooker. Place the chicken and sauce mix in the tortillas and add guacamole to taste.
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