Take Out Inspired Meal and Snack IdeasNeed some recipe inspiration? Here are some delicious take out inspired meals and snacks to incorporate in your meal prep this week.
Restaurant takeout is great for a special occasion, but it’s not always the healthiest choice. If you’re craving something from your favorite spot, why not try to make your own version at home? Here, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you create healthier, copycat recipes of some of classic takeout favorites – without having to order delivery or leave your house! Let’s get into it.
Meals Made at Home Save Time and Money
Why make your own food? Time is precious and investing in saving time on meals is important. It may seem quicker to go out, order takeout or request delivery, but time can be saved by not waiting for a table, waiting in the car for your order or waiting for a delivery driver to drop a meal at your doorstep.
Planning ahead can help you organize and save your time more effectively. Did you know the average price per meal when eating out is around $20, while home cooked meals cost about $4.50 per serving? That’s $15.50 per meal in savings! Let’s take a look at some foods we can recreate for lunch or dinner.
Recreating Lunch Time Favorites
First and foremost, remember that a balanced meal should consist of ¼ plate vegetables, ¼ plate fruits, ¼ plate protein and ¼ plate starch. Strive to get at least 3 of the 5 food groups with all meals. This helps in meeting daily needs to keep us active and energized throughout the day. (Tip: Use MyPlate guidelines as the framework for recreating your favorite takeout meal.)
Here are some delicious and versatile copycat lunch options that are fun, simple and quick:
- Shredded Chicken Tinga Tacos: A perfect dupe for everyone’s favorite fast food taco (or even the version at your local Mexican restaurant), this recipe was created with flavor in mind! Top whole grain corn tortillas with tons of veggies, like pickled red onions, cilantro and jalapenos, to not only pair the flavors accordingly, but to boost the nutritional value too!
- Salmon Sushi Bowls: If sushi is on your list for takeout favorites, then this recipe is for you. Swap in cauliflower rice or stick to a smaller portion of rice with more veggies at the core. Use light soy sauce for a reduced sodium option and enjoy a top tier meal.
- Grilled Philly Cheesesteaks: A fan-favorite for takeout lunch, this Philly cheesesteak can easily be recreated at home with Kroger Brand Shaved Steak, a whole wheat hoagie bun and a frozen 3 pepper and onion blend. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
Essential Recipes for Dinner Time
Now that you have some options for homemade versions of your favorite lunchtime takeout options, you may be wondering, “What should I eat for dinner at home?” Here are some takeout- and restaurant-inspired dinner ideas to consider:
Revamped “Mac” Burger
That’s right! You can absolutely make a healthier, even more juicy tasting version of the McD’s favorite at home! Using these products below will make assembling your burger easier than ever. (Note that the “secret” sauce in this version isn’t so secret.)
- Kroger Beef + Mushroom Burger Patties
- Don’t like the taste of mushrooms? No problem! You won’t even taste them in these patties. Mushrooms combine well with beef, adding a punch of umami. These burgers are high in protein and make it simple to get more vegetables in your diet.
- Onions (pickle with Worcestershire sauce for 30 minutes before serving)
- Thousand Island dressing
- Fat free American cheese
- Whole wheat burger bun
- Higher in fiber and protein, this burger bun will keep you feeling full longer.
Crispy Kentucky-Style Air-Fried Chicken
Nothing says comfort food like fried chicken. This meal idea is inspired by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), and can give you that same crunch with less calories. All you’ll need is a bag of Tyson Air Fried Perfectly Crispy Chicken. How about serving them in a bucket for the real “KFC experience?” Add a side of high protein mac and cheese and crispy green beans to make this meal balanced and complete.
“Olive Garden” Fettuccine Alfredo
Who doesn’t love pasta from the Olive Garden? This easy restaurant meal to make at home tastes so good, you won’t even miss going out! This steamable rotini alfredo has 10 grams of protein per serving and is made out of lentils. Once heated, top it with chopped roasted pistachios, a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest, then pair with a side of whole grain garlic bread. Yum!
Whatever restaurant meal you’re craving, just know you can save time and money (and perhaps add a little nutritional value) by recreating it in the convenience of your own home. It may just turn out to be the next family tradition!
There are always new ways to enjoy the foods you love – no matter your dietary preferences. Visit our specialty diet shop for more recipes, inspiration and foods that support your lifestyle.