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‘Fakeaway ‘ diet dishes so tasty you’ll pinch yourself!

As chefs on a mission to lose weight, we know how important it is not to feel deprived if you are going to stick to your healthy eating plan.

That’s why we began our website Pinch Of Nom, to share with other slimmers delicious ways to eat more healthily and still enjoy your food.

With this in mind, we decided to ask what recipes visitors to Pinch of Nom wanted to see — then set about creating healthier versions.

One of the top requests was for lower-calorie versions of takeaways, and these recipes have proved a massive hit among the 1.5 million users who regularly turn to Pinch Of Nom for inspiration.

Our meals don’t taste remotely like ‘diet food’ and, what’s more, because they’ve been carefully calculated to be lower-calorie, they can all be used to complement many popular weight-loss programmes.

This week, we are exclusively sharing some of our favourite Pinch Of Nom dishes with Daily Mail readers.

You’ll find many of these easy meals in our new recipe book, which is brimming with mouth-watering ways to lose weight without compromising on taste or treats.

Today, it’s the turn of our hit take- away and fakeaway recipes, such as super simple chicken curry, onion bhajis and delicious chicken and mushroom stir-fry.

Try them for yourself and see how good healthy food can taste.

Enjoy! (Or, as we would say, Nom, Nom, Nom.)

How our recipes work 

EVERYDAY LIGHT

These are recipes you can have at any time. They’re easy on the calories, filling and perfect for every day.

WEEKLY INDULGENCE

These recipes have one or two ingredients that make them slightly more indulgent, so should be used in moderation.

 EVERYDAY LIGHT

Chicken and mushroom stir-fry

‘This chicken and mushroom Chinese-style fakeaway is a Pinch of Nom classic. With fresh ingredients and authentic flavours of soy and oyster sauce, you’ll never need to call for a takeaway delivery again’

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 20 mins

CALS PER SERVING: 274

One of the most common requests we receive is for quick and simple fakeaway recipes. This chicken and mushroom Chinese-style fakeaway is a Pinch of Nom classic. With fresh ingredients and authentic flavours of soy and oyster sauce, you’ll never need to call for a takeaway delivery again.

Serves 2

  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 2 chicken breasts (skin removed), diced
  •  1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  •  1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
  •  ½ tsp root ginger, finely chopped
  • 6 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
  • Handful baby corn, roughly chopped
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar with a little sweetener)
  •  ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • l 250ml beef stock (1 beef stock cube dissolved in 250ml boiling water)
  • l Cooked rice or noodles, to serve

Spray a wok or large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat.

Add the onion, chicken, peppers, broccoli, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 3 minutes until the onions and peppers start to soften.

Add the spring onions, baby corn and mushrooms and stir-fry for 3 minutes until they start to colour slightly, then add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar and black pepper.

Pour in the stock, stir well and turn the heat up to high.

Simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly.

Check the chicken is cooked through before serving with rice or noodles.

 Pinch of nom

WEEKLY INDULGENCE 

SAMOSAS  

'Yes, you read correctly: samosas! Making a simple swap from pastry to tortilla wrap instantly brings down the calories. Filled with fresh ingredients, you’ll be reaching for these time and time again'

‘Yes, you read correctly: samosas! Making a simple swap from pastry to tortilla wrap instantly brings down the calories. Filled with fresh ingredients, you’ll be reaching for these time and time again’

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 15 mins

CALS PER SERVING: 151

  • Vegetarian 
  • Freezable 
  • Gluten free

Yes, you read correctly: samosas! Making a simple swap from pastry to tortilla wrap instantly brings down the calories. Filled with fresh ingredients, you’ll be reaching for these time and time again.

Makes 6

  •  2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm (½in) dice
  •  Low-calorie cooking spray
  • Generous pinch chilli powder
  • 3 low-calorie, gluten-free tortilla wraps, cut in half
  • Fresh coriander, to serve (optional)

Cook the diced potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain. Cook the peas in boiling salted water and drain.

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spray a pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened but not browned, then add the spices and cook for another minute. Stir in the cooked potato and mash it slightly with a fork or the back of a spoon before adding the uncooked spinach, lemon juice and peas. Add a pinch of salt and stir. Brush the edges of the halved wraps with the beaten egg. Fold each half into a cone shape and seal the edge, leaving the top open to add the filling. Divide the filling equally between the wraps, being careful not to over-fill. If you do, you will not be able to seal them properly. Brush the open end of the wraps with more beaten egg, leave for 30-40 seconds until it becomes tacky, then press the edges together firmly. You can use a fork to do this, but carefully so as not rip the wrap. Arrange the samosas on a baking tray. Brush each sealed samosa with plenty of beaten egg, then place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Serve warm. You can also allow them to cool, wrap in baking parchment and freeze for another day.

EVERYDAY LIGHT

Onion Bhajis

'An Indian takeaway-night classic! Here we’ve used some traditional spices and a clever trick to bake the bhajis in the familiar shape (avoiding calorific binding ingredients)'

‘An Indian takeaway-night classic! Here we’ve used some traditional spices and a clever trick to bake the bhajis in the familiar shape (avoiding calorific binding ingredients)’

PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOKING TIME: 20-30 mins

CALS PER SERVING: 59

An Indian takeaway-night classic! Here we’ve used some traditional spices and a clever trick to bake the bhajis in the familiar shape (avoiding calorific binding ingredients).

MAKES 12 

  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 3 red onions, cut into thin half moons
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, and grated
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6 and spray a 12-hole muffin tray with a decent amount of low-calorie cooking spray. Put the onions and sweet potato in a bowl, and add the beaten eggs, spices and salt and pepper. Mix well until everything is thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture equally among the 12 greased moulds in the muffin tray. Press the mixture down firmly and spray the top with more cooking spray.

If you’re making freeform bhajis, roll the mixture into 12 rough balls with your hands. Space them out on a lined baking tray so they are not touching, then spray again with low-calorie cooking spray. Bake the bhajis in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on size. About halfway through, turn them over using a spatula and spray again with low-calorie cooking spray. If you want them to be crisp, grill for a few minutes once cooked.

 EVERYDAY LIGHT

Super simple chicken curry

'Occasionally, the craving for a good Indian dish is overwhelming. We would all love to have the opportunity to create curry pastes and spice mixes from scratch. At times, though, we just need an easy, go-to curry recipe that can be created in minutes. This is one such recipe. Wonderfully tasty, but so quick to put together, it’ll become a favourite'

‘Occasionally, the craving for a good Indian dish is overwhelming. We would all love to have the opportunity to create curry pastes and spice mixes from scratch. At times, though, we just need an easy, go-to curry recipe that can be created in minutes. This is one such recipe. Wonderfully tasty, but so quick to put together, it’ll become a favourite’

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

COOKING TIME: 30 minutes

CALS PER SERVING: 181

Occasionally, the craving for a good Indian dish is overwhelming. We would all love to have the opportunity to create curry pastes and spice mixes from scratch. At times, though, we just need an easy, go-to curry recipe that can be created in minutes. This is one such recipe. Wonderfully tasty, but so quick to put together, it’ll become a favourite.

Serves 4

  •  Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 450g chicken breast, skin and visible fat removed, and diced
  •  3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

To serve (optional)

Spray a large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes until softened slightly, then add the diced chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add all the other ingredients. The water should just cover the chicken but you may need more or less depending on the size of your pan. Leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes. Turn the heat up and boil the curry for another 5 minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan — this will thicken the sauce slightly. Serve with samosas or rice.

EVERYDAY LIGHT 

Salt and pepper chips

'A Chinese takeaway dish popular in northern England, these spicy salt and pepper chips are a Pinch of Nom classic. They have a really authentic flavour but with far fewer calories. You can even keep the par-boiled and seasoned chips in the freezer for a snack emergency'

‘A Chinese takeaway dish popular in northern England, these spicy salt and pepper chips are a Pinch of Nom classic. They have a really authentic flavour but with far fewer calories. You can even keep the par-boiled and seasoned chips in the freezer for a snack emergency’

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 20 mins

CALS PER SERVING: 311

  • Vegetarian 
  • Freezable
  • Gluten free

A Chinese takeaway dish popular in northern England, these spicy salt and pepper chips are a Pinch of Nom classic. They have a really authentic flavour but with far fewer calories. You can even keep the par-boiled and seasoned chips in the freezer for a snack emergency.

Serves 2

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunky chips
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • l 1-2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • l 1-2 chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • l ½ green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • l ½ red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

For the spice mix

  • 1 tbsp granulated sweetener
  • l ½ tbsp Chinese five-spice
  • Generous pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper

Start by making the spice mix. Toast the salt flakes in a hot dry pan until they start to brown. Mix the toasted salt and all the other spice mix ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Preheat the oven to 220c/fan 200c/gas 7. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the chips and simmer for 10 minutes until they start to soften but are still quite firm. Drain. (You could allow the par-boiled chips to cool, season with the spice mix, then freeze. They will be ready to cook from frozen at a later date.)

Spray a baking tray with low-calorie cooking spray. Spread the chips out on the tray and spray with more low-calorie spray.

Sprinkle with a little of the spice mix, place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft and starting to colour.

Spray a frying pan generously with low-calorie cooking spray, add the spring onions, chillies and peppers and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.

Add the chips to the pan and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the spice mix (or as much as you like). Keep stirring and tossing the ingredients so they do not catch and burn. You may need to add more low-calorie cooking spray. Continue cooking until the chips are golden brown, then serve.

 EVERYDAY LIGHT

Stuffed meatballs

'A Chinese takeaway dish popular in northern England, these spicy salt and pepper chips are a Pinch of Nom classic. They have a really authentic flavour but with far fewer calories. You can even keep the par-boiled and seasoned chips in the freezer for a snack emergency'

‘A Chinese takeaway dish popular in northern England, these spicy salt and pepper chips are a Pinch of Nom classic. They have a really authentic flavour but with far fewer calories. You can even keep the par-boiled and seasoned chips in the freezer for a snack emergency’

PREP TIME: 10 mins 

COOKING TIME: 25 mins

CALS PER SERVING: 283

Delicious, rich tomato sauce and meatballs oozing with cheese … and this is slimming food? Yes! A little mozzarella makes these tasty meatballs an absolute treat. Quick and easy to prepare, they can be whipped up on a weeknight for a busy family.

Serves 4 (3 meatballs each)

FOR THE MEATBALLS

  • 1 tsp salt and a pinch ground black pepper
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 70g reduced-fat mozzarella, split into 12 equal pieces

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  •  ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Mix all the meatball ingredients (except the mozzarella and half of the parsley) together in a bowl, then divide the meatball mixture into 12 equal pieces.

Enclose one piece of mozzarella in each portion of meatball mix. Firmly roll each into a ball. Place the meatballs on the baking tray and cook for 15 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking in the oven, make the sauce. Put all the sauce ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil and cook over a low-medium heat for about 20 minutes. Blitz the sauce with a stick blender, or in a blender or food processor until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper, then return to the pan. Add the baked meatballs to the sauce and stir well. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and serve.

WEEKLY INDULGENCE

Cheesy garlic bread

'Our garlic bread is a perfect accompaniment to other dishes. Add a little cheese to the mix and you’ve really got a party going! Using fresh garlic, a spritz of low-calorie cooking spray and switching to a gluten-free bread can make a real dent on the calorie count, but it is just as tasty'

‘Our garlic bread is a perfect accompaniment to other dishes. Add a little cheese to the mix and you’ve really got a party going! Using fresh garlic, a spritz of low-calorie cooking spray and switching to a gluten-free bread can make a real dent on the calorie count, but it is just as tasty’

PREP TIME: 10 MINS

COOKING TIME: 10 MINS

CALS PER SERVING: 85

Our garlic bread is a perfect accompaniment to other dishes. Add a little cheese to the mix and you’ve really got a party going! Using fresh garlic, a spritz of low-calorie cooking spray and switching to a gluten-free bread can make a real dent on the calorie count, but it is just as tasty.

Serves 2

  • 2 white gluten-free ciabatta loaves, sliced in half lengthways
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled but left whole
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 4 tbsp tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 40g reduced-fat Cheddar, finely grated
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Slice the ciabattas in half and place on an oven tray. Bash the garlic clove with the back of a knife and rub it thoroughly over the cut sides of the ciabatta.

If you like your garlic bread very garlicky then chop it finely and scatter it over the ciabatta loaves.

Spray the ciabatta with low-calorie cooking spray and place in the oven for 5 minutes.

Take the ciabatta out of the oven, top with the tomatoes and cheese.

Return to the oven until the cheese has melted, then season and scatter with the chopped parsley.

 EVERYDAY LIGHT

Indian veggie dhansak 

Indian veggie dhansak is an every day light recipe

Indian veggie dhansak is an every day light recipe

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 35 mins

CALS PER SERVING: 277 cals 

Serves 4

  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
  •  ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 700ml vegetable stock, using
  • 2 peppers, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 90g baby corn, each cut into three

Spray a large lidded saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger for 3-4 minutes. Add the spices and chilli and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the lentils, sweet potato, chopped tomatoes and stock.

Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Add all the veg, except the mangetout, cauliflower and broccoli. Stir well and cover with a lid. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the remaining veg and simmer gently for up to 10 minutes, until the veg are cooked but still firm.  Stir well before serving.

  Pinch OF Nom, by Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone, is published by Bluebird,£20. © KayFeatherstone and Kate Allinson 2019.

To buy a copy for £16 (20 per cent discount) go to mailshop.co.uk/ books or call 0844 571 0640. Offer valid until May 11, 2019. p&p is free. For more recipes, visit pinchofnom.com

 

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