Nix the take-out temptation

QuinoaWe all have those days when the thought of stepping foot in the kitchen and cooking a meal after a long day sounds like a chore. We turn to our phones and tablets and search for the easiest dinner: take-out. Whether you’re craving pizza or Chinese, having someone else cook for you sounds like the best plan. But what if you could make the same thing at home in the same amount of time? For a fraction of the cost – and the calories – making your own take-out is a lot easier and faster than you may think.

Much of the food we order from restaurants has unmentionable amounts of salt, fat and calories added to enhance the flavor – and keep you coming back for more. The serving sizes are huge, so it’s a lot easier to overeat. If you want to feel good about yourself and what you eat, try out one of these healthier versions of take-out food. We promise these delicious recipes will cure your cravings!

“Pizza” Zucchini Boats

Ingredients

  • 4 zucchini, sliced in half length-wise
  • 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
  • 2/3 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Carefully scoop out the center of each zucchini, leaving about ½ inch remaining on the skin.
  3. Evenly distribute marinara sauce on each zucchini half, and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender.
  5. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

To add protein, mix the marinara sauce with cooked ground turkey before filling each zucchini.

Quinoa Fried “Rice”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup peas, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine metal sieve. Boil with water or chicken stock until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil. Stir-fry onion and carrots until tender. Add half of the scallions and the garlic powder and sauté briefly.
  3. Fold in the cooked quinoa and peas. Stir the soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha into the quinoa mixture.
  4. Move quinoa aside in the pan, and scramble the eggs. Fold into the quinoa mixture.
  5. Garnish with remaining scallions.

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