If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that eating in is the new dining out. As a nation, we’ve had the time to get super creative in the kitchen, but when you’re craving a takeaway meal, a home-cooked meal often doesn’t scratch that itch.
Despite the wider range of food delivery options available, the choices for vegetarians are also limited to just a few dishes when ordering in. But unbeknown to most, you can enjoy a takeaway inspired meal that’s healthy, vegetarian, and utterly indulgent, without even parting with much of your hard-earned cash.
Read on to discover the healthy, homemade, veggie alternatives that have the power to kick even the longest standing takeaway habit for good.
Fried chicken – without the chicken
It’s KFC but not as you know it. Instead of chicken, this Kentucky fried seitan dish uses tofu and an equally as addictive crispy coating.
This dish is perfect for a takeaway inspired evening meal, summer barbeque or garden party, plus it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans so everyone’s a winner!
The recipe does require a lot of preparation, including overnight chilling, but the result is so delicious, you’ll want to make it again and again.
Serve in a bun with a summer salad or homemade coleslaw, not forgetting a generous dollop of BBQ sauce.
Meat eaters looking to make healthy changes will find this fried chicken without the chicken dish so delicious that it’ll even satisfy those meaty cravings.
The pizza classic – vegan style
Who needs Pizza Express when you can create a vegan margherita pizza in your very own home. This pizza recipe uses cashew mozzarella for a gooey, creamy taste with every bite.
The pizza sauce can be made from scratch or shop bought to shorten cooking time. Whilst those looking for gluten-free and nut-free alternatives can easily adapt this recipe courtesy of a gluten-free crust and rice flour or a nut-free alfredo sauce.
Spicy Indian curry with a twist
Whilst vegetable curries offer plenty of taste and colour, you can add even more texture and interest to your homemade, takeaway inspired curry dish with this paneer and cabbage recipe.
Paneer is an unsalted, white cheese. It’s a staple part of the meat-free diet in many South Asian countries, yet is so underappreciated in the western world. Here Jamie Oliver explains more about the delicious ingredient that will transform your vegetarian curries for good…
“Paneer has a mild, milky flavour and a dense crumbly texture that goes beautifully well with strong spicy flavours used in many classic Indian dishes. Because it won’t melt like other cheeses, chunks of it can be stirred into soups or curries and remain intact. It is a star ingredient in some of my favourite dishes like saag paneer (spinach), shahi paneer (cream, tomatoes and spices), and mattar paneer (peas and tomatoes).”
As well as introducing a new and interesting flavour, this dish is very easy to make and can be on the table in as little as 40 minutes. It also gives you the freedom to get creative with a number of aromatic herbs and spices.
Serve your curry with flatbread and natural yoghurt for lunch or add bulk with rice, vegetarian samosas and naan bread come dinner.