Healthy & Easy Take-Out Meals
During the pandemic, many restaurants are offering take-out with many healthy items. When you are in a bind, this is a great option because it supports restaurants (and delivery service workers if you use a service), gets you out of the house if you do pick-up, alleviates the burden of cooking now that everyone’s home, and brings variety to your meals. Consider ordering multiple meals to enjoy for dinner and then lunch the next day. Some restaurants also offer family meals which is a great option when you are feeding a crowd.
Here are some of my favorite dishes at some of the most popular cuisines for take-out.
Italian restaurants offer a wide variety of options for those seeking to enjoy a lighter meal. Skip the heavy cheese, cream sauces, and fried breading and you should be good to go.
- Roasted chicken breast with grilled veggies
- Mixed salad with grilled salmon or shrimp
- Baked fish, broccoli or spinach, and roasted potatoes
- Pasta primavera with tomato sauce (no cream sauce)
- Steamed clams or mussels
- Minestrone soup
- Grilled lean steak
- Fish stew
- Pizza with vegetables and minimal cheese
If you avoid items that are deep fried or in heavy sauces, you can absolutely make healthy choices at chinese restaurants.
- Stir-fry shrimp, chicken, shellfish, pork, beef, or tofu with vegetables – not deep-fried
- Soups with fish, chicken, beef, pork, and/or tofu plus vegetables and/or noodles
- Fish (not deep fried) with vegetables
- Steamed Rice
- Steamed Dumplings
You have so many great options when getting take-out from a Japanese restaurant. Just avoid tempura or anything deep fried, try to steer clear of more than 2 cups total of rice (side of rice or rice in sushi) and choose low sodium soy sauce and limit it to 2 Tablespoons max.
- Miso Soup
- Bento box
- Teriyaki salmon
- Soups with vegetables noodles and chicken, beef, fish, or tofu
I love take out from my local Mexican restaurant! There are so many choices. Ask for flour or corn tortillas rather than fried chips to prevent temptation. And skip the taco shell if it comes with your salad.
- Large salad with grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp – dressing on the side
- Chicken, shrimp, or beef fajitas
- Tortilla soup (without the fried tortilla chips)
- Beans, whole or refried
- Guacamole – use flour or corn tortillas rather than fried chips
You may be surprised that barbeque restaurants offer many dishes that you might consider to be healthy. Try to avoid anything fried (such as french fries) or skin on meats.
- BBQ chicken breast, no skin
- Pulled pork sandwich
- Corn on the cob
- Salad with minimal dressing
- Sautéed vegetables
Many restaurants use copious amounts of fat when preparing food so try to avoid excessive amounts of salad dressing, extra cheese, cream sauces, and anything deep-fried which can become soggy anyway by the time you eat it. Keep in mind moderation no matter the portions that are delivered, and enjoy!