One of the biggest challenges I hear people have with sticking to Meal Planning is that they miss the their favourite Take Meals. I can totally relate, I love all different kinds of Take Out, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Pizza…. cuisines and recipes we don’t always think to make at home. Meal Planning Take Out Fake Out recipes is the answer and happily it’s not hard!
Over the years, I’ve developed many Family friendly favourites with a twist, adding in a flavour or preparation you might not expect. Sloppy Joes for example, I have a Korean, a Thai, a Pizza and a Hawaiian version of this classic, and we love them all.
But, to satisfy my cravings of some of my favourite take out dishes, that’s a different challenge. Ingredients in authentic versions might be hard to find, or super time consuming. No one has time for that! So the challenge was to make it taste as good, with ingredients I could easily find. Bonus if I could use some basic meal prep techniques.
It’s actually been quite fun, and really exciting when you get it just right! Just the way you like it…. Below are some of my hands down BEST Fake Out Take Out Dishes. Some are from my Blog and some are from my favorite bloggers.
How to build an International Spice Pantry:
I recommend building one Style of Cuisine at a time. Choose the cuisine you think you will use the most, and start there.
For example the Asian pantry has many ingredients that you will use in Chinese, Thai, Korean, and Japanese recipes.
Asian Pantry Staples;
Rice wine vinegar
Red curry paste
Mexican & Tex-Mex;
A selection of these will be a good start for these amazingly aromatic dishes.
Mediterranean; Greek, Spanish, Italian, Moroccan;
Turkey, Lebanon all have many ingredients that are common. Greek, Spanish, Italian being one grouping and Moroccan, Turkey & Lebanon another. Herbs and spices for these countries would include
Tip: If you are just building your International Spice Collection, try going to a bulk food store so you can get smaller quantities until you are sure you will use them again.
Now that we are all starving and craving our favorite Take Out, let’s get to the Fake Out recipes shall we?
Shrimp Kung Pao is slightly sweet, slightly spicy and can easily be adjusted to your families preference. Adjust the spice level, change shrimp to chicken (I recommend thighs), switch up the vegetables. Really flexible and incredibly satisfying!
This Instant Pot Orange Chicken takes a little extra time than many I have seen, but it's worth it. Chicken pieces are lightly battered and sauteed until browned and crisp before the sauce is added. The crispy chicken and sweet, tangy, sauce are cooked until the chicken is tender and the sauce is thick and bursting with flavor. We like this one for leftovers the next day too, but there usually aren't any.
This sweet and sour shrimp satisfies all your take out cravings, and it's not even deep fried! It's surprisingly simple, and much of it can be done on Meal Prep day. On cooking day all you need is 10 minutes to cook the shrimp. Serve with steamed rice and egg rolls!
Chicken Saag from the Simmer to Slimmer blog which features oustanding authentic Indian recipes, that the home cook can make is a standout. It's simple yet exotic and not difficult to make. If you're ready to branch our from the beloved Butter Chicken I highly recommend this recipe.
This Panda Express copycat recipe comes from the Blog Drive Me Hungy and boy was I excited when I found it!! Tender chicken, awesome sauce and two veggies that almost everyone in the house will eat. Adjust to your taste as needed of course.
Thai yellow curry with chicken from the Blog Smack of Flavour is a quick weeknight dinner or meal prep option Loaded up with plenty of vegetables, this is a hearty and creamy comfort dish with a little heat. Leftovers make fantastic lunches.
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