There’s nothing quite like having a relaxed evening in front of the telly with the family. Whether you make a habit of enjoying your dinner on the sofa while watching Saturday night TV or you just have a TV dinner every now and then as a treat, you can’t deny that it is much easier than having to set the table.
A lot of us make it easier still by ordering the family’s favourite takeaway, meaning no one has to cook and the washing up doesn’t cause any arguments. While takeaways may take the stress out of feeding everyone, they aren’t exactly the healthy option.
Most takeaways – whether you’re partial to a Chinese, enjoy a spicy Indian or love a slice of pizza – contain a lot of calories, fat, sugar and salt. If you eat them regularly, they can really cause problems with your health, even if they do taste great.
This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favourite meals completely though, as you can actually create food at home that is inspired by your top takeaway. Not only will this help you step up your kitchen game, it also means you can feed the family in a healthier way.
Here are some great ideas for healthy TV dinners that are sure to keep everyone happy:
Healthy and tasty satay sauce
A really popular dish from the Chinese menu is satay chicken, but this isn’t all that great for you. Luckily, a homemade satay sauce can be a lot less calorific while also being super simple.
You can make a satay sauce using low-fat crunchy peanut butter, allowing you to whip up satay chicken skewers or a stir fry in minutes. All you need to do is fry off some finely chopped onion and garlic (you can use garlic powder or granules instead), throw in some chilli flakes, ground ginger and a dash of soy sauce before popping in your peanut butter.
Melt it all together and taste to make sure it has the right level of heat and then you’re good to go! You can add it to vegetables and noodles or serve it in little bowls as a dipping sauce.
Tasty crispy wedges
Who doesn’t love a good chip with their dinner? The humble potato brings a lot of joy when served up on a plate with a big dollop of ketchup, but deep-fried chips and wedges really aren’t healthy as they are full of saturated fat.
Rather than plunging your wedges into the fryer or ordering in, bake them with a tiny splash of oil or use our ActiFry to make cooking even easier. You’ll still get super tasty wedges but with a lot fewer calories per portion.
This also means you can tailor the flavour by adding herbs and spices to the potatoes before they’re cooked, providing a simple way to mix up your meal. There’s plenty of other ‘fakeaway’ options you can cook in the ActiFry too, helping to make your Saturday nights in more healthy, but just as tasty!
Banana ice cream
What’s dinner without dessert? It isn’t just the main course that you can make healthier for a family TV night, your pudding can also be good for you without losing the taste.
Everyone loves a good bowl of ice cream and you can easily make yours with fewer calories, even if you don’t have an ice cream machine. In fact, all you need is a blender to create delicious ice cream that is easy to tailor depending on what each member of your family prefers.
All you need to do is freeze bananas to form the base of your dessert. Bananas are naturally sweet so you don’t need to add any sugar to your ice cream – although you can add a squirt of honey if you have a really sweet tooth – while they are also full of potassium.
Once the bananas are frozen, just blend them up to create a tasty soft-serve ice cream. You can make different flavours by blending them with other frozen fruits or by adding cocoa, peanut butter or chocolate chips. Serve your ‘ice cream’ immediately and enjoy it knowing it’s much better for you than the real thing.
Big and little kids are usually partial to a burger, especially if you’re eating dinner in front of the TV as it is the perfect meal for skipping on the knives and forks. Making burgers at home also mean you can make sure everyone gets the toppings they like and that they come with less fat.
You can easily make your own burgers by mixing lean mince beef – or any other meat you fancy – with some egg, salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Then just use your hands to form your patties, making sure you press the meat together firmly.
Rather than frying your burgers, which means they soak up a lot of fat, make them healthier still by cooking them on an OptiGrill, which will drain away excess fat while cooking each burger evenly and quickly.