Hold the Phone! 9 Do It Yourself Takeout Favourites


We all know the scenario where you come home from work tired and the kids are hungry and fractious. You reach for the phone and order their favourite pizza or Chinese food. But there are compelling reasons to forgo the telephone and make those things yourself. It is significantly cheaper to make your own food, and penny pinching is the order of the day right now. When you make your own you know exactly what goes into it, no MSG, no nitrites in your pepperoni. And of course, making it yourself means there are no pizza boxes piling up, no aluminum coated wrappers, no styrofoam or plastic "clam shells" to dispose of. Read on for nine great example of takeout food you can cook yourself.

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There is also the matter of taste. Pizza fresh from the oven or pork buns straight out of the steamer taste better and you get it while it's hot. These recipes aren't difficult or complicated and you can usually have dinner on the table in the time it takes to have it delivered. Read more about making your own pizza at Planet Green.

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Vegetarian Pad Thai

When I eat Thai food, I usually go for the spicier dishes on offer and pad thai always seemed a bit tame to me. But I've noticed that if you mention Thai cuisine to people, they almost always tell you how much they like pad thai. So I thought I would give it a whirl and see what everybody loves about it. Get some tips on making Vegetarian Pad Thai from Planet Green.

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Dim Sum

After the big shopping expedition last week to the Asian market with my daughter, son, and my son's girlfriend, we had some dim sum. The three of them are vegetarians so we didn't get anything with meat, which was fine with me, because sometimes I'm just not sure what kind of meat it is in those little dumplings. We ordered something called "flavoured tofu", but none of us could figure out what the flavour was supposed to be. We have made dim sum in the past and agreed that we could do better than what we were eating. Read up on making Dim Sum at Planet Green.

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Chipotle Black Bean Burritos

Good Mexican takeout food is not the easiest thing to find in our town, so making your own is definitely the best option. And why not? They are fast, easy and economical. They are also versatile. You really don't need a recipe to make burritos, and you can put together all kinds of ingredients and come up with a new flavour each time. Read more about making Chipotle Black Bean Burritos at Planet Green.


Onion Rings

My husband was out of town on a business trip, my daughter invited her best friend Julia over and we had a girl's night of beer and onion rings. It's not all we had to eat, but it's the important part. I love onion rings, but have long since stopped buying them as they are just too unhealthy to eat. However, the great thing about making them yourself, like all of the Hold the Phone! series is that you know exactly what is in them, and you can make a healthier version of it for yourself. I know what the coating is and I also know what kind of oil I'm frying them in and that it hasn't been in use for a week or two already. Read more about making Onion Rings at Planet Green.

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Steamed Pork Buns

Whenever we make a trip down to Toronto's original Chinatown, my husband always makes a beeline for the Chinese bakery that makes his favourite pork buns. He's not alone. The store has been there for some 40-odd years and there is always a lineup out the door. I like pork buns as much as the next person, but I'm always a bit suspicious of the alarming red colour of the meat. When I was looking up recipes for this, I came across a number that said to add red food colouring to the marinade. Read more about making Steamed Pork Buns at Planet Green.


Vietnamese Pho

My husband loves a bowl of pho -- the delicious, brothy Vietnamese soup -- and he's always trying to drag me to a pho joint for lunch. I've always been resistant, because Vietnamese cuisine isn't something that I've ever had a lot of interest in. I really enjoyed this recipe, so maybe it's time to broaden my horizons and have a try. Learn how to make your own Vietnamese Pho at Planet Green.

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Spring Rolls

Don't let making spring rolls intimidate you, they really aren't that hard. You can buy packages of spring roll wrappers in most grocery stores now. Once you've opened the package, keep a damp cloth over them, otherwise they will dry out and you won't be able to wrap them. Any wrappers you have left over can be frozen. I also use them to make stuffed Chinese dumplings or ravioli. Read more about making Spring Rolls at Planet Green.

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General Tso's Chicken or Tofu

Here is a recipe for the ever popular General Tso's Chicken that you can make yourself, instead of dialing up your local Chinese restaurant. If you are vegetarian, just substitute firm tofu for the chicken and cook it in exactly the same way. This is a very quick and delicious recipe. Read more about making General Tso's Chicken or Tofu at Planet Green.

Now step away from the phone and toward the kitchen. Happy cooking!

Read more about cooking in the home
Get more inspiration from Emeril's recipes and Kelly's recipes over on Planet Green
How Pizzas Are Made, and Why We Like Home Cooking
Myths That Waste Energy In The Kitchen: The Baking & Roasting Episode
Cooking from Your Pantry

Hold the Phone! 9 Do It Yourself Takeout Favourites
We all know the scenario where you come home from work tired and the kids are hungry and fractious. You reach for the phone and order their favourite pizza or Chinese food. But there are compelling reasons to forgo the telephone and make those things

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