Better Than Takeout: Replacement Foods Pt. I

It’s no secret to the people around me that I don’t have great eating habits. I’ve been trying to change my diet and lose weight for a couple of years, but have only succeeded in losing/regaining the same 5-10 pounds. I’ve always jumped in and decreed that I’m done with junk food and will eat a full 5 fruits and veggies a day, and then crashed and burned within a day or two.

I do the same thing around New Year’s Eve.

And then the next morning…

So I’ve taken some Time of Year is Irrelevant resolutions (not the same ring to it, huh?) and am slowly working through them with a limit of one big and one small goal at a time, complete with data taking and mastery criteria – what, I’m allowed to use ABA on myself!

Exercise is my current big goal, and healthy eating will be next up. Even though I’m not currently taking data on my eating habits, I am thinking and planning ahead for when it’s time. I’ve been placing food on a Venn diagram of healthy, cheap, and quick, and as just a fair warning, the foods in this post don’t fall into the first category.

They’re craving food, and while they’re not healthy they’re still a better alternative to getting fast food. I can pronounce everything in them, and all of them taste good later, so I’m not left with guilt about not eating the whole thing (fast food does not taste good later).

Here are my favorite standbys for main dishes when what I really want is to run out and buy something horrible for me.

(Note: These pictures are from the various blogs and were not taken by me)

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese @ Evil Shenanigans

This is very, very good. Creamy and delicious, just like the blue boxed stuff I grew up with. It’s even good reheated and – don’t judge me – with some chili for protein. Is that a weird combo? I get strange looks whenever I mention it.

 Croque Madame @ Poor Girl Eats Well

It sounds fancy, but it’s really just a grilled cheese sandwich with your meat of choice in the middle and a fried egg on top. The honey mustard on the inside gives it a delicious kick, and this makes for a filling meal if added to any vegetable sides.

 Garlic Bread Pizza Crust @ How Sweet It Is

I’ve tried many pizza crusts in my time, often getting them too chewy and thick. This pizza crust is perfect – just the right texture, and the cheese-y crust is delicious!

Sweet and Sour Chicken @ Brown Eyed Baker

 This is a dead on replica of what you’d find at a Chinese place. My sauce had trouble thickening up, but that just meant I had plenty to go with rice.

Shrimp Viennese @ The Frugal Girl

While this isn’t exactly cheap, it is a great treat. I’ve found that if I make the rice with chicken stock instead of water, the whole dish is much more flavorful, but with or without that addition, this will be gone in the blink of an eye.

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