Introduction: Beat the Take Away - Chicken Kebab for Lazy (but Healthy) People
The current trend for local take-away restaurants is to fry the kebabs on a flat hot plate, rather than use the char grill. Now, grilling meat is much healthier, and adds a lovely charred flavour, so why they don't do this anymore I don't know. Maybe it's to ensure they cook the meat all the way through, maybe it's cheaper, who knows.
The kebabs are never as healthy as you'd like
You have to wait for them too cook the kebab or deliver it.
So, what do I want to do? I have these 4 aims:
- Beat the take away on price
- Beat the take away in terms of nutrition
- Have food on the table within 30 minutes, as this is how long it takes to get a kebab delivered round here
- Create a tasty meal
Now, before we start, please excuse the pictures, I was using my camera phone and also managed to smear the lens at one point.
Step 1: Beating the Kebab on Price
Okay, so I needed a few items for this recipe. I bought a pack of 3 chicken breasts, a net of 5 lemons, a bag of coleslaw mix ( I love this cheat ingredient, really cheap and already shredded), a bag of 10 red onions, 4 tomatoes and a pack of 8 wholemeal wraps. I've calculated the figures below for me to created 2 x kebabs, which are plenty for one person.
1 x Chicken Breast £1.27
1 x Lemon £0.17
1 x Salad/Coleslaw mix £0.38 (I only used about half the mixture, so have some left for tomorrow)
1 x Red Onion £0.10
1 x Tomato £0.24
2 x Wholemeal Wrap £0.13
I also needed a little olive oil, spice mix and a teaspoon of cumin seeds, which I had in my cupboard, but I've allocated a value of £0.45for these.
So our total is £2.75
My local kebab restaurants charge £4.50 for a medium Chicken Shish Kebab
Conclusion: It's £1.76 cheaper to eat my homemade kebab
Yippee! I beat objective number one!
Step 2: The Nutritional Bit
Not quite sure how I can calculate the exact nutrition frommy local kebab place, without buying a kebab and subjecting it to lots of tests, however I have found this information:
a chicken kebab with pitta, salad and sauce lends a whopping 600 calories on average, along with around 10g of total fat and 1160mg of sodium. source: http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/nutrition/healthy-eating/1113/high-street-health
Now I calculated my recipe based on all the ingredients used using an online calculator. The result for my two wraps was as follows:
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 3.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 60.0 mg
Sodium 573.8 mg
Potassium 75.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 56.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Sugars 2.9 g
Protein 39.3 g
Vitamin A 60.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.2 %
Vitamin C 45.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.2 %
Calcium 4.2 %
Copper 1.4 %
Folate 1.0 %
Iron 17.8 %
Magnesium 2.4 %
Manganese 3.6 %
Niacin 0.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.3 %
Phosphorus 1.2 %
Riboflavin 0.6 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 1.5 %
Zinc 0.8 %
Now, I'm not certain what all these figures mean, I'm sure someday I might be told, but there's less fat, calories and salt in my version. I also know exactly what's in it. With all the salad I use it probably also counts as at least one portion of my 'five-a-day'
I did have quite an appetite this evening after a hard day at work plus an hour of five-a-side football (soccer for you guys over the pond)
Tentatively I'm going to say that I met the second objective, being healthier. It's certainly healthier than the standard Doner kebab, and seems better than the grilled chicken kebab, although more detailed research may be required.
Step 3: The Cooking and Timescale Bit
Okay, so this will include my recipe for a lazy kebab and how I made it.
First I chopped a chicken breast into chunks, put it in a freezer bag and added some olive oil and seasoning/spice mix. Give this a shake then skewer it up. Pop this under a preheated grill and move on to the next step.
Put the salad into a bowl, I added extra onion and a sliced tomato. I then heated some olive oil in a frying pan and added a teaspoon of cumin seeds. Once these were releasing a nice aroma I poured these, with the olive oil, over the salad. I then squeezed over the juice of a lemon and stirred it all through. This creates a lovely flavorful salad and the cumin aids digestion.
I warmed the wraps up and, once the chicken was cooked through, served the salad and chicken with a little chilli sauce.
Now, the photo taking slowed me down a little and I also managed to tidy up whilst everything was cooking. Even so, i started chopping the chicken at 21:22 and had it on the plate at 21:50. This was the time stamp on my photos, so just within the 30 minute target.
I could have completed this faster if I wasn't doing it with one hand holding the camera, but even so, I've met objective number 3!
Step 4: How Does It Taste? Better Than the Take-away?
I much prefer the flavour of the grilled meat
The simply dressed salad with lemon and cumin adds a nice punchy flavour
I guess the only way to really judge is for you to try it yourself and see.
I'll leave the final objective up to you to tick off in this instance, feel free to leave me a comment to say how yours compared.