Niki Bezzant: Health Hacks for your favorite takeaways at home

Health hacks for your favourite takeaways at home

Everyone loves a takeaway. Whether it’s that simple Kiwi favourite, fish and chips, or a more exotic offering from one of the many ethnic eateries we’re lucky enough to be able to choose from, there’s nothing like enjoying the tasty flavours of a meal someone else has prepared and delivered.

There’s no getting away from it, though: many of our takeout faves are health fails. The burgers, pizzas, curries and fries we love don’t always love us back, especially if we eat them several times a week. They can be stacked with refined carbohydrate, sugar, salt and saturated fat, often in the same deep-fried, salt-sprinkled packages. What’s more, the serving sizes of takeaways can be a lot larger than we need, and may not include many veges. All of which adds up to poorer health and potentially, weight gain.

If you’re thinking you’d like to cut down a bit on the takeaways, you don’t have to go cold turkey and give up everything you love. Not forgetting there are some super-tasty examples of these in the various WOOP boxes, it’s also possible to re-create healthier versions of your favourite takeaways at home.

Interested in giving WOOP a try?

Good old fish and chips

Let’s start with the good old fish and chips. A simple pan-fried fillet and some oven-baked fries is an easy meal to prepare. Change up the fries and add some other kinds of roasted veges – kumara or carrot, for example, and add a salad and you’ve got a much healthier version of the deep-fried favourite. There are some pretty good crumbed fish offerings in the frozen section of the supermarket, too; these can simply be baked in the oven and again, are typically healthier than a deep-fried fillet. For extra credit, make your own tartare sauce using a mix of mayonnaise, yoghurt, lemon and capers.


Burgers, too, are a takeaway that’s simple to recreate in a healthier way. It’s easy to grate veges into your meat pattie mixture; try beetroot, carrot or courgette and mix it into the mince along with seasonings and egg. Choose grainy buns and add plenty of veges or slaw into your burger, and you’ll be doubling the vegetable content of your burger meal. If carbs are a concern, you can try making an open burger (just use half the bun) or make a ‘bunnice’ burger using large lettuce leaves instead of a bun.


Pizza is another meal beloved by many of us, but often less healthy than we’d like. You can turn that around at home by making your own. Make your own base, if you’re really keen (it’s easier than you think) or use a pre-prepared base. Then load it up with veges: be creative here; it’s a great way to use up all the bits of veges you have lurking in the fridge. Top with cheese; use a super-tasty one like blue or parmesan and you won’t need to use too much.  A sprinkle of chilli flakes and some tasty olives gives you tons of flavour as well as health boost.

Interested in giving WOOP a try?

By nutrition expert – Niki Bezzant


Niki Bezzant is a writer, speaker and commentator who is passionate about food and health. Niki has been involved in the food media for 20 years. She was founding editor of Healthy Food Guide magazine, and is a columnist for the Herald on Sunday, the Monday Herald Be Well, and a frequent contributor to broadcast media. She is a proud ambassador for the Garden to Table  programme which helps kids learn how to grow, cook and share food. She is a member of the Council of Directors for the True Health Initiative and a board member for the NZ Nutrition Foundation.