Recreate takeaway for half the price
With eating out presenting new challenges, COVID-19 has led to a rise in delivery app use and a surging trend for home cooks to recreate takeout treats.
The growing appetite for takeaway-style dinners has triggered a spike in takeaway-themed search terms, along with inquiries for healthy recipes - with almost 90,000 page views, according to Australia's recipe website Taste.com.au.
Popular recipe searches include pork dumplings (36 per cent), naan bread (40 per cent), stir fry sauce (46 per cent) and souvlaki (45 per cent).
"We know lots of our customers' favourite restaurants are closed at the moment and while we are all eagerly awaiting (their reopening), we noticed a massive surge in interest in these takeout dishes," Taste.com.au editor-in-chief Brodee Myers-Cooke says.
"By overlaying the nation's top midweek takeaway dishes and comparing (them) to our recipe database, we uncovered the top taste.com.au dishes that are prime candidates for super fast, easy, tasty takeaway-at-home dishes."
Taste.com.au is crunching the numbers in its new weekly Taste vs Takeaway video series to reveal the true savings of cooking at home from scratch, compared to restaurant delivery.
As part of its Dinner Revolution campaign, taste.com.au will demonstrate how much faster and cheaper it is to recreate popular takeout meals at home.
The food website remains confident that takeout food is more expensive and takes longer to hit the table than food cooked at home.
Taste.com.au has found a single serving of takeaway chicken curry costs about $15.45, while a home-cooked version is half the cost of that with fewer calories.
Homemade pad see ew (a Thai fried noodle dish) could also save you money and take six minutes less to recreate at home.
Its national dinnertime survey found that 44 per cent of 7000 respondents surveyed are making healthier dinner choices, 32 per cent are becoming more confident when meal planning and 26 per cent are cooking more compared to five years ago.
"We're hoping to prove that dinner can be fun, super easy, more flavoursome, cheaper and faster than takeaway," Ms Myers-Cooke says.
While there's clearly demand for takeout food, home-cooked meals are a healthier option, and incorporating them back into your life now can also help you focus on your overall health, says Heart Foundation dietitian Sian Armstrong.
"Home-cooked meals are generally healthier than takeaway options because you can choose the ingredients and portion sizes," she says.
"It's also better for your budget, with many takeaway outlets charging for delivery and costing more than it would to cook the meal yourself.
"Swap out less healthy ingredients for healthier options and ensure your meals are full of fresh and delicious foods like vegetables, wholegrains, healthy proteins and healthy fats."
The Scanlon family have started recreating the takeaway experience at home.
Natalie Scanlon says she creates everything from family-sized pizzas to homemade beef burgers, packed with healthy ingredients for half the price of the real thing.
"UberEats was always on speed dial, but our focus has switched from eating the meal to making the meal," she says.
"The kids are enjoying understanding the process of cooking and creating delicious meals. It's been great to have something to do where every one of us can be involved."
Originally published as Recreate takeaway for half the price