RECIPES Cookbooks let you make takeout favorites at home

Associated Press

"Takeout tonight" is a familiar refrain, given the busy lives most people lead. It's one solution for dinner at the end of a hectic day, but there might be a better way to interpret the concept, especially if you want to eat for health and avoid putting on weight.

How about easy recipes for making your takeout favorites at home? A new cookbook collection, "Weightwatchers Take-Out Tonight!", offers some 150 restaurant-type dishes that the home cook can make, many shown in color photos. The recipes are reworked to provide portions, fat content and calorie amounts that won't make eating a guilty pleasure.

From the Greek cuisine, there's a lamb souvlaki with rice to make at home that can more than rival the takeout version because it's still packed with flavor, but it cuts fat and calories. Once you've done the marinating, it's a matter of minutes to broil the savory skewers.

Lamb souvlaki with rice


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄2; teaspoon dried thyme

1⁄2; teaspoon salt

1⁄8; teaspoon freshly ground pepper

11⁄2; pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of all visible fat, cut into 30 cubes

2 small red onions, root end left intact and cut into 6 wedges each


1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 12 pieces

3⁄4; cup long-grain white rice, cooked according to package directions

To make marinade: Combine oil, garlic, oregano and thyme in a large zip-close plastic bag; mix well. Add lamb, seal the bag and turn several times to coat. Marinate lamb at room temperature 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.

Preheat broiler. Spray a broiler pan with nonstick spray; set aside. Thread 5 lamb cubes, 2 onion wedges and 2 bell pepper pieces onto each of six 12-inch metal skewers, alternating the ingredients. Transfer skewers to the broiler pan. Broil skewers 4 inches from heat, turning at least once, until the vegetables are tender and the lamb is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with the rice. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1 skewer with 1⁄4; cup rice): 291 cal., 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 73 mg chol., 252 mg sodium, 25 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 26 g pro.

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