Food & Drink

Kebabs, chips and burgers… and lose weight? Salford dieter launches ‘healthy’ fast food takeaway outlet

A former Salford dieter is helping others keep their waistlines in check after opening a ‘healthy’ fast food outlet – since she found it impossible to ditch the takeaways herself.

Mum-of-two Danielle Moss, 35, had tipped the scales at more than ten stone but refused to give up her love of fast food.

So she created her very own low calorie ‘takeaway-style’ kebab and burger recipes to help her lose more than 16 pounds in weight.

Danielle was so happy with her results, she took her meals out of her home kitchen to offer her brand of lean Indian, Chinese and Italian cuisine at more than half the calories at her Naji’s Kitchen takeaway in Salford.

“Everything we sell is what you would expect in a takeaway except that for example our chips are oven baked and our chicken burgers are coated in crushed cornflakes and honey,” said Danielle.

“Nothing is ground breaking it’s just looking at a delicious and easy way to cook something.

“It’s strange because I thought the kind of people that would come in would be women who are conscious of their weight and the food they eat but we have had a lot of young lads who go to the gym a lot.”

Ex-marketing assistant Danielle had piled on the pounds three years ago after she and husband Colin would order out up to three times each week.

Eventually she researched her intake of food and created her own takeaway-styled menus and substitute fatty ingredients such as oil and butter.

Danielle said: “I started Weight Watchers and was able to look at the plans to see what we should be eating and I realised that mine and my husband’s portions were huge.

“I realised that the food I was cooking that I thought was healthy really wasn’t. We were having a 500g pack of mince between us in a lasagne which has so much fat.

“I spent loads of time cooking and looking at the things we were putting into our bodies.

“I made a great low fat curry one night and while talking to my husband discussed why takeaway food couldn’t be delicious and healthy.

“When I was on weight watchers I lost around a stone but I have found that becoming a bit more educated on food and cooking more has improved our lifestyles massively. I love running and we have much more energy.”

Danielle’s chilli meatball kebabs are used with lean mince blended with onions, spices and oil substitute fry-lite at only 249 calories compared with one in an average takeaway expected to rack up 1,006 calories.

Her pizzas are made using wholemeal flour and reduced fat toppings at around 600 calories compared to one you may find in your local takeaway at 2,000 calories.

All of their sauces are homemade using only natural and fat free ingredients with chilli sauce at only 100 calories compared to 200 calories and chutney at a mere 13 calories against 150 calories in a takeaway.

All of the meals on the menu come with a calorie counter and even using one extra ingredient could alter the fat content.

She said: “What we didn’t want is for it to scream healthy which would put people off we want people to think that it is a takeaway with things like curries and kebabs rather than salads and cous cous.

“We want to be known as a takeaway that is healthy, but not where people are saying ‘oh I don’t want that lettuce leaf diet rubbish’.

“We originally had to really train our cooks as it can be really tempting to put an extra bit of chicken or extra cheese as we are advertising that dish with the nutritional values in and we do not want to sell something that we are not advertising.

“But the chefs know the recipes in and out and know exactly what must go into each dish, you haven’t got the freedom in many kitchens where you can add or take away ingredients as you choose.”

Story via Cavendish Press.

Pictures courtesy of Naji Kitchen, with thanks.

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