Fast food challenge: Eating out vs. eating in

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by Mia Gradney / KHOU 11 News

KMOV.com

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Updated Monday, May 20 at 9:50 AM

HOUSTON -- A lot of people don’t want to cook because they say it takes way too much time, so they end up eating out, but could they be saving themselves time, money, and calories by cracking open a cookbook?

The average American eats about five meals out per a week. We challenged one Spring mom to cook up the food herself versus seeking out fast food.

Anna winger is trying a new recipe -- a rare occasion.

“We have soccer practice two days a week, track or cross country practice every day after school or at 6:30 in the morning,” says Winger.

Her family’s no stranger to fast food for their fast-paced lives.

Anna would rather cook something healthy than eat out, but that’s not always possible, or so she thinks.

We challenged her to prepare a heart healthy meal of Mexican food. While Anna gets cookin’, we clock the time and hit the road for a comparable take out meal.

Ten minutes on the road, and Anna had her turkey done for the fajitas.

Meanwhile, it took us two minutes to order and receive our food -- plus ten minutes for the drive back.

All the while Anna had whipped up not just fajitas but the fixings too.

Total time for takeout: 23 minutes. Healthy home cooked: 21 minutes.

“I do feel better about trying to cook at home versus going out and getting it to go because I know what I’m putting in it versus the Mexican food place down the street.”

And Anna’s meal had 70 percent less sodium and 50 percent less fat.

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Here’s the recipe Anna used to prepare her homemade salsa:

VIVA MEXICO SALSA

1 15 ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

STEPS
1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

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