When we hear the word fast food, surely the typical hamburgers, pizzas, fried tapas … go, dishes that are basically giving us an excess of calories and fats that are not at all close to healthy.
But the truth is that all these fast food preparations can be versioned and, by making some changes, we can go from having unhealthy dishes to having nutritious preparations. In this way, we can enjoy the pleasure of eating this type of food without providing excess energy, fat, sugar or salt. It will be enough to have quality ingredients and use the most correct cooking options for each of them
- 1 How to version fast food dishes into healthy options?
- 1.1 Healthy hamburger recipe
- 1.2 Recipe for healthy pizza
- 1.3 KFC-style breaded chicken recipe
- 1.4 Other healthy fast food options
- 2 conclusion
How to version fast food dishes into healthy options?
The most important thing when preparing the dish is to have quality ingredients and to use cooking methods that provide little fat, such as the griddle, oven, air fryer … and thus leave behind frying, which reduces the nutritional components of food due to the high temperatures to which the food is subjected, among others, and which also favor the appearance of toxic elements, such as hydrocarbon, nitrosamines, hydroperoxides.
Let’s see how we should do it:
Healthy burger recipe
Burgers are usually accompanied with bread, a processed white bread that will be providing us with little nutritionally. If we talk about meat, poor quality meat is commonly used and the presence of vegetables is usually scarce. They usually come accompanied by French fries and the typical sauces which all they contribute are an increase in empty calories on the plate due to the fats and sugars they contain. In addition, it is usually consumed with an accompanying drink, which is usually a sugary soft drink. And it is also important to take into account the portion, since today we have the XXL option.
Once the typical hamburger has been analyzed, we are going to see how we can turn it into a healthy hamburger :
In the first place, we are going to opt for a whole wheat bread, that is, a quality bread that nutritionally will be providing us with more nutrients and fiber, therefore more vitamins, minerals and something very important, satiety.
As for meat, we can choose different options, we can choose 100% beef, chicken meat, vegan burgers such as tofu, seitan … or you can even choose legume burgers such as chickpeas or lentils , among other. We can also make hamburgers with cereals and / or vegetables.
Vegetables are always essential to include them , and more in a hamburger, since they are delicious! We can put them inside the hamburger or make a salad on the side to accompany it. For the little ones it is a good way to introduce them to varieties of vegetables, since we can decorate the plate with them and thus we will attract their attention. Tomato, cucumber, lettuce, lamb’s lettuce, arugula, pepper, onion, eggplant … any type of vegetable will be a good option.
If you want to include a sauce, we can make them at home:
- Avocado Salsa.
- Yogurt sauce.
And for the accompaniment of the dish, we can prepare:
- A salad.
- A glass of gazpacho or salmorejo.
- A cold vegetable cream.
- French fries made in the air fryer.
- Baked potato chips.
- Sweet potato chips.
- Zucchini and aubergine chips.
As for drinks, water will always be the best option , although if you want to drink something different there are other options, such as sparkling water, flavored waters at home, tomato juice or infusions and cold teas.
Healthy fast food is the homemade version of fast food that we find everywhere (McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut), the difference is the quality of the ingredients and the cooking method. By not using the ultra-processed and low-quality ingredients that large food chains use, we avoid consuming high amounts of calories, additives, added sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
Healthy pizza recipe
When the weekend arrives, you usually want a pizza to eat with friends or family, and you usually resort to pre-cooked or deep-frozen pizzas in supermarkets, which are made up of a dough made of white flour, refined oils, sugar … And ingredients such as low-quality sausage, processed cheeses … and if it consists of vegetables, these are scarce.
But we are not going to give up a plan with our loved ones, being able to adapt the recipe and even cook it together.
Let’s see what changes we should make:
In the first place, the pizza dough, a fundamental element, can be made at home, since, with only whole wheat flour, oil, salt and water we will have it ready.
To cover the base of the pizza we can make a homemade natural crushed tomato sauce or buy it made , in this case we must take into account that the main ingredient is the tomato.
To cover our pizza we are going to make the vegetables stand out, we can include a great variety of them, since they all look great.
And as for protein, we can put any option such as tuna, egg, prawns, chicken, quality cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, fresh cheese, goat cheese.
If we choose to put a little cheese on top of the ingredients, we must choose a good cheese, whose ingredients are based on milk, dairy ferments, rennet or coagulants and salt.
KFC- style breaded chicken recipe
Every now and then we all like a rich crispy chicken and adapting the recipe is very simple, and preparing this dish in a healthy way will allow us to really savor the flavor of chicken, since otherwise it will find an excess of oil that does not allow us to enjoy the flavor that this meat gives us well.
The main problem in this food is the oil that is used and, above all, the times it is reused. We have already seen before that fried foods generate toxic compounds, especially if that oil has been used many times.
Let’s see how the healthy version is made :
The ingredients that we are going to need are few, it will be enough with:
- Corn flakes cereals without sugar.
- Salt and spices to taste.
For its elaboration:
- We will cut the chicken into pieces, we will season it to taste and we will pass them through the beaten egg, then we will chop the cereals a little and we will proceed to coat the chicken with them.
- Once the chicken is well integrated with the cereals, we can bake them for about 20 minutes at 180º or in the air fryer.
As you can see, enjoying a good crispy chicken costs nothing , we can also accompany it with a delicious gazpacho, with a salad, some roasted vegetables.
Other healthy fast food options
Of course, the list goes on forever, and we could also talk about kebabs, frankfurts, sandwiches … but in the end it’s the same thing: versioning a healthier option with quality ingredients.
I will make special mention of sushi, which is considered a lot as fast food , but which, apart from certain preparations such as tempuras, pasta and batters, it is a healthy meal in itself: rice, seaweed and fish.
As we have seen , any recipe from the fast food chain can be adapted and enjoyed in the same way or even more , with the added value of its nutritional quality. It is important to assess the quality of each of the ingredients that we are going to use and choose the most suitable type of cooking.
With small changes we are going to convert a dish with an excess of calories and little nutrition into another which will be providing us with nutritional benefits. Learning to make these changes will benefit our eating style and our health will appreciate it.