Fast Food: Make Healthier Versions at Home (cont.)

8. Hash Browns. If you get them at McDonalds, each patty contains 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, and 2 grams trans fat. Burger King's small hash brown has 230 calories, 15 grams of fat, 4 grams saturated fat, and 5 grams trans fat. Instead, buy frozen hash brown patties at your supermarket (make sure you get the ones with 0 grams fat per serving). Then check out the recipe for hash brown patties below.

Homemade Fast-Food Recipes

Try these five recipes:

Egg Mock-Muffin Sandwich

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as: 2 slices bread + 1 egg alone without added fat + 1 ounce low-fat cheese OR 1 light frozen dinner OR 1 sandwich and burger lean meat.

2 English muffins, toasted
1 large egg
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 slices Canadian bacon
2 empty tuna cans (or similar cans), washed and label removed
2 slices less-fat American or cheddar cheese slices
Freshly ground pepper
Canola cooking spray

  • Coat half of a 9-inch or 10-inch nonstick frying pan with canola cooking spray and heat over medium heat (with adult supervision). In a small bowl, beat the egg with egg substitute with a fork or whisk and set aside.
  • Place Canadian bacon in the pan, over the sprayed area. Spray the inside of the tuna cans with canola cooking spray, and set on the nonsprayed side of the frying pan to start heating. When bottom side of the bacon is light brown, flip over and cook other side until light brown. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of the egg mixture into each tuna can. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper to taste. When the surface of the egg begins to firm, cut around the inside of the cans with a butter knife to free the edges. Turn the eggs over with a cake fork (with adult supervision), and cook for 1 minute more. Remove eggs from can.
  • To assemble each sandwich, layer an English muffin bottom with a slice of cheese, then an egg patty, a piece of Canadian bacon, and the muffin top.

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Per sandwich: 283 calories, 22 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat, 3.9 g saturated fat, 2 g fiber, 808 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 30%.

Recipe provided by Elaine Magee; © Elaine Magee 2005

The Perfect Cheeseburger

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as: sandwich and burger with moderate-fat meat OR 2 slices of whole grain bread + 1 ounce of cheese + 1 serving lean meat without added fat.

1 pound super-lean ground beef (or fresh ground sirloin)
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Canola cooking spray
4 slices reduced-fat cheese
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Tomato and onion slices (optional)
Mustard and catsup (optional)
Barbecue sauce (optional)

  • Divide the beef into 4 equal portions. Use a patty press (or your hands) to make four burgers. Sprinkle them with the pepper and garlic salt.
  • Pan-fry, broil, or grill the burgers, using canola cooking spray to keep them from sticking to the pan or grill. When the burgers are almost cooked through, place the cheese slices on top and finish cooking (30 seconds to 60 seconds). Remove the burgers to the serving plate. If desired, cover the plate with foil to keep burgers warm and moist.
  • Dress your burger on the bun with the lettuce, sliced tomato and onion, mustard, barbecue sauce, and ketchup as desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 397 calories, 35.5 g protein, 34.5 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 86 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g fiber, 767 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 29%.

Recipe provided by Elaine Magee; © 2004 WebMD Inc.

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 2 slices whole grain bread + 1/2 cup raw veggies, 1 serving lean meat without added fat OR 1 sandwich and burger lean meat + 1 tsp sugar or honey + 1/2 cup raw veggies.

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or thighs)
Canola cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning of your choice (like Garlic & Herb)
2 multigrain or whole-wheat hamburger buns (toasted, if desired)
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 thin slices onion
4 slices tomato
4 large lettuce leaves

  • Preheat your indoor grill or oven broiler. Coat both sides of each raw chicken breast (or thigh) with canola cooking spray. Sprinkle both sides of each piece lightly with salt-free seasoning.
  • Place seasoned chicken pieces on the bottom pan of your indoor grill and close the top to start cooking. If using a broiler, place the chicken pieces on a foil-covered baking sheet and place 6 inches under the broiler. Broil until the top is nicely browned, then flip over to brown the other side (about 4 minutes per side). If using the indoor grill, check chicken after about 8 minutes.
  • Check the thickest part of the chicken to make sure it is cooked throughout. If so, remove both chicken pieces to plates. Assemble your sandwiches by placing each chicken piece on the bottom piece of a toasted bun. Top each with a tablespoon of barbecue sauce then an onion slice, 2 tomato slices, a couple of lettuce leaves, and the top of the bun.

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Per serving: 357 calories, 35 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 2.2 g monounsaturated fat, 1.4 g polyunsaturated fat, 73 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 611 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 15%.

Recipe provided by Elaine Magee; © 2006 Elaine Magee

Light Fillet of Fish Sandwich

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 sandwich and burger moderate fat meat + 1 ounce low-fat cheese

This recipe was adapted from Elaine Magee's book Fry Light, Fry Right!

1 pound skinless, boneless grouper or snapper fillets
3/4 cup unbleached or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup stoned wheat cracker crumbs (crush crackers with food processor or rolling pin)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon canola oil
Canola cooking spray
4 thin slices reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
4 whole-grain hamburger buns, toasted
8 teaspoons pickle relish (whatever type you prefer)
4 large Romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry

  1. Cut fish fillets into four even pieces (about 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches each). Rinse and dry well.
  2. Place the flour in a small bowl, and the buttermilk in another small bowl. In a medium shallow bowl, stir together cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh parsley to blend.
  3. Dip each fish square first into the flour, then the buttermilk, then the cracker crumb mixture.
  4. Place a medium, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Spread canola oil on the bottom and add the fillets. Use canola cooking spray to generously coat the tops of the fillets. Fry until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes, then carefully flip with a spatula and brown the other side -- about 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat, lay the cheese slices over the fish, and cover pan until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
  5. Serve fillets on toasted hamburger buns, dressed with relish and lettuce.


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