Recipe: Faux Fast-Food

healthy fast food recipes

Every once in a while, you need a little comfort food, whether it was a long week at work, or your child had a rough day at school.  For many, childhood favorites help bring a sense of calm, so try these faux fast-food favorites, with a healthy home-made twist.  I always start with the Veggie Fries (since they take longer) so that the meal will be ready all at once.

faux fast food healthy chicken nugget alternatives

Chicken Nuggets:

  • 3 chicken breasts (pounded flat)
  • 1 egg

Gather up the following for the marinade :

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt, pepper, garlic, dried onion flakes (about 1 Tbsp each, or to taste)

And toss together these ingredients for the Breading:

  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs are both lighter and crunchier)
  • Garlic, white pepper, red chili flakes, basil

Now let’s get started!

  1. Preheat your oven to 425° (if you didn’t make the veggie fries first).  Lightly pound the chicken breasts, and cut into chicken-nugget sized shapes…yes “rectangles and squares” count!
  2.  Grab all your marinade ingredients and toss them into a mixing bowl.
  3. Place your nuggets into the bowl with the marinade, toss, and refrigerate.  I usually leave mine in for about 2 hours.
  4. In another mixing bowl, break & beat the egg.
  5. In a shallow plate, mix all of the breading ingredients.
  6. Dip each chicken nugget into the egg, then coat both sides with the panko breading.
  7. Place nuggets onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, flipping half way through.

Calories: 200 for 6 (McDonalds is 300cals)

Fat: 3g (McDonalds is 17g fat)

Protein: 12g (McDonalds is 10g)

faux fast food veggie fries healthy french fries alternative

Baked Veggie Fries

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 small turnip
  • 1 small parsnip
  • 2 large carrots
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, paprika, garlic

*Preheat oven to 425°

  1. Thoroughly wash and peel all veggies.
  2. Cut the veggies into “fries” in the shape of your choice (but 1/3′ inch thick).
  3. Toss in a mixing bowl with olive oil (just enough to coat the veggies) and spices.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes on a lightly greased baking sheet. Flip every 20 minutes.  Fries should be crispy and golden brown when done.
  5. Serve the nuggets and the fries together for a great faux fast-food meal!

Calories for veggie fries: 100 for 1 cup (McDonalds is 230cals)

Fat: 6g all from the olive oil (McDonalds is 11g fat)

Protein: 2g (McDonalds is 3g)

And don’t forget to wash it all down with a banana split protein shake!

Ilise "Baker Babe" Reilly

Ilise Reilly is the General Manager of Lucille Roberts Fifth Avenue, where she sees first hand the struggles and misconceptions members have with food and exercise. "Exercise burns calories, but if you don't change your eating habits, you will never lose weight!" is commonly heard in her discussions. A "foodie" herself, Ilise has been making over her favorite recipes for years, to make them more nutritional, and has used her love of both food and fitness to compile recipes the fuel the body. " Abs are made in the kitchen," she says, "and I want to help you get yours!"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *