Sometimes we all want a fast-food cheat. These three recipes are inspired by the high-fat, calorie-dense originals, but are remade in a healthier way. While these recipes can’t really be considered “health food,” they are a great way to indulge without busting the dietary bank.
Fake-Out 1: Taco Bell's Taco Supreme
By using lighter ingredients, this recipe, inspired by CopyKat.com, goes from 200 to 118 calories and from 12 to four grams of fat. Serves 6.
1 teaspoon powdered beef bouillon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons maza corn flour or 1 tablespoon flour + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ lb lean ground beef 90/10
12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
½ cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
Combine the first 11 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Add ground beef to a skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often to break up clumps. Once meat is browned, drain liquid and return to the stove. Stir in spice mixture and 1/3 cup of water. Cook until seasonings are incorporated into meat.
Separate the tortillas into 2 stacks and wrap in damp paper towels. Microwave each stack for 1 minute to soften.
Place the softened tortillas directly on the oven racks, allowing the ends to fall through the racks and create a shell shape. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes until crisp.
Fill the taco shells with 2 teaspoons of cooked meat, and top them with 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of shredded romaine, a few chopped tomatoes and finish with reduced fat cheddar cheese.
Serve with your choice of salsa.
Fake-Out 2: McDonald's' Big Mac
This unhealthy burger weighs in at 550 calories and a whopping 29 grams of fat. Redone, this recipe uses less bread and lighter ingredients to bring it down to 355 calories and 15 grams of fat per sandwich. Serves 4.
1 lb. lean ground beef (90/10)
4 light English muffins
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
½ cup finely minced onion
1 medium dill pickle, thinly sliced
4 slices reduced fat American cheese
2 tablespoons reduced fat Best Foods mayonnaise
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons reduced-sugar ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon salt (separate)
½ teaspoon + ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper (separate)
Mix 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper into ground beef.
Separate beef into 8 equal portions.
Press each portion into a patty the same size as the English muffins.
Mix the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, ketchup, Worcestershire, oregano and remaining salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Grill patties 3 minutes per side. Let rest 5 minutes before using.
Top four beef patties with cheese. Place plain beef patties on top of ones with cheese.
Separate each English muffin and spread each side with 2 teaspoons of sauce mixture.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of minced onions on inside of top and bottom buns.
Layer ¼ of the pickle slices above the onions.
Add 1 tablespoon of shredded lettuce to inside bottom buns.
Place stacked meat patties on each bottom bun.
Add shredded lettuce to inside top bun and top burger.
Fake-Out 3: KFC's Crispy Chicken Tenders
This recipe gives you the crisp crunch of fried chicken, without deep frying. There’s also no chicken skin, which drops the values down from 280 to 132 calories and from 16 to 6 grams of fat per piece. Serves 4.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each sliced into 4 strips
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 ¼ teaspoons of Season All
1 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Place the chicken strips into the milk to soak for at least 10 minutes.
Combine the flours, pepper, paprika and Season All.
Microwave the olive oil and butter till the butter melts
Drain the chicken from the milk and coat evenly in seasoned flour mixture.
Pour the melted oil/butter mixture into a medium baking sheet.
Place the coated chicken directly on the melted oil/butter.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, then flip the chicken over and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the coating has crisped and the chicken is cooked through.