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Make Your Own Fast Food

Whip up healthier versions of your fast-food favorites.

Have It Your Way continued...

4. Fried Chicken. The trick to making tasty oven-fried chicken is to dip skinless chicken breasts or thighs (cut into strips, if desired) in low-fat buttermilk, then coat the outside with a seasoned crumb mixture. Then coat the outside of the coated chicken pieces generously with canola cooking spray (on both sides). Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven until nicely brown (about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the pieces).

5. Milkshakes. For a lighter milkshake, just use light ice cream. Find a flavor that works for you, perhaps light vanilla or chocolate ice cream, or any flavor of sherbet. Adding nonfat or 1% low-fat milk instead of whole milk will shave more calories and fat while increasing protein slightly.

6. Onion Rings and Fries. All you need to make golden-brown oven onion rings or fries is a hot oven (450 degrees), veggies cut or separated into your desired shape, and a small amount of canola oil (or cooking spray) to coat the outside of the fries or rings.

7. Biscuits. Don't let their innocent looks fool you. One biscuit from the Popeye’s chain, for example, contains 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 4 grams of saturated fat. Try making biscuits at home following a traditional recipe but using a less-fat margarine with added plant sterols (like Take Control or Benecol) instead of shortening, and using low-fat buttermilk in place of milk or cream.

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.

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