Hi everyone, it’s Joanna here. Burgers, hot dogs and fries are just some of our favourite fast foods. According to a recent article on Huffington Post, Americans eat nearly 50 billion of burgers a year. And according to the survey done by The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, they estimate that Americans consume an average of 20 billion hot dogs a year. On top of that the average Americans consume 29 pounds (13kg) of french fries a year.
Considering that these research and surveys are only based on Americans, as a whole, we consume a looot more burgers, hot dogs and fries across the world. Hence, that’s why the global fast food sales are projected to reach $239.7 billion this year.
Well I do enjoy my occasional fast food at times but they never leave my body feeling good afterwards, I tend to feel really bloated. That’s because fast foods are mostly high in sodium, unhealthy fat, sugar, calories and low in nutritional value. So instead of avoiding these fast food, we’re going to be making our own version of healthy burger, hotdog and fries. Let’s go back to the basics of these fast food and use minimal ingredients with high nutritional values.
1) Sweet Chilli Veggie Burger (Serves 6)
What I have here is a store-bought veggie burger. Let’s look at the ingredients: Right too many too complicated.
To make a healthy and delicious veggie burger, we only need 7 basic ingredients, which you can adapt and change according to your personal taste.
7 Basic Ingredients:
1) Rolled Oats
2) Beans: Chickpeas, Red Beans, Black Beans, Butter beans, Kidney Beans etc
3) Vegetable: Carrots, Bell Pepper, Spinach etc
4) Sauce: Sweet Chilli, BBQ, Tomato, etc
5) Herb or Spices: Chilli Powder, Cumin, Paprika, Nutmeg etc
7) Garlic – to bring all the flavours together.
To make my sweet chilli Veggie burger, the ingredients I have chosen are:
INGREDIENTS (Serves 6):
1) 1/3 (35g) cup Oats – 131.5Cals
2) 1 can (240g) Chickpeas, rinsed and drained – 290Cals
*Option: Other beans of your choice: Black beans, red beans etc
3) 1 medium (60g) Carrot, grated – 25Cals
Option: Any other vegetables: Bell pepper, spinach etc
4) 1 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce – 27.5Cals
*Option: Any sauces – BBQ sauce, tomato sauce etc
5) ½ tsp of Chilli Powder – 4Cals **Optional
6) ½ tsp of Cumin – 4Cals **Optional
7) ¼ cup Onion, diced – 22Cals
8) 2 cloves Garlic, minced – 8Cals
9) Season with Salt and Pepper
Per Serving: 85.33Cals
+ Muffin – 167Cals
+ Sweet Potato Chips – 87Cals
+ 1 medium Tomato (22Cals) & Lettuce (4Cals) – 26Cals
Total Meal – 365.33Cals
1) The first step is to place oats, carrots, onions and garlic into the food processor. Process until all the ingredients are finely minced.
2) Then add the chickpeas in and process until the chickpeas are mashed and well blended with all the mixtures.
3) Finally, add your chosen sauce and spices and continue to process.
4) Transfer the mixture into a bowl and stir well to make sure that all the sauces and spices are combined and all chickpeas are mashed.
5) Next, Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit.
6) Coat a baking tray with a little bit of cooking spray.
7) Using your hands, divide the mixture into 6 equal sized portions. Roll them into balls and flatten them to make 6 patties. Each patty should be about ¼ - ½ of an inch high.
8) Place the patties on the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the patties and bake for the remaining 15 minutes until the patties are lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
Prep Time: 20mins
Cooking Time: 30mins
Total Time: 50mins
All these ingredients used are already edible without having to oven bake. So if you want to store the Veggie burgers, don’t bake them. Place them in a container and freeze them up. Bake them when you are ready to eat. This will last you up to 6 months.
If you are not a big fan of oats, don’t worry, the oats are only added to bind all the ingredients together. You won’t taste it at all. Instead you’ll be adding more beneficial nutrients to the burger.
Each Veggie burger only has 85.33Cals and I’ve served it with Muffin Buns.
So pick your ingredients and start to experiment with your own veggie burger. Do let me know your version of Veggie Burger you’ve made.
2) Lean Hot Dogs (Serves 5)
Most fast food hotdogs are high in unhealthy fat, hence being high in calories as well. My Lean Hot dog is low in fat and high in protein. The key is to choose extra lean ground meat. When you buy your ground meat, go for 95% lean meat with less than 5% fat.
Here are 2 packs of minced meat, one is extra lean with 95% meat and less than 5% fat. Another pack is basic meat, with 77% meat and 23% fat. The extra lean meat only has 128Cals per 100g, as for the basic meat, it has 276cals per 100g. That’s more than twice the amount of calories! Price difference? Only £1 difference. So save your waistline and health and go for the extra lean meat.
The ingredients you’ll need are:
1) ¼ cup (25g) Rolled Oats – 94Cals
2) 250g lean Ground Pork / Turkey / Beef / Lamb / Chicken – 320Cals
**Go for extra lean meat, less than 5% fat
3) 1 large egg white, lightly beaten – 17Cals
4) 2 cloves Garlic, minced – 8Cals
5) ¼ cup Onion, diced – 22Cals
6) ½ teaspoon Dried Mixed Herbs – 3Cals
7) ½ teaspoon Paprika – 3Cals
8) Season with Salt & Pepper
Total – 467Cals
Per Serving: 93.4Cals
+ Bread – 205Cals
+ Sweet Potato – 87Cals
+ 1 medium Tomato (22Cals) & Lettuce (4Cals) – 26Cals
Total Meal: 411.4Cals
1) The first step is to grind the oats in a food processor until fine and set it aside.
2) Then place the ground pork in the food processor and process until very fine.
3) Add the oats, egg white, onion and garlic, process until you have a paste.
4) Finally add the mixed herbs, paprika and season with salt and pepper. Pulse the mixture for another 30 seconds to combine all the ingredients evenly.
5) Transfer the mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour.
6) Once the mixture is chill, divide into 5 equal sized portions. Shape and roll each portion between your hands to form a 4 – 5 inches long log. (Do not roll the hot dogs too thin because without the casing, they might break apart when cooking)
7) Next, place the hot dogs in a pan. Then add enough water to cover almost halfway up the meat.
8) Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer. Gently turn the hot dogs occasionally until they are thoroughly cooked for about 15 minutes.
9) Then remove and allow the hot dogs to cool down.
At the point, you can choose to bake or grill the hot dog like what I’ve done here and serve immediately.
As for the remaining hotdogs, store them in a containers and you can place the in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze them up for up to 6 months.
This hot dog is pack full of protein, extremely low in fat and each serving has 93.4Cals. I’ve served it with multigrain roll and this is great as a post workout meal.
If you want to make hamburgers, you can use the exact same method and just make the paste into a burger shape instead of hot dog.
I’ve also served a side of sweet potato fries with both the veggie burger and hotdog. French fries are considered one of the unhealthiest foods with high amount of salt, trans fat, and calories. It’s deep fried, loaded with oil and has not nutritional value whatsoever.
To have a healthy side of fries, let’s substitute it with sweet potatoes and more importantly oven bake instead of deep frying.
For a classic baked sweet potato fries, the ingredients you’ll need are:
3) Baked Sweet Potato Fries (Serves 3)
1) 250g Sweet Potato, peeled and cut into wedges – 215Cals
2) 1 tsp Olive Oil – 40Cals
3) ½ tsp Paprika – 3Cals
4) ½ tsp Cumin – 4Cals
*Option: Any other spices of your choice
Per Serving: 87 Cals
1) Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F
2) In a bowl, toss together all ingredients until potatoes are evenly coated with oil and spices.
3) Then spread potatoes on a single layer on the baking tray.
4) Bake for a total of 25 to 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn over all of the sweet potato pieces. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are well browned and serve.
So the next time you’re craving to have a fast food meal, go into the kitchen and make your own healthy version instead. These ‘fast’ foods are high in nutritional values and taste better! So be good to your body.
Bread (15 slices)
578cals – 1cup plain flour (587Cals)
455cals – 1 cup wholewheat (1023.75Cals)
102cals – 1 tbsp butter (153Cals)
64cals – 1 tbsp honey (96Cals)
13cals – 1 tsp yeast (15Cals)
14cals – 1 tbsp dried milk (21Cals)
Total – 1886.75Cals / 125.79Cals per slice