Want fast food but know you should resist because you're pregnant? These recipe makeovers let you indulge guilt-free.
Your belly craves a big, greasy burger with onion rings, but your brain tells you to eat a healthful, home-cooked meal to benefit your growing baby. Cookbook Fast Food Fix lets you enjoy the best of both worlds. In it, author and chef Devin Alexander offers more than 75 recipes replicating your favorite fast-food indulgences, with a lot less fat, sugar and other bad stuff that's devoid of the important nutrients you need during pregnancy. Here are three recipes to satisfy any junk-food junkie. And since you save so many calories, you'll have room for when the next craving hits.
Burger King Onion Rings
Olive oil spray 3 medium white onions 1/4 cup egg substitute 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly mist a large nonstick baking sheet with olive oil spray.
Cut the onions into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Separate into rings. Select 15 rings that are as close as possible to 2 inches in diameter. Set aside. (If you like, refri-gerate the remaining onion rings to use in another dish.)
Pour the egg substitute into a small shallow bowl. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs and salt. Shake to mix well.
Dip the onion rings one at a time into the egg substitute, being sure to coat completely. Allow any excess egg substitute to drip off. Place in the bread-crumb bag. Shake to coat completely. Dip onion rings a second time into the egg substitute and the bread crumbs. Continue until all the onion rings are placed, without touching, on the baking sheet. Lightly mist with the olive oil spray.
Bake for 8 minutes. Carefully flip the rings. Bake for 8-12 minutes longer, or until the breading is crisp.
Original Burger King Onion Rings (medium serving): 320 calories, 5% protein (4 g), 50% carbohydrate (40 g), 45% fat (16 g), 4 g sat fat, 3 g fiber. Alternate version: 243 calories, 22% protein (13 g), 63% carbohydrate (38 g), 15% fat (4 g), trace sat fat, 3 g fiber
Carl's Jr. Six-Dollar Burger
Olive oil spray (optional) 6 ounces 96% lean ground beef (about 3/4 cup) Garlic salt 1 restaurant-style sesame seed bun (about 4 1/2 inches) 1 slice (1/2 ounce) 2% milk yellow American cheese 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, divided 3 rounds crinkle-cut pickle 2 large leaves iceberg lettuce 2 slices tomato (1/4-inch thick) 5 very thinly sliced red onion rings 1 tablespoon ketchup 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
Preheat the grill or a nonstick stove-top grill pan. Lightly mist the grill rack or pan with olive oil spray, if needed.
On a sheet of waxed paper, shape the beef into a 5 1/2-inch patty. Season both sides with garlic salt to taste. Place the patty on the grill rack or pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until the meat is no longer pink.
Meanwhile, place the bun top and bottom, cut-sides down, on the grill rack or pan. Cook for about 1 minute, or until toasted. Place the cheese on the patty.
Place the bun bottom on a plate. Spread with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise. Top with the pickle, lettuce, tomato, onion and patty. Spread the remaining 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise on the toasted side of the bun top. Spread on the ketchup and mustard. Flip bun top onto the burger.
Original Carl's Jr. Six-Dollar Burger: 960 calories, 16% protein (38 g), 26% carbohydrate (61 g), 58% fat (62 g), 25 g sat fat, 3 g fiber. Alternate version: 563 calories, 34% protein (47 g), 36% carbohydrate (51 g), 30% fat (19 g), 7 g sat fat, 3 g fiber.
KFC Popcorn Chicken
Olive oil spray 2 1/2 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast 2 teaspoons unbleached or all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt plus more to taste 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper plus more to taste 1/8 teaspoon onion powder 2 egg whites 2 tablespoons fat-free milk 3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs, available in the Asian foods aisle)
Preheat the oven to 475°F. Lightly mist a nonstick baking sheet with olive oil spray. Set aside. Place the chicken breast on a cutting board. Cover with a sheet of waxed paper. With the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 25 pieces that are all roughly the same size.
In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the onion powder. Shake to mix well. Add the chicken pieces to the bag. Shake to completely coat the chicken with the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a small shallow bowl, combine the egg whites and the milk. Beat with a fork until smooth. Place the panko on a small sheet of waxed paper set next to the egg-white mixture.
One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the egg-white mixture, being sure to coat completely. Allow any excess egg-white mixture to drip off. Dip into the panko to coat completely. Dip again into the egg-white mixture, then the panko. Drop the pieces on the baking sheet and arrange to avoid their touching. Lightly mist with olive oil spray. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bake for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken. Bake for 5-7 minutes longer, or until the breading is crunchy but not browned and the chicken is no longer pink inside.
Original KFC Popcorn Chicken (25-piece serving): 660 calories, 18% protein (29 g), 22% carbohydrate (37 g), 60% fat (44 g), 10 g sat fat, <1 g fiber. Alternate version: 337 calories, 36% protein (30 g), 51% carbohydrate (43 g), 13% fat (5 g), trace sat fat, trace fiber.