Thursday, June 17, 2010

Healthy, Fast Food

You know the feeling, you've had a hard day at work, you're tired and you really can't be bothered cooking something sensible. The temptation to eat some fast food, some generally unhealthy fast food, is huge.
We've found a bit of a way around that though. The meal turns out to have several of the food groups, it's fast and it's low in fat. Our current specialty is a chicken burger, simple and healthy. We also do a steak sandwich a similar way and it's equally healthy.
Buy a couple of chicken breast fillets, some tomato and salad and some hamburger buns - wholemeal if you like and if you can find them.
Firstly deal with the chicken fillets. Trim off any fat and lay each fillet out on a cutting board. Take a very sharp knife and cutting parallel to the board make each fillet into 2 or 3 slices depending on size. This means that the pieces will fit into a burger easily and cook quickly. Marinate the chicken with your choice of marinade some hoy sin sauce, or soy sauce - whatever works for you. Light the barbecue and cook the chicken (see note).
While that's cooking split the buns and toast them, spread with some mustard, sauce or mayonnaise if you must, and add the salad and sliced tomato. When the chicken is cooked put it on the salad and put the other half of the bun on top.
This is a tasty and simple meal, total time from unpacking the shopping bag to sitting down to eat is about 15 minutes. Is it haute cuisine? Of course not but it's simple, quick and modestly healthy. You get some carbs, some protein, some reds and some green leaves.
Note: The barbecue that we use is very small and very simple. We only have a small outdoor deck on the roof, so we have very limited space for a barbie. The key to success is that it has a cast iron grill so any fat drains away and it has a closing lid which keeps food moist. Almost all of our meat is cooked on this barbecue, it keeps cooking smells out of the house and it's a great way to cook. Legs of lamb, steak, chicken, sausages, pork roasts all end up on the barbecue. Careful management means that you get food without all the bad charring that is so common with a barbecue but you still get the lovely smoky taste that you associate with a barbie. We particularly love a slow cooked leg of lamb. We use a very low heat, wrap the seasoned leg in foil and cook for a long time. It comes out lovely and moist and falling off the bone. Just brilliant.

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