In my world there are two kinds of fast food Ė both of which I utilize heavily. The first are fast food options available from restaurants with take-out and drive- through windows. The other options are foods that I can prepare in less than five minutes for a snack or a quick meal between other activities. In a world of high calorie, often disgustingly delicious junk food, there are options out there that are pretty healthy and more than a bit tasty if you dare to try them.
A personal favorite of mine are nachos. A basic bag of tortilla chips will do although I should encourage you to use healthier versions such as baked chips or blue corn tortilla chips. Spread your chips out on a single layer of a microwaveable plate. Liberally sprinkle reduced fat cheese over the chips. Throw them in the microwave for thirty seconds and you have a nice source of protein and calcium Ė a good way to get some dairy into your life.
You can make these into a better meal by opening a can of pinto or black beans, rinsing off the bean juice and sprinkling the beans over the chips along with the cheese. You can also use cooked meat such as chicken or beef Ė I prefer the kind with the fajita flavor that comes in ready to use containers. Shredded lettuce and tomatoes can even put fruit and veggies on your plate. All in all, itís a very yummy study snack.
Wraps and Salads
If youíre heading to a restaurant that specializes in crispy fries and fatty burgers, you should skip both. Instead, look into the various wrap and salad options. Many fast food restaurants have gotten rather creative with their salads and offer a nice variety of almost gourmet salads. Always pick grilled chicken and use the dressing sparingly Ė half the packet or less should be more than enough.
If youíre not really into salad or need something to eat on the go that doesnít involve a fork, consider a wrap. A tortilla or pita can hold all kinds of yummy healthy things like lettuce, tomato, grilled chicken and various other flavors. If you havenít looked before, study the menu of your favorite joint to see if there are actually a few healthy options on there that might be surprisingly delicious.
Iíve developed a new fascination with pasta. I recently discovered you can cook it in the microwave by putting noodles in a bowl of water and microwaving for about ten to fifteen minutes. You can cook virtually any kind of pasta, but I prefer options like elbow macaroni with a bit of butter for a hot snack or perhaps rotini noodles with a bit of marinara sauce from a jar for something that feels a bit more like a real meal.
Skip the heavy butter, processed cheeses and creamy sauces, however. They might be tasty, but they will also drag you down health-wise. If you do like cheese with pasta, consider stirring in your favorite shredded cheese into a hot pot of drained noodles. It make a rather delicious version of macaroni and cheese free of butter and any processed cheese mixes.