Many people are now choosing to cut out fast foods - or at least, commercially
produced fast foods, because they fear that their favorite burger or pizza is doing
them more harm than good, or because they have ethical concerns about the sourcing
and/or production of the food. However, even the most ardent fair trade food enthusiast
or health fan can experience those fast food hunger pangs when a burger or pizza
or taco is required and nothing else will suffice. So, what to do?
Fortunately, with a little thought and effort, you can make delicious 'fast food'
that is just as good - if not better - than the kind you may have been buying in
fast food joints for years.
Rick Schaden and his father purchased Quiznos in the early 1990s, turning it
into a multi-million dollar concern, and he knows a thing or two about both food
and sports, which are two key ingredients for a healthy life. Rick has been involved
with a number of successful food businesses, among them Live Basil Pizza and Smashburger.
He is also a keen cyclist. In 2011, he launched the USA Pro Challenge, a professional
cycling event that attracts huge crowds and interest. You can find out more about
Rick Schaden on
LinkedIn and read about some of his previous work in the food industry and other
When it comes to food, both at his restaurants and at home, Rick strongly favors
simplicity and old school food values over modern time-saving, profit-focused technological
approaches. This is most clearly seen in his blog, where he shares wholesome and
healthy recipes that blend 'fast food' flavor and appeal with healthy values and
For example, Rick suggests that readers cook their own pizza at home, making
tomato sauce simply by pulping tomatoes with a little salt. This is the old fashioned
approach, and the key difference between it and many modern pizza sauces is simple:
the old fashioned version is not laden with sugar, so it is better for your health.
Similarly with the pizza crust: mass-produced pizza dough is often full of fat and
sugar, so to get the genuine pizza experience, seriously reduce the fat and sugar
in your dough recipe - an added benefit is that if you do this, your pizza crust
will cook very quickly in a hot oven, giving you a much more authentic, tasty result.
Sometimes, simplicity is all you need for better health and better taste.
You can take a similar approach to burgers. Rick advises using raw Angus beef,
which has not previously been frozen and has not been through an industrial extrusion
process, because it makes for a much more flavorsome, tender burger. Once the burger
patty is made, put it onto a really hot, buttered grill (you can put it onto a piece
of buttered foil on top of the grill, if you prefer) and when it's done, add healthy
toppings such as avocado.
The taco is another fast food that is easy to make in a healthy form at home.
You can increase the nutritional value by using good-quality meat, but why not ring
the changes with a vegetarian version? Lentils, beans and falafel all make great
taco fillings. In fact, if vegetarian options appeal to you but you just cannot
give up on fast food, you may also be pleased to know that vegetarian and vegan
doughnuts are very popular, and there are lots of recipes on the internet.
With Americans eating nearly 50 million burgers each year and 17% of all US restaurants
being pizzerias, it is clear that the nation's love for fast food remains strong.
However, with the rise in obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease all being associated
with inadequate nutrition, it makes sense to temper that fast food love with some
homemade, healthy versions. Why not look up a few recipes online today and indulge
your urge for fast food without damaging your health or social conscience?