Fast food is so embedded in our culture that we’re betting you can sing the commercial theme songs for most fast food restaurants. November 16th is National Fast Food Day but before you get ready to stand in line or tell your order to a microphone, think about making your own fast food at home.
Sure, fast food is easy, convenient and somewhat inexpensive, but there’s a higher price to pay for all of that. The U.S. has the largest fast food industry in the world and it comes at a huge cost to our health and to the planet. Instead, we can make healthier versions of our favorite fast food items. No matter what your favorites are – burgers, fries, onion rings, nuggets, wings, tacos, hot dogs – you can make them at home. Not only will it be healthier but it will taste so much better! Not convinced yet? Look at these Fast Food Favorites Made With Whole, Plant-Based Foods and these 12 Delicious Vegan and Healthier Versions of Your Fast Food Favorites.
Then, try these 15 recipes for healthier versions of your favorite fast food items. Talk about having it your way!
1. Philly Tofu Cheesesteak With Portobello Mushrooms
Who says you have to go to Philadelphia to enjoy a Philly cheesesteak? This vegan Philly Tofu Cheesesteak With Portobello Mushrooms is amazing. Tofu is seared in liquid smoke and vegan Worcestershire sauce until savory and then stuffed into a sub roll with sautéed bell peppers, onions, and Portobello mushrooms. Then, it’s topped with melty vegan cheese, wrapped in foil, and baked until piping hot and delicious.
2. Cauliflower Steak Sliders
These adorable Cauliflower Steak Sliders transform cauliflower steak from a fancy dinner entrée to the perfect burger base. The “steaks” are drizzled in olive oil, salt, and pepper, cooked until golden brown, and topped with fresh and flavorful cashew pesto, tomato, and lettuce and then assembled in fluffy slider buns. These are just one deliciously savory bite after another!
3. Greek-Style Oven Fries
The difference between an okay basket of fries and an amazing one is all in the seasoning. These Greek-Style Oven Fries are sprinkled with fresh dill, lemon, oregano, parsley, paprika, and plenty of garlic. Served with creamy and flavorful tzatziki, these fries are a delicious change to the typical ketchup, mustard combo.
4. Jackfruit Carnitas With Pickled Red Onions
Nobody will believe that these Jackfruit Carnitas With Pickled Red Onions are actually made from a tropical fruit. Jackfruit is sautéed with garlic and then simmered in a spicy sauce, allowing it to absorb all of the flavors. This recipe uses canned jackfruit in syrup, so it ends up sweet and spicy at the same time and then it’s topped with tangy quick-pickled red onions. Just remember to let the jackfruit sit overnight — the flavor payoff is worth it.
5. Crispy Crunchy Cornmeal and Pepita Onion Rings
Goodbye, greasy onion rings! Say hello to these lovely baked Crispy Crunchy Cornmeal and Pepita Onion Rings instead! A mixture of cornmeal and crushed pepitas (otherwise known as pumpkin seeds) gives these unique onion rings a crunchy coating and a unique blend of flavors. Dip them in your favorite sauce for an extra special treat!
6. Black Bean Burgers With Cilantro Lime Sauce
A good veggie burger is only as good as its ingredients. The varieties of flavors you can add are endless. These Black Bean Burgers With Cilantro Lime Sauce are spicier burgers with lots of onion, bell pepper, and a good amount of seasoning. The super simple cilantro lime sauce is a great topper for a spicy burger. It is cool and tangy. One bite and you’ll forget all about fast food burgers.
7. Crispy Cauliflower Wings
Add these Crispy Cauliflower Wings to your snack rotation and watch a night with friends get ten times better. In this recipe, large cauliflower florets are dipped in a thick chickpea flour batter, baked in the oven until crispy, and then doused in spicy buffalo sauce. Serve this with a creamy vegan Ranch to balance out the heat and get ready to lick your fingers from all of the deliciousness!
8. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza With Cashew Mozzarella
Chicago deep dish pizza: it’s like a pizza and a savory pie all in one. This Chicago Deep Dish Pizza With Cashew Mozzarella is everything a pizza should be. The crust is thick and hearty. The sauce is chunky and spicy. The cashew mozzarella is melty and gooey. The sauce only takes about 15 minutes and you can roll out the dough while the sauce cooks. If you make the cheese ahead of time, this pizza comes together pretty quickly!
9. Portobello and Tofu Scramble Sandwich
This warm Portobello and Tofu Scramble Sandwich is a hearty breakfast option filled with savory goodness. Toasty ciabatta bread is slathered in red pesto, topped with tender Portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and a well-seasoned tofu scramble. Super satisfying and healthy way to start the day or to enjoy on those nights where you’re craving breakfast for dinner.
10. Fooled Pork Sandwich With Fries
This barbecue Fooled Pork Sandwich With Fries is an experience that needs to be had. Young jackfruit is simmered until tender and then broiled in sticky barbecue sauce, allowing it to absorb the flavor. This sandwich is topped with a creamy, crunchy coleslaw that’s a nice contract to the tender barbecue sauce-covered jackfruit. It all comes with a side of crispy oven-baked fries — why not try piling those on the sandwich, too?
11. Hummus and Veggie Stuffed Calzone
For those of you who aren’t in the know, a calzone is a giant, hot and bubbly pizza pocket. This Hummus and Veggie Stuffed Calzone is a unique take on the traditional calzone. It is stuffed with creamy hummus and savory veggies – and it only takes an hour to make, start to finish! Calzones for dinner tonight, anyone?
12. Spicy Veggie Dogs
Looking for a delicious way to sneak some veggies into your diet? These Spicy Veggie Dogs are made from beet, carrot, green chilis, potatoes, and peas, then are seasoned with an assortment of spices, and eventually are brushed with a bit of oil and pan seared. The result? A crispy sausage that is perfect for barbecues when served in a fluffy hot dog bun with a generous drizzle of vegan mayo and ketchup.
13. Cheesy Pull Bread
Whether you’re hosting a party, movie night, or just hanging with friends, this Cheesy Pull Bread is a must-make. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 10,000,000. Crispy sourdough bread is stuffed with herby, garlicky vegan cream cheese, spinach, and vegan mozzarella and then baked until melty and bubbly. This bread serves a small crowd, but you’ll want it all to yourself.
14. Crispy Cauliflower Nuggets
These oven-fried Crispy Cauliflower Nuggets are guaranteed to be the star of your dinner night, parties … everything! The secret is to cook flour covered cauliflower slowly in coconut oil. The slow oven baking helps to crisp up the outside without having undercooked cauliflower.
15. Black Bean and Chorizo Breakfast Burrito
This Black Bean and Chorizo Breakfast Burrito is deliciously spicy. Black beans, tofu, and vegan chorizo combined with a smooth cashew chipotle cream make the perfect filling, protein-rich breakfast to start your day. What’s great about this recipe is that you can store the remaining burritos in the refrigerator for an easy breakfast all week long, or even double the batch to freeze for future use. If you’re not on the go, enjoy this burrito with some fresh pico de gallo and avocado slices.
When you make these healthier versions of your favorite fast food dishes, you can even feel good about “super-sizing” them.
Lead image source: Black Bean Burgers With Cilantro Lime Sauce