So we now know what’s really in our Chicken McNuggets (bone, nerves, connective tissue and chemicals), and if reading the previous blog article was enough to make you say sayanora to fast-food altogether (yay!), here are some equally quick and healthier alternatives:
1. READY-MADE FOODS AT SUPERMARKETS
Grocery stores are generally in the same vicinity of fast-food joints. Instead of reaching out for a typical high-fat, sugary fast-food meal, perhaps opt for a salad with roasted chicken, or even better yet – pick up a roasted chicken at your local supermarket and call it a day.
Most chains have prepared food sections, with ready-to-eat options like chilled vegetables, roasted chicken mixes, tabouli salads, baby carrots, hummus, banana chips and nuts. Of course this is only a fraction of what’s normally available. The good news is, it’s often equally cheap to the food we get in typical fast-food joints (sometimes even cheaper)!
2. FAST CASUAL
The concept of Fast Casual is ‘fresh food fast’, and establishments that fit the bill in Australia include Sumo Salad, Guzman Y Gomez, Streetsoul Burger Bar, Grill’d and Yuumba. Many of these organisations serve up freshly prepared dishes, made-in-house with ingredients that don’t cause as much harm to our health as those used in typical fast-food joints.
For example, Streetsoul Burger Bar at Randwick ensures to only utilise animal products that have been ethically farmed.
3. PACK A MEAL!
Invest in an insulated lunch pack and toss in a meal you can whip up in a jiffy! For example, in a sealable container, combine a few handfuls of veggies; like grapes, roasted tomatoes, chopped red onion, baby spinach leaves, and sliced mushrooms, and a small scoop each of quinoa and chickpeas. Sprinkle with Italian herb seasoning, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, close the lid, give it a shake, and toss it in the bag. Easy peasy.
4. WHIPPED-UP OPTIONS?
Smoothies aren’t just for breakfast, purchase a bottle and whip up your favourite mix of fruit smoothies and bring it out with you. This can be a great way to sidestep processed alternatives.
How about reaching out for some frozen fruits and a handful of leafy greens; organic skim milk or almond milk, and if you’re feeling adventurous, why not add flavor, aroma and an extra dose of antioxidants by seasoning your smoothies with spices (cinnamon), or ginger?
5. MAKE AHEAD RE-HEATS
Many university students struggle to find time to cook during the week, but typically have time to do so during the weekends. Take some time off your next Sunday night and whip up a “homemade frozen dinner” to rationalize out throughout the following week. This can then be re-heated when needed, and will prevent you from the temptation of grabbing fast-food or ordering take-out Monday through Friday.
Some ideas include chilli, stews, soup or stuffed peppers.