Book Excerpt: 'Fast Food Fix: 75+ Amazing Recipe Makeovers of Your Fast Food Restaurant Favorites'

Americans love fast food, but unfortunately, fast food is one of the reasons that as a nation, we are getting fatter and fatter. To satisfy the fast-food cravings of those who are trying to lose weight, Los Angeles-based food writer, chef and caterer, Devin Alexander compiled her healthy alternatives to fast-food favorites in her new book, "Fast Food Fix: 75+ Amazing Recipe Makeovers of Your Fast Food Restaurant Favorites."

Read an excerpt below.

Chapter 1

Get Your Fast food fix

I consider myself a fast food admirer. I love the way fast food tastes, and I admire the folks who've spent countless hours creating the irresistible flavor combinations that we Americans can't wait to find in drive-thrus. Actually, I consider these people artists of sorts, and I, for one, really appreciate their work.

Fast food had been a regular part of my diet for most of my teenage years. However, when I stopped eating it, I lost 25 pounds. When I kept it out of my diet and made a few other changes, I lost another 25. In recent years, I've heard many stories similar to mine. Meanwhile, movie hits like Super Size Me advise us that eating a steady diet of fast food might cause maladies from sluggishness to liver failure. Bestsellers like Fast Food Nation warn us that feces might be found in our meat supply. So we Americans slowly but surely started to wonder more and more about the hazards of eating fast food. But just as we were starting to realize that it might be a good idea to steer our cars a bit more frequently to grocery stores instead of through drive-thrus, the fast food chains responded. They started offering healthier options, which has been great. But one major problem remains: cravings. When plagued with visions of a Big Mac, will a McSalad do the trick? When you're dying for a Cinnabon, will an apple hit the spot? Probably not. And when we're told we "can't" or "shouldn't," we want something even more-after all, it's human nature.

That's where this book comes in. It gives you options. It's a "go ahead, have it your way-really" cookbook. And "have it your way" every day if you want. Each of the fast food favorites in this book is a solution for satisfying the most-common fast food cravings. I'm hoping that we as a nation will be able to turn our backs on supersizing but will still get our Fast Food Fix with ingredients we select ourselves in the portions that our bodies need.

Fast Food Fix Promises

To give you the best creations I possibly could, I decided to make some promises about the recipes before I wrote another word of this book.

1. The serving size of every recipe contained in this book is at least as big as the original version, but it will contain considerably fewer grams of fat, calories, and chemicals.

I did my best in every case to buy three of each item from different locations of each chain. I broke down the recipes by first weighing and measuring each item and then its component parts on two scales. I re-created them by looking at the weights provided by the nutritional data sheets in conjunction with the serving sizes that were in front of me. Then, after I tested my versions, I pur-chased a final sample (when at all possible) to make sure my versions looked as large and weighed as much as the originals (in many cases, mine are significantly larger).

2. The recipes will use only common ingredients and employ basic cooking techniques with instructions as to how to cook the food properly to yield optimum results.

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