I’ve often claimed that I can make real food faster than picking up fast food — and people laugh at me. So, it became a habit to glance at the clock when I started and finished to prove, perhaps even to myself, that I was telling true.This meal took less than 10 minutes from idea to table.
The hamburger bun (from a local bakery) and chicken strips were in the freezer. I freeze the chicken strips individually, and split my buns before freezing. I always have a basic salad dressing on hand. So …
I cut a few red pepper strips and placed them with the frozen chicken strips, seasoned with a bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper, on a George Foreman grill (I have the smallest one available — easy to use). While they cooked, I opened the frozen bun and placed it on top of the grill to start defrosting. The salad is simply arugula from a package, one strawberry, one mushroom and onion. I put the salad together while the meat and pepper cooked.
In the final minute of cooking (chicken strips cook in about five minutes from frozen on the grill), I put the bun in the grill on top of the chicken and peppers. I closed the grill for a few seconds and flipped the bun over to toast the other side.
I put a little light mayo, tomato and the grilled pepper on the bun, sliced the chicken strips a bit and closed the bun. Done! Tip: Put a damp dishcloth into the hot grill and close the lid — easy cleanup after the meal.
In this case, I actually left the kitchen less than 10 minutes after I entered. I live in the heart of the city, but I guarantee I could not have retrieved even the fastest of fast food in the time it took me to make this meal. It’s all about having the ingredients ready, and in a form that can be easily used. Quick cooking like this does not make a big mess in the kitchen, either. Even if you add in clean-up time, you have still used less time to eat nourishing, delicious food.
Note: You could do the same sandwich with a frying pan — cooking would take a bit longer.