Real food faster than fast food

Real food meal with grilled chicken sandwich and salad photo
Grilled chicken sandwich and salad in 10 minutes from frozen real food.

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.

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