January 18, 2010 - Joanne

How Not To Cook Dinner
Grossology Food Network Magazine Style

I am completely outraged after flipping though the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine. The offending article is called The Fast-Food Fix, on pages 48-51 written by Ellie Kreiger - a "registered dietitian". I'd link to it, but Food Network doesn't post the magazine online. Recipe links are below.

I admit that I wasn't "reading" the magazine, really just paging through it.

On my first quick glance-over, the article seemed to a dietitian's suggestion for replacing fast food favorites with home-cooked meals. I didn't quite get it so I looked again... On second glance, it appeared, that the meal suggested would replace a single-serving fast food choice, and feed a family of 4.

So far it sounds good and healthy right?

Then I read the recipes.


The McD's Big Mac is an element in the recipe which turns it into a Sloppy Joe for 4 (with the addition of 12 other ingredients). Basically she suggests you take the contents of the bun (throw away the center bun, and reserve the outer bun). Chop the contents (meat, lettuce, cheese and secret sauce) and set aside. Saute some peppers, celery and onion then add the chopped big mac contents, add tomato paste, beans and ketchup etc. and pile it on 4 hamburger buns (3 of which you obviously needed to go to the grocery store to get).

The next 3 pages hold similar recipes turning:
A KFC two-piece meal into Asian Chicken Salad for 4.
A BK Big Fish Sandwich into Hawaiian Lettuce Wraps for 4.
A TacoBell 1/2 - pound Combo Burrito into Tortilla Soup for 4.

I have to tell you how the author of the article, Ellie Kreiger is described on her own website www.ellie.com : "New York Times bestselling author and James Beard Foundation and IACP award winner Ellie Krieger helps people of all ages achieve balance in food, health and life, and have joy right at their fingertips. She is a registered dietitian and host of a hit show, "Healthy Appetite," on Food Network."

Sorry Ellie, I don't find anything healthy about taking actual fast food and remaking it into a healthful version for four.

The reader would obviously have to go to the grocery store to get all those extra ingredients anyways, so all that they are buying at the Fast-food chain is the burger/fish/taco meat/chicken & sides - why not get fresh ingredients at the grocery store while you are there?

The article boils down to that Ellie is making suggestions of how to transfer the flavor of fast food into a more healthful dinner. She also includes all the necessary nutritional information per serving for each remake recipe. Thanks Ellie, that makes me feel so much better.

So America, has it come down to this? We need to emulate fast-food flavors in order to get our family to eat a homecooked meal?

Am I out of line? What do you think!?!

PS. I keep thinking that the registered dietitians play a significant factor in the current abysmal quality of school lunches. This article really slams that home.

The actual recipes are online (Thanks to: Edible San Francisco for finding them! )

Sloppy Joes

Tortilla Soup

Asian Chicken Salad

Hawaiian Fish Lettuce Wraps

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