This sounds sacrilegious coming from a local, organic, whole food-type of person, but it dawned on me that maybe fast food is not such a bad idea in concept. The concept being that certain meals are meant to be prepared and eaten quickly. I don’t believe our culture ever was or will be at a point that every meal we eat will be slow, calm, and “mindful.”
As long as we have jobs, families, stress, hobbies and unexpected events, we will always be in need of some form of “fast food.” This is life. Now, defining “fast food” is where we find some conflict. It is argued that fast food is cheaper, involves less clean-up, tastes good and is even good for you. I’m certain I could argue against all these ideas, yet I could accept them as having a little merit (very little).
The one argument I will not tolerate, a popular one, says that one doesn’t have time to cook. If you say to me that you are just plain too lazy to cook, don’t view it as a priority and want to eat out, I can respect that. Saying that you don’t have time is simply not true. You may choose not to take the time or to prioritize other activities, but you do have the time.
Good food cooked quickly at home is not difficult and can be ridiculously quick.
Here are a few fast food suggestions.
❚ Salad: No other meal is so versatile, offers great health benefits and is as quick as salad. Think of salad greens as a blank canvas. Salads can contain fruit (dried or fresh), meats (bacon,
cooked chicken, ham), cheeses, nuts, almost any vegetable (raw or cooked), seeds, bread (think croutons) and even fish. Most of my salads are dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but even a homemade dressing takes all of five minutes to prepare.
❚ Eggs: There is a reason that eggs are a popular breakfast food. They can be cooked very quickly, take well to all sort of additions, boast many cooking methods and are very inexpensive. Consider adding herbs, onions, garlic, spinach, peas, potatoes, broccoli, avocado or asparagus. Meats and cheeses are also common additions and make for a more filling meal. Fried eggs topped with cheese, fresh herbs, olives and tomatoes takes as little as five minutes from start to finish.
❚ Baked Potatoes: If you want a hands-off meal, this is it. Potatoes take about an hour to cook in an oven at 350 degrees. While the potatoes bake, gather your toppings. Baked potatoes really start to shine with stronger flavored toppings, in my opinion. Consider salsa, any cheese, olives, greens, garlic, sour cream and butter (of course), bacon or ham, sauerkraut, toasted seeds, pickles, radishes, asparagus or anything that you fancy. With a wide range of toppings this has served as a standalone meal in our house.
Jake Lambrecht is the Urban Farm manager and culinary coordinator at Nourish Farms.