Save: 174 calories, 19 g fat, 7 g sat. fat

The key to re-creating the Big Mac is obviously perfecting the sauce. Some say it’s simply Thousand Island, but the clever folks at McDonald’s deserve much more credit for this masterpiece we crave.

In order to re-create the sauce, I had to ensure that I had a supply that I could taste on its own- away from the other great flavors this burger stacks. So I requested “extra on the side.” The friendly woman behind the counter didn’t flinch. She quickly produced a sundae cup half-filled with the neon, salmon- colored sauce. When I took a big sniff, all I could smell was a chemicalesque aroma. Tasting, on the other hand, yielded that wonderful flavor. Several tastings and I was convinced. The secret ingredient? Mustard. Simple yellow mustard. Add that and a pinch of sugar to a Thousand Island-style sauce, and you’ll be surprised how closely it resembles the real deal.

3 ounces 96% lean ground beef (about 1/3 cup)

2 pinches of salt

1 sesame seed hamburger bun + 1 bun bottom

1 slice (1/2 ounce) 2% milk yellow American cheese

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon McDonald’s Big Mac Sauce (see below)

1 teaspoon finely chopped white onion

1/3 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

2 rounds dill pickle

Divide the beef in half. On a sheet of waxed paper, shape each half into a 4″ patty. Season both sides with salt. Transfer the waxed paper to a plate. Place, uncovered, in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until drops of water sizzle when splashed on the pan. Place the patties in the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until no longer pink. Meanwhile, place the bun top and bottoms, cut-sides down, in the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, or until toasted. (If the pan is not large enough to hold the patties and the buns, first cook 1 patty with the bottom bun and then start assembling the sandwich while the others cook.) Just before the patties are cooked, place the cheese on 1 patty.

Place 1 bun bottom on a plate. Spread on 1 tablespoon sauce. Place the cheeseburger, cheese-side down, on the bun. Spread 1 teaspoon sauce on the second bun bottom and place, sauce-side down, on the cheeseburger. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon sauce, the onion, lettuce, pickles, the remaining burger, and the bun top.

Makes 1 serving

386 calories, 26 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 3 g sat. fat, 2 g fiber

Original McDonald’s Big Mac: 560 calories, 25 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates,

30 g fat, 10 g sat. fat, 3 g fiber

Drive-Thru: It’s easy to throw together a Big Mac-like burger in minutes once you have the sauce made. So to save time, make a big batch of the sauce, omitting the onions (they are the only ingredient that will spoil quickly). Refrigerate the sauce in a plastic container for up to 1 month. When you’re ready to enjoy a burger, simply add the correct quantity of onion to the amount of sauce you’re using.

Even Better: Save time and calories by omitting the second bun bottom and simply making 1 patty instead of 2 with the 3 ounces of beef. This way, you’ll need only 11/2 tablespoons of sauce. You’ll be left with a more nutritionally balanced burger. Plus, you’ll still have room for some fries or a side salad, all the while still enjoying that great Big Mac flavor . . . in minutes.

The revised version will have 310 calories, 24 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat,

1 g sat. fat, and 1 g fiber. You’ll save 250 calories, 21 g fat, and 9 g sat. fat over the original.

Reprinted from Fast Food Fix by Devin Alexander (c) 2006 by Devin Alexander. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 848-4735. www.devinalexander.com

 Photo Credit: Lisa Cohen

McDonald’s Big Mac Sauce

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 teaspoons dill pickle relish

2 teaspoons ketchup

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon finely chopped white onion

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, sugar, and mustard. Stir to blend well. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Stir in the onion just before serving.

Makes about 2/3 cup, enough for 4 servings

Each serving: 49 calories, trace protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, trace sat. fat, trace fiber

Reprinted from Fast Food Fix by Devin Alexander (c) 2006 by Devin Alexander. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 848-4735. www.devinalexander.com

 Photo Credit: Ben Fink

Originally posted on www.devinalexander.com


Devin Alexander

Media Personality, Healthy Comfort Food Chef, Weight Loss Expert, and New York Times Bestselling Author, Devin Alexander, is the Chef of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and the author of 8 cookbooks including “The Biggest Loser Cookbook” Series and “The Most Decadent Diet Ever”.

Devin’s unique approach to healthy cooking and her motivational personal story have landed her regular appearances on talk, news, weight loss and fitness shows for over a decade, making her America’s Go-To Expert for decadence without consequence.  Devin has shared her secrets through frequent appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Biggest Loser, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, The View, FOX, CNN, and others, and through over 500 magazine features including Prevention, Men’s Health and Shape. She’s coached thousands of pounds off others and has maintained her own 70-pound weight loss for over 20 years. She truly lives and eats her message: you don’t have to deprive yourself to be fit and healthy.

For inspirational tips and guilt-free recipes visit her at www.devinalexander.com.

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McDonald’s: Big Mac