Making your own fast food

30 03 2009

img_1633My husband and I are big fans of KFC’s mashed potato bowls. For the uninitiated, the bowls are filled with mashed potatoes, then topped with bite-size pieces of crunchy chicken, corn, gravy and shredded cheese.

As much as we enjoy them, they are an infrequent treat in our household. At $4.99 each, they are bad for the wallet — not to mention bad for the waistline.

So I was quite proud of myself yesterday when it dawned on me I could make my own mashed potato bowls for a fraction of the cost.

I started with a rotisserie chicken I purchased at Harris Teeter. Since it was Sunday, rotisserie chickens are $4.99 instead of the usual $6.99. Lucky for me, I also had a $3 wine tag coupon, making my final price just $2. As I was picking the meat off the bone, I microwaved a bag of Steamfresh corn and started a bag of instant mashed potatoes on the stove. I got both items free, by the way, during triple coupon promotions.

I layered the items in deep soup bowls, sprinkling a little bit of shredded cheese on top and voila, we had our very own mashed potato bowls. (I omitted the gravy only because I didn’t have any on hand.)

They were delicious, if I do say so myself. And healthier. And very affordable. Besides the $2 chicken, I paid a few pennies for the sprinkling of cheese I used. That’s it. And I still have chicken left over for another dish.

Have you made any fast food facsimiles? I’d love to hear about it.

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6 responses

30 03 2009
sprchk

My husband can make an amazing Panda Express Orange Chicken.
I wouldn’t say it is easy or cheap, but boy, is it good!
Funny thing, it doesn’t even have orange juice or anything else orange in it.

30 03 2009
freetobefrugal

Hey Sprchk!
Does your hubby use a recipe he found, or does he wing it? How does the cost at home compare to the cost at Panda Express?
BTW, how fortunate you are to have a cooking husband!!

30 03 2009
Carolyn in NC

Hey if you want to further “lighten up” that KFC-like bowl, Hungrygirl.com suggests using one Morning Star Farm veggie burger (nuked and cut up) in place of the chicken which I also buy using q’s.

As for me, I’m always trying to copy restaurant food at home but I haven’t been successful with chinese-type meals until now. I found the Beefed Up Chinese Burrito recipe in the cookbook Cheap, Fast, Good and realized that I was missing two important ingredients that add tons of flavor; hoisen sauce and dark sesame oil. Made them this weekend and we ate the whole thing with no leftovers. I’m sure I’ll use those ingredients again.

30 03 2009
freetobefrugal

Great ideas, Carolyn. Now I’m definitely going to have to get Cheap, Fast, Good from the library.

3 04 2009
Mindy

Love this KFC bowl idea Amy! I’ll be giving it a try very soon! Sounds like something the kids would like also. 🙂

3 04 2009
freetobefrugal

They are definitely a winner. And a family-friendly favorite. Let me know how they go over in your house.

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