Options for lunch on the go

A fun hobby of mine (don’t look at me that way. It’s not like yodeling this time) is shopping restaurant menus for ketogenic, diabetic friendly food options.

They’re there; you just have to know where to look. While restaurants aren’t always the healthiest way to go for lunch (especially if you’re new to trying to figure this whole sugar free, low processed carbohydrate thing out), it certainly doesn’t have to hinder your progress (or lunch or dinner). There are, as an example, three ways to enjoy a burger where a salad is offered as a side salad option. Here I chose Burger King as my restaurant to illustrate (I am not being compensated and am not affiliated with the company in any way. Disclaimers are fun):

Meat Patty + Toppings

This is obviously easiest since tossing the buns and grabbing a fork is easy peasy lemon squeazy. The bonus here is enjoying your food unfettered and pretty much determining right away which restaurants make the best burger sans bun (it’s surprising how much the bun dresses up some sandwich patties flavor-wise).

Tip: On the road? Keep the buns as for two reasons: 1. It’s an insulator, keeping the meat patty warm until you get home (assuming a 10 minute or so trip); and 2. Cheese tends to stick to the wrapper more than to the bun (assuming a 10 minute or so trip). If traveling a longer distance and/or you plan to reheat your patty, ask for bun-free at the counter.

Meat Patty + Oopsie Roll

Oopsie roll cradles the beefy splendor of a beefy bacon burger. Plus salad

Oopsie rolls (recipe). If you haven’t heard of them by now, they were an accident in my kitchen in 2008, stemming from a marvelous kitchen error (hence the name). These rolls are easy to use, travel well when bagged (to retain some of their moisture), and have been with me everywhere, from Red Robin to Wendy’s to Burger King (pictured above). I am a ‘hold it in your hand’ kind of girl, so nothing, for me, is quite as wonderful as having a bun for my burgers. And since each oopsie roll is only .75 carbs per roll, you can afford to use two for those beefy hand grabs.

Tip: Make oopsies the day before and let them rest in a lightly sealed bag for even better portability and sturdiness.

Meat Patty + Side Salad

Side salad with burger beef crumbles. I added a bit of extra cheese shred to bring the vavoom

More and more companies are offering side salads in lieu of French Fries with their meals (it might cost a wee bit more, so ask), so take advantage and go a little saladtacular. Chop up your hamburger into small bites and crumble over your salad for beefy fabulosity and enjoy the best of all possible worlds. Be sure to check the carb contents of their dressings, and if there isn’t nutritional information, it’s better to skip it altogether. Chances are, with the beef patty pleasantries, you’ll enjoy all the flavor you can muster.

Tip: Want your salad to taste like a Big Mac? Combine a little Thousand Island Dressing with mayo (a 1:2 ratio works well here) and drizzle. If the restaurant offers both condiments, you can mix your own and make like a restaurant Julia Child + Bill Nye love child of lunch. Here’s my recipe for Thousand Island, just in case.

What are some of your favorite fast food tips? I’d love to know (and thousands more of your new best friends do, too).

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  1. If I am out and have to grab something to eat in the car/on the go I head to McDonalds and get a dry McDouble. The cheese is in the middle of the meat so no sticky mess. Its like having a cheese sandwich with meat buns!

    • I love the McDoubles! And, to boot, they’re only a few cents more than the cheeseburger–but with two patties. Great suggestion, Shelley!

  2. I am addicted to McDoubles. I’ve gotten pretty good at flipping it over and using the top bun as a plate if I’m driving. I am definitely making oopsie rolls though! A Whopper Jr is no good without a bun. 🙂

    • I agree with you! I couldn’t do the Whopper bunless. I like your idea, but I’m trying to picture you driving and flipping a burger for eat-ification. Be safe!

    • And here in Alb., I can get them as a Green Chili double with the green chili as an internal condiment……… Tripple Yummy. I keep a couple in my freezer when the “hungries ” attack hits. Thaw, heat, eat off of the bun.

  3. I can see a Reuben in my future!

  4. Your oopsie in the picture looks a little more “biscuit-like” than mine do. Is this a special recipe?

    • Hi, Lisa! I’m developing some new oopsie recipes, and that’s one of the prototypes. I am confident the standard oopsies will perform fabulously, but a girl is always looking to accessorize…

      • Oooo, can’t wait for your new twists! I have used the regular ones but they stick to my fingers. I’ve discovered that I should put the sticky part on the inside of the sandwich. Works much better!

        • Lisa, that is a great tip! I tend to have to use the rolls the next day after they’ve dried out just a tiny bit due to the same thing!

  5. I had the best chicken salad at Red Robin (not fast food I know but it was eating out!). Ordered their Simply Grilled Chicken Salad and had them hold the croutons, bread & dressing. I knew I was going there so I brought 2oz of shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled with Cayenne Pepper . Cut up the chicken, added the cheese and DELICIOUS! Made me feel normal to be able to eat out again.

  6. can you make these with home made cashew cream cheese? I can’t have dairy

    • Hi, Reva! I have never heard of cashew cream cheese, but you know what? I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, to be honest! I would try for a small-small batch: Just 1 egg + 1 ounce of your nut butter and see what you think.

  7. Carole M. says

    I also use the McDoubles for a great, cheap low-carb take-out lunch. I get two of them and a decaf coffee with half-and-half. The whole shebang is under 3 bucks, too. At Carl’s Jr. the other day (sounds as if we eat fast food all the time which is not true…mebbe 4 times per year), I had a Six Dollar bacon guacamole burger wrapped in lettuce. I find a lettuce-wrapped burger to be messy as all get out, so I ate it with a knife and fork. Absolutely delicious. At home I make my own “secret sauce” using tomato paste and mayo and diced dill pickle. Make a nice salad, top it with a cheeseburger patty and the sauce and it is as good as In’n’Out!

  8. I was skeptical when I found this on pinterest yesterday. I went home, fired up the grill and put on my turkey burgers. Next I went about making my oopsies. My O my was I surprised or what! My husband even ate his turkey burger on an oopsie bread. THANK YOU so much for sharing! I shall never be breadless and eating naked burgers again!!!

    • I am so glad you like the recipe! I know it’s kind of a weird combination of ingredients. I know the original Revolution Rolls were cottage cheese and soya powder which was… ew…

  9. There’s a few places that are doing bunless options – Red Robin and Hardee’s will both wrap your burger in lettuce, and Jimmy John’s does lettuce wraps for their subs. They are *fantastic*.

    • Awesome! I have heard (so take that for what it’s worth) that Red Robin is discontinuing the lettuce wraps. I sincerely hope not.

  10. Rebecca Foxworth says

    My go-to fast food is a Bacon and Cheese Angus Snackwrap at McDonald’s…lettuce wrapped, of course. The half-patty makes easier to wrap the lettuce all the way around the good stuff inside…less messy. I can even eat it while driving!

  11. My go to quick lunch out is a McDouble, no bun and a side salad. I top the salad with the McDouble and it’s what my daughter and I call our $2 lunch. Satisfying, filling and lc!!!

    • I love those fast food options. My weakness is the Baconator with the Caesar sidesalad from Wendys on an Oopsie. Though a fork and knife work, too.


  1. […] I like my cheeseburgers to be topped with bacon, big surprise there! https://yourlighterside.com/2012/05/options-for-lunch-on-the-go/ […]

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