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Nice work. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. Find all the best restaurant recipes from Waffle House to Zaxby's here. New recipes added every week.

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    Did you know that Dave Thomas, the spokesman and founder of the country's third-largest hamburger chain, got his start in fried chicken with a famous Kentucky colonel? In 1962, Dave had an opportunity to turn around four failing KFC carryouts for an ownership stake in them. Dave worked hard and was eventually successful. He parlayed his new ownership into four more KFC restaurants, and in 1968 he sold them all for $1.5 million. Dave was a millionaire at age thirty-five. A year later, Dave opened his first Wendy's restaurant, and today the chain is over 5000 units strong. Pretty good for a guy who didn't finish high school.

    Here's my conversion of one of the best items on Wendy's bargain ninety-nine-cents menu that weighs in at 25 grams of fat. Let's knock this down to just eleven grams, using lean ground beef, fat-free mayo, and turkey bacon.

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–1
    Calories per serving–310 (Original–430)
    Fat per serving–11g (Original–25g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    In 1997, Wendy's announced its IPO—also known as the Initial Pita Offering—on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wendy's CEO Gordon Teter rang the bell to open the day of trading while Wendy's stock traders on the floor munched out on four varieties of the pita sandwiches, including this one, the Classic Greek Fresh Stuffed Pita.

    For our low-fat clone, well cut a gaggle of grams by making the dressing fat-free, and then well use low-fat feta cheese. Following this secret formula below, you can turn what is normally a 20-fat-gram sandwich into one that weighs in with only 2.5 grams.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–240 (Original–440)
    Fat per serving–2.5g (Original–20g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Publicity stunt alert. For one day in 1997, St. Petersburg, Florida, became "St. Pitas-burg" to celebrate the introduction of Wendy's Fresh Stuffed Pita sandwiches. Over 40,000 balloons formed a giant pita sandwich at a local Wendy's restaurant, while local residents and Wendy's staff learned the "art of eating a pita" from pita eating experts.

    The Chicken Caesar Fresh Stuffed Pita was one of those pitas introduced on that glorious day. See if you can figure how to eat this clone version, made with much less fat, all on your own.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–283 (Original–490)
    Fat per serving–5g (Original–18g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Some call them "whitey one-bite." They're also known as "sliders," gut busters," and "belly bombers." The cooking technique is unique to the chain, because it involves steaming the ground beef patties. Minced onions are placed on the grill, with a beef patty on top. The steam from the grilling onions rises up through the five holes in each thin patty so that the beef is thoroughly cooked without having to flip it over.

    Now you can use the same method, but with reduced-fat ingredients, to cook a lower-fat version of one of the country's first chain burgers.

    Nutrition Facts

    Serving size–2 burgers
    Total servings–8
    Calories per serving–310 (Original–310)
    Fat per serving–5g (Original–17g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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