A series of 50 less than 500 calorie dinners to help you shed weight whilst tantalizing your taste buds.
You promise yourself that you’ll start eating lighter to keep the pounds off but with not enough hours to do everything you need to in a day, reaching for the take out menu once you are back home becomes a habit you can’t forgo. Cooking can be fun so long as it involves minimal prep and cook time and the food tastes great. Nothing is more rewarding than eating a good meal packed with good nutrients at the end of a long day. To help you do that here’s a collection of less than 500 calorie easy meals to motivate you to inculcate your cooking habit into your lifestyle.
1. Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables
This is an easy recipe with minimum ingredients. The chicken provides protein while the broccoli and carrots give you the additional nutrients you need to sustain through the day. You can serve this as is or with brown rice, if you want.
Time taken- 40 minutes
Calories per serving- 400
Chicken breast- 2 pounds, chopped
Broccoli- 12 ounces
Garlic- 1 tbsp, chopped
Ginger- 1 tbsp, chopped
Carrots- 5, chopped
Crushed pepper- 1 tsp
Olive oil- 2 tsp
Salt- to taste
For the teriyaki sauce:
Honey- 4 tbsp
Cornstarch- 2 tsp
Ginger- 2 tbsp, chopped
Reduced sodium soy sauce- 4 tbsp
Water- 4 tbsp
Mix all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a bowl.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat and pour the contents of the bowl into it. Let it come to a slow boil and thicken for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep aside to cool.
In a wok on low flame, add the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn
Add in the chicken and carrots and cook until the chicken is tender.
While the chicken is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil. Add in the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once done, remove the broccoli and blanch it in cold water to retain the green colour.
When the chicken is almost cooked, add in the teriyaki sauce, crushed pepper and cooked broccoli and combine everything well. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes and turn off the flame. Taste and if you need salt, add.
Plate and serve.
2. Lemon & Garlic Chicken
This is absolutely easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. Half the time taken in cooking up this dish goes into the marinating time. If you want to save time, you can keep the marinated chicken in ziplock bags in the freezer and when you need a quick dinner, just remove, thaw and cook.
Time taken- 50 minutes
Calories per serving- 450
Chicken breasts- 3
Olive oil- 4 tbsp
Garlic- 1 tsp, minced
Lemon juice- 1 1/2 tbsp
Parsley flakes- 1 tbsp
Crushed pepper- 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste
In a ziplock bag, add all the ingredients. Seal the zip lock up and squish the ingredients around so it coats the chicken breasts nicely. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Once marinated, place the chicken on a baking dish and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Plate and serve.
3. Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese
This recipe is ideal if you are craving mac and cheese but don’t want to indulge in the calories. Broccoli slaw replaces the carb-filled pasta and gives you good flavour while maintaining a below 500 calorie meal. You can use any ready to use broccoli slaw mix available in the supermarket. Serve this as a meal in itself or as a side to a small serving of lean steak or grilled chicken.
Time taken- 40 minutes
Calories per serving- 312
Broccoli slaw- 2 cups
Cherry tomatoes- 5, sliced
Clarified butter/ghee- 1/2 tbsp
Gluten-free flour- 1/2 tsp
Unsweetened almond milk- 1/4 cup
Cheese of your choice- 1/2 cup, shredded
Water- 1/4 cup
Non Stick spray
Spray the non-stick spray on a skillet and place on medium heat on the stove.
Add the broccoli slaw, cherry tomatoes and water and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the slaw softens.
In the meantime, heat another skillet and melt the ghee.
Add the gluten-free flour and whisk until the flour and butter absorb into each other and thickens. Once thick, add the almond milk and whisk until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Add the cooked slaw into the sauce and mix together.
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