400 Calorie Dinners in 3 Steps or Less (Weekly Plan & Grocery List!)

400 Calorie Dinners in 3 Steps or Less (Weekly Plan & Grocery List!)

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Cooking is a creative hobby for me. I love to explore different ingredients, combinations and cuisines. I even challenge myself to use what I already have around the house and try to create something delicious. But when I want to follow a recipe, especially during the weekdays when time is more limited, I stick to recipes that are easy to make. This week’s delicious dinners contain around 400 calories and can be easily whipped up in three steps or less.

Your meal plan

Photographer: Brie Goldman, Food Stylist: Annie Probst, Prop Stylist: Gabe Greco

Contrary to popular belief, eating nutritious meals every day can be easy and delicious. And you don’t need fancy ingredients or hours in the kitchen to make it. The recipes I’m whipping up this week only require three steps or less and are packed with so many delicious flavors – you’ll be surprised how so little effort can result in something this tasty! And while these meals provide about 400 calories, I recommend listening to your hunger and fullness cues as well. We all have different calorie needs, so feel free to tailor these dishes to what works best for you. Let’s dive!

Creamy and cheesy salsas always make things better, and the salsa in Thursday’s Creamy Chicken Jalapeo Skillet is no exception. This chicken skillet features jalapeo peppers, chili peppers native to Mexico and Central America, characterized by their mild amount of heat. As strange as it sounds, even though I grew up in Mexico, I’m quite sensitive to spicy food. But the beauty of this recipe is that the cheese mix perfectly balances the seasoning and helps temper the heat. To round out the meal, I’ll serve the dish with a savory cob of corn, which adds satiating fiber to keep you fuller longer. It goes without saying that this is a 5 star recipe and for good reason.

Sunday: One Skillet Ground Cheese Chicken Noodles (410 calories)
Monday: Chickpea and Potato Hash (382 calories)
Tuesday: Quick Chicken Marsala on 1 cup cauliflower rice (406 calories
Wednesday: Potted shrimp with tomatoes and feta cheese with a side of 1 cup cooked quinoa (425 calories)
Thursday: Creamy Jalapeo Skillet Chicken Paired with a Corn on the Cob (426 calories)
Friday: Spicy red curry beef and rice topped with 1/3 avocado (407 calories)

Something sweet

Photographer: Rachel Marek, Food stylist: Holly Dreesman

No yelling “summer” more of ice cream sandwiches and the smell of sunscreen. These 5 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Sandwiches are so delicious and are a refreshing treat on hot days. This recipe uses frozen bananas and peanut butter to create that signature creamy ice cream texture—no real cream needed—and the chocolate chips add a deliciously sweet crunch. Although the sandwiches need over two hours in the freezer to reach the perfect texture, they only need 20 minutes of your time to make them.

Get the recipe: 5-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Sandwiches

What inspires me this week

Getty Images

If you think eating nutritious foods is expensive, think again! While it also depends on where and what you buy, a recently published study found that eating healthy can actually lighten the load on your wallet. This study published in Nutrients found that people following the Mediterranean diet could save about $1,500 a year. The Mediterranean diet focuses on lots of vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. So let’s come full circle; eating nutritious meals can not only be easy and delicious, but cheap too! For cheaper tips, check out Thrifty.

Find out more: Following the Mediterranean diet could save a family of four $1,500 a year, according to a new study

Wishing you all a great week, and if you have any questions or requests for future newsletters, please let me know by emailing ThePrep@eatingwell.com! Don’t forget to add a recipe review if you try one.

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