If there are two things we millennials love, it’s ridiculously unsustainable fads and Instagram-worthy food. For that reason, it seems like everyone and their broke roommate are dabbling in the food prepping trend. But those delicate plates of kale-based salads paired with three orange slices just don’t cut it for the average Oklahoman. Being that we live in the south (Midwest? Armpit?) of the United States, we need REAL food to get us through the day. So here are 500 calorie meal prep ideas for REAL Oklahomans!
Make Familiar Recipe Alterations
With a few alterations here and there, it’s actually pretty easy to make almost any dish under 500 calories. Take a meal of chicken fried steak and corn on the cob, for example. All you have to do is refrain from buttering the corn, battering the steak, making gravy, or frying it all together and you have a healthy meal no one in the family will enjoy.
Plan Simple Meals
Put five and a half tablespoons of mayonnaise in a container. Bam. 500 calories. You’re welcome.
Experiment with Flavors
A standard 8-ounce can of a Bud Light Lime-A-Rita consists of about 240 calories. Pair one of these bad boys with a couple of 100-calorie packs of Gold Fish crackers for a filling meal. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, pair a Lime-A-Rita with another Lime-A-Rita for an easy 500 calorie combo.
Prep a Weekly Dish
An easy way to meal prep for a whole week is to make a large dish of one thing and divide it evenly across 5 containers. Some meal preppers may opt to whip up a big pot of low fat stew or boil enough chicken to supply 5 days of even sadder lunches than usual. But why would you do that when 1 pecan pie split into 5 pieces is an option? It’s a 1 dish meal guaranteed to give you all 500 calories without any of the existential dread that comes from eating boiled chicken.
Eat Out Sometimes
At times, even the strictest meal preppers want to eat out. But just because you’re relying on someone else to do the cooking, it doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead! For example, you can get all 500 calories at McDonalds by ordering a small milkshake and not finishing it. Or you can order a grilled chicken sandwich from Whataburger and only eat half of it. Save your leftovers to reward yourself at snack time for only eating 500 calories at lunch.
Make it a Group Effort
In meal prepping, it’s easy to get burned out in the process if you eat the same thing over and over and over again. To keep things exciting, start a meal planning group and take turns bringing lunch each day! This is all fun and games until someone forgets that it's their day and you all spend your lunch hour eating 500 calories worth of the HR lady's candy bowl.
Have a Cheat Day
An excellent way to budget calories is ask your grandma to cook you lunch. Everyone knows that calories eaten at a grandma’s house don’t count. It’s science.
Don't do anything Hayley says. She likes queso too much to be a meal prepper. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek