Let’s kick off with an easy recipe! As I mentioned in my introduction post, a plain hamburger has 500 calories. On the set meal you will enjoy five different flavors and textures. Look at colorful dishes. It means that you are eating many different vegetables. Can you count how many there are? There are at least nine vegetables used for the set meal!
Grilled Peanut Butter Chicken Set Meal 494 Calories
All recipes are made for 2 servings. This printable recipe box will allow you to change the serving size to adjust the recipe.
The main dish is grilled peanut butter chicken. Everyone has a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard. Peanut butter is not just for your PBJ. This nutty flavored chicken is easy to prepare. Always salt chicken and leave for 10 to 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to remove water from chicken. This step is important so that the meat gets cooked and the sauce doesn’t get watery. Choose chunky peanut butter for texture. If you don’t have Japanese sake, you can use cooking wine. You will discover how easy it is to cook meats with a toaster oven! I use 450 F degrees on toast setting. Benefits of using a toaster oven are 1) you do not need oil to cook meats. 2) you do not need to flip over meats to cook each side. 3) it is easy to clean by placing aluminum foil over toaster oven tray.
Move to the side dish, coleslaw with soy sauce dressing. This dish requires lots of chopping vegetable, but you get rewarded to enjoy different fresh chunky vegetables. But try to make your own salad dressing as store bought ones have about 70 calories per tablespoon. You can use your salad dressing if it is in low calories or non-oil. My recipe has three ingredients only. They are 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of soy sauce and 2 tsp of vinegar. Except cabbage, the rest of the vegetables can be optional. Use whatever you like to add or subtract if you don’t have the vegetables. Keep track what vegetables you have in your refrigerator. Do not keep them too long as vegetables lose nutrients even though they are kept in a refrigerator.
The other side dish, sautéed broccoli is simple and delicious. At my childhood my mom made me eat steamed broccoli every day for breakfast (she still does!). I was tired of it. Adding your favorite mushroom and sautéing with butter and soy sauce will do magic. If you like well-cooked soft broccoli, boil it for a minute before sautéing. Just so you know, butter has less calories than olive oil. Use butter when you cook vegetables, meats and eggs to enhance flavor!
Finally, enjoy tasty healthy soup for just 20 calories! Like coleslaw add any vegetables you want and subtract if you don’t have. When I don’t have time, I like to use frozen mix vegetables that have carrots, corns and peas. I also like to use leafy greens such as spinach or kale. Make sure you don’t overcook leafy vegetables. Bring to boil after adding last vegetable and turn off heat. Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook with residual heat. Mushrooms are hard to keep fresh so when I buy mushrooms I use it for different dishes for the same set meal just like I used them for the sautéed broccoli and vegetable soup.
Forget about instant rice such as Minute Rice. We love Japanese tasty and sticky rice. Each 500 calories set meal comes with 100g of steamed rice. Not eating bread is a big change for some of you. Bread is not an option for a dish in the set meal. A plain slice of bread may be lower in calories, but you normally smear butter or jelly. Also eating rice makes you feel full and the fullness lasts longer because your blood sugar level goes up slower than when eating bread. You will need to cook rice in a rice cooker or in a heavy gage pot. And measure cooked rice for 100 grams. It seems a lot of work. Don’t worry. You don’t have to cook rice every day. I will show you how to make your cooking life easier. Read more How To Cook And Store Japanese Rice.