For some, the best recipes are the ones that get them out of the kitchen—fast. And for most, this type of grab-and-go eating often means you're not putting something particularly nutritious together.   

You’re busy—we get it. And unless you’re training for the farmers’ walk event of your local strongman contest, you probably don’t want to carry 20 bags out of the grocery store, either. So this menu plan is for you. Below you'll find nine no-hassle meals and three nutritious snacks, all under 500 calories. 

Better yet, they'll get you out of the kitchen and eating your food in under 15 minutes. Start the clock.

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Breakfast

1. Berry-Granola Parfait
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 6 oz plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 whole-grain granola bar

Make It: 

  1. Put blueberries in a glass.
  2. Pour yogurt over blueberries.
  3. Crumble granola bar over yogurt.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 225
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbs: 34g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Total prep time: 2 minutes

2. Breakfast Tacos
Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp salsa
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute

Make It:

  1. Spread salsa on tortillas, then sprinkle with cheese. Nuke until cheese melts.
  2. Warm a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, add liquid egg substitute, and stir until eggs are cooked. Serve eggs up equally onto tortillas.
  3. Fold tortillas and eat.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 224
  • Protein: 19g
  • Carbs: 25g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Total prep time: 15 minutes

3. Three-Berry Oatmeal
Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

Make It:

  1. Cook oats according to package instructions.
  2. Stir yogurt, berries, and protein powder into oats and serve.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 416
  • Protein: 38g
  • Carbs: 49g
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Total prep time: 2 minutes

*Healthy-Eating Tip:
Look for yogurt that says “live and active cultures” on the packaging. This means it contains probiotics, or “good” bacteria, which shield your digestive tract from harmful microorganisms that can inhibit nutrient absorption. Yogurt is also loaded with muscle-building protein and low-glycemic carbs to keep hunger at bay and allow for all-day energy.

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Lunch

1. Orange Avocado Chicken Salad
Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 cup orange segments
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • 3 tsp pared red onion
  • 1/8 tbsp cilantro-lime vinaigrette

Make It:

  1. Broil chicken breast, and dice when cooked.
  2. Throw greens, orange, avocado, onion, and chicken into salad bowl.
  3. Toss with vinaigrette.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 367
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Fat: 24g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Total prep time: 12 minutes

2. Blackened Salmon Po’ Boy Sandwich
Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp Cajun spice
  • 1 tbsp low-fat mayo
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz salmon fillet
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 6-inch whole-wheat ciabatta
  • 2 thick slices tomato
  • 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage

Make It:

  1. Heat a nonstick skillet on high for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir 1/2 tsp Cajun spice with mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Drizzle both sides of salmon with olive oil, sprinkle with rest of Cajun spice, and place on skillet for 2 minutes each side.
  4. Cut ciabatta lengthwise and spread with mayonnaise mixture.
  5. Place salmon on ciabatta, top with tomato and cabbage, and close sandwich.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 518
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 30g
  • Fat: 32g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Total prep time: 15 minutes

3. Chicken Burrito
Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup asparagus
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 tbsp Swiss cheese

Make It:

  1. Broil chicken breast for about 7 minutes.
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions.
  3. Steam asparagus.
  4. Dice chicken, asparagus, tomato, and avocado.
  5. Put rice on wrap and top with chicken, veggies, and cheese. Fold and serve.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 490
  • Protein: 37g
  • Carbs: 54g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Total prep time: 9 minutes (if rice is the microwaveable kind)

*Healthy-Eating Tip: 
Lycopene—a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes—can reduce your risk of prostate cancer by almost 35%.

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Dinner

1. Mixed-Pepper & Chicken Pasta
Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless and skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/8 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/8 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup tomato pasta sauce

Make It:

  1. Broil chicken breast, and dice when cooked.
  2. Cook pasta as directed on package; add chicken.
  3. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat, add bell peppers, and cook until tender.
  4. Stir pasta sauce into skillet, let simmer for 5–10 minutes, and serve over pasta.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 456
  • Protein: 36g
  • Carbs: 54g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Total prep time: 15 minutes

2. Spicy Tilapia
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1/4 pound tilapia fillets
  • 3/4 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 scallion, sliced

Make It:

  1. Sprinkle 5-spice powder onto both sides of tilapia fillet.
  2. Mix brown sugar into soy sauce in a small bowl.
  3. Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add oil, followed by tilapia; cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Flip tilapia over and reduce heat to medium, adding soy mixture to pan.
  5. When sauce reaches a boil, add scallion, and remove skillet from heat.
  6. Plate tilapia and drizzle with pan sauce.

The Numbers:

  • Calories:175
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbs: 17g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Total prep time: 15 minutes

3. Broiled Seasoned Salmon
Ingredients:

  • 6 oz salmon fillet
  • Pinch each oregano and pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette

Make It:

  1. After seasoning the salmon with oregano and pepper, drizzle with lemon juice and place on broiler for about 5 minutes (it’s cooked when fish pries apart with a fork).
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions.
  3. Place spinach and diced tomato in a bowl and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
  4. Place salmon and rice on a plate and serve with a side salad.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 743
  • Protein: 45g
  • Carbs: 52g
  • Fat: 39g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Total prep time: 7 minutes (if rice is the microwaveable kind)

*Healthy-Eating Tip:
Brown rice is packed with fiber to keep your digestive system healthy and regular. It also helps keep arterial cholesterol under control.

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Snacks
1. Guacamole and Chips

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped tomato
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Dash hot pepper sauce (optional)

Make It:

  1. Cut tortillas in quarters and place in a single layer on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 400˚ until crisp and slightly brown.
  2. Peel avocado and mash in bowl. Combine with onion, tomato, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce to taste.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 508
  • Protein: 16g
  • Carbs: 80g
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Total prep time: 8 minutes

*Healthy-Eating Tip:
Peel your avocados by hand. The dark green flesh nearest the skin holds the highest concentration of cell-protecting carotenoids.

2. Spicy Kale Chips
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kale leaves, cut into 3-inch pieces (ribs removed from stems)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika, hot pepper, or garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt

Make It:

  1. Toss kale leaves with oil, paprika, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Spread out leaves on baking sheet
  3. Bake in oven at 350˚ until crisp and edges brown.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 107
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbs: 13g
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Total prep time: 15 minutes

*Healthy-Eating Tip:
160: The percentage of your daily value of vitamin C you’ll get from the two cups of kale used in our Spicy Kale Chips recipe.

3. Peanut Butter Poppers
Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp fat-free milk
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp honey

Make It:

  1. Mix peanut butter, milk, sesame seeds, and honey together in a bowl.
  2. Roll into 1/2-inch balls.
  3. Chill in fridge for 5 minutes.

The Numbers:

  • Calories: 500
  • Protein: 19g
  • Carbs: 34g
  • Fat: 36g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Total prep time: 8 minutes

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