Microwave Macros with Ryan Pye #1

Microwave Meals Can Be a Tasty Option

Hey y’all! I know many of you are busy folks. Heck, everyone I know says they are busy. While the team here at Xplore Nutrition would love for you to eat a home cooked meal with locally sourced, sustainably raised, and seasonally appropriate foods every time you eat, we also live in the real world and know that is not going to happen.

There are many approaches on how to handle “macros on the go” when you just can’t sit down and prepare things, including:

  • Meal prepping a handful of meals at once (highly recommended).

  • Having a few "go to" meals you can get from a local restaurant or even a chain that you know fits your macros.

  • And having stuff that is super easy to prepare (like opening it and pressing "3" on your microwave).

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a microwavable meal you can purchase at a grocery store and stick in the freezer for situations where you just don’t have the time, energy, or desire to have a lengthy meal preparation before you eat (and maybe you already ate your meal prep stuff).

Caveat: I haven’t had any of these before I buy them to review, so there may be stuff out there that is better quality or tastes better than what I review each week. Feel free to chime in with things that work for you!

Microwave Macros #1 - Healthy Choice Barbecue Seasoned Steak with Potatoes

I am not a food critic, so I am going to approach this very “every man” style. Basically how does it taste, how filling is it, how would the macros fit for most folks, and whatever else pops in my head. Here we go!

Nutritional Information - 260 calories, 3.5g of fat, 39g of carbohydrates, 4g of fiber, and 17g of protein per serving (one container - 269g).

Taste:

It surprises me to say this (well that’s not true, I knew I was going to say it…), I guess I should say it surprised me to think this when I ate it but I found it tastes pretty good! It had a barbecue “marinade” that I thought had good flavor. The potatoes and meat were a good texture (they weren’t mushy) and I love steak and potatoes, so this was aimed right at me. I would be okay if I was served this (taste wise) at a chain-type restaurant. It wasn’t something I would be excited about there but I would have had no complaints.

Quantity:

The “meal” is 9.5oz total and 260 calories, so I wasn’t expecting Thanksgiving Dinner (or lunch, whichever is your thing). I had a smoothie for a late 2nd breakfast (my day starts at 4am, so my meals are often at a weird time) that was pretty filling. I had this dish for lunch about 3 hours after the smoothie. It was the right amount of food for me at the time. However this couldn’t be a standalone meal for me (I’m a bigger dude) and probably shouldn’t be for anyone.

Macros:

The macros were 17g of protein, 39g carbohydrate, 3.5g fat (260 calories). There was a good chunk of sodium, if you are tracking that, (470mg) but it was less than I would have guessed for a “meal” like this. Speaking to the quantity above, this could be made a meal for most people by filling in with somethings they need. On a training day, something like a 0% Fat Greek Yogurt would take your macros for the meal to 32g protein, 54g carbohydrate, 3.5g fat (380 calories). Not bad for an impromptu lunch. That gives you the chance to have a bar or something right before or during training, and leaves room for a recovery shake after. If you are on an off day, adding more fats and protein would be the move. Avocado or some almonds would be good. This microwavable meal plus a protein shake with some peanut butter would be great as well.

Conclusion:

I think this cost somewhere between $2.50-$3.00. You could do much better meal prepping for $3 (plus whatever else you spent to round out the meal if you had the Healthy Choice microwave meal above). However, it seems reasonable and having one (or something like this) in the freezer gives you a solid back-up plan. It was also super easy to make, but hopefully all of these are, and it is pretty time efficient as it takes like 4:00 to heat up. The taste was pretty good and was way less “microwavy” than I thought it would be. I will probably stock one of these in the freezer for JIC (Just in Case) moments in the future. Overall, if you are in the market for something like this I’d suggest giving this one a shot!

This blog was created by Xplore Nutrition coach, Ryan Pye.