Top tier: Steamed yu choy/broccoli rabe; boiled Napa cabbage, both with sesame seeds on top for contrast, lightly salted
Bottom tier: blanched green beans and grape tomatoes mixed with a daub of mayo, masago, and hot sauce
The bottom tier is actually basically spicy masago dip mixed with grape tomatoes and blanched green beans. A sort of green bean salad with some interesting ingredients to bring a new dimension to it - I haven't made or eaten this before but thought it sounded good so here it is. If you don't want to use masago or can't find it, you can just use mayo & hot sauce of your choice, or really any number of things to change up the taste of plain blanched green beans!
So, today, while discussing a recent Happy Meal toy with a friend (neither of us has the toy nor gone to McDonald's in a while for health and weight reasons), I mused to her that once the 5k run she's training for currently has passed, we can go and have Happy Meals to get the toy she wants, and then I added, "It's probably less than 500 calories, right?"
Immediately after I said that, of course I got the urge to look up how many calories is in the standard Happy Meal. BEAR IN MIND I GREW UP BEFORE HAPPY MEALS HAD CHOICES besides "hamburger, cheeseburger, or chicken nuggets" - so these numbers are for the sides including the small soda and small fries ONLY. I don't care that I can cut out 50 calories by eating apple slices instead of fries or getting water or milk. Because to me, that isn't a Happy Meal, and negates the whole point of going to McDonald's (fries). Come on now.
A hamburger Happy Meal, containing a dinky little hamburger, small fries (which barely gets your tongue started on that taste for their fries... mmm), and a small Sprite (I don't know why it doesn't use Coke as the standard, but I'm pretty sure Sprite and Coke have the same number of calories per serving) contains 590 calories.
A chicken McNugget Happy Meal, containing 4 piece Chicken McNuggets, small fries and a small Sprite contains 520 calories.
You can bring it down to 390 if you get apple juice and apple slices with chicken nuggets, but seriously?!
The lunch above that I've packed, which surely will leave me way fuller than eating a hamburger Happy Meal, can't be more than I don't know, 300 calories? (I'm going light on the numbers because the vegetables were all cooked with basically water or chicken broth, low sodium/low fat, the most calories are coming from the mayo - light, which was half a tablespoon or so and can't be more than what, 40 calories? - I did a compare of calories in light mayo vs. mustard a while back and mustard was like 5 calories per serving and mayo was 35 or 40 - not enough to make me switch to mustard when I prefer mayo, although I will grant you that mustard has a lot more flavor - and veggies in general are light in calories. No idea how much is in the masago, though a quick Google search shows it isn't heavy calorically but cholesterol-wise, not so light. So it really shouldn't be that many calories. I should probably start measuring my food to get a better grasp though, yeah?) Anyway, my point is, I'm fairly outraged and horrified that Happy Meals are so calorie-packed. I know "Extra Value Meals" (in quotes because I don't believe there's ANY extra value there) are even worse, but this just really boggles my mind how such tiny food can hide within them so many darn calories.
Okay, I think I'm done ranting now :)
PS This is not fully vegetarian, but simply meatless. Yes, there's masago (fish roe) in there.