10 healthy meals that are under 500 calories and delicious!
My new year’s resolution was to really dedicate myself to having a healthier lifestyle and getting back to my pre-baby body. Which meant better diet and getting back into the gym. Jan 1, I went in full force and went on a strict diet and was doing tons of cardio. I’d initially lost about 8 pounds in the span of 5 weeks. I was happy and proud of myself, so I thought “you deserve a cheat meal!”. Depriving my body of all the foods it was SO used to was a HUGE mistake. After that first cheat meal I went on a binge of eating unhealthy foods, snacking WAY too much and I quit going to the gym. My body soaked in all the fatty foods I was eating, and I put 5 pounds back on in 3 weeks. Finally, I told myself it was time to get back on track and I decided this time I was going find ways to still eat the foods I love, and not deprive myself of all carbs. I spent a lot of time on google and social media platforms and learned all about substituting ingredients for healthier options and learning to eat in moderation! I was excited not to have to eat steamed veggies and bland chicken every day of the week! YAY!
Now, I still go to the gym 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day when that pre-workout just won’t wear off and I get to eat things that I love! This time around doesn’t feel so much like a strict diet that I’m going to break any minute and eat everything in sight. If you’re not a huge fan of the bland foods like me, that’s okay! Check out some of the recipes I follow by with slight modifications here and there when I want to substitute things out for a little bit of a healthier option. Best part about these mouthwatering meals is that they are each under 500 calories!
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn
- 1/3 cup salsa
- 2 tsp taco seasoning
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or green onions)
- 1 cup shredded cheese of choice
- 8 Low carb/high fiber wraps
- In a medium bowl, mix together beans, corn, salsa, taco seasoning, and cilantro.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-low heat, sprayed with cooking spray. Place one tortilla in the skillet, and scoop 1/2 cup of the filling onto the tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over the bean mixture, and place the second tortilla on top of the cheese. Press down on top tortilla lightly with the back of your spatula, so you can meld the tortillas together as the cheese melts. When the bottom tortilla begins to brown, flip the quesadilla over until both tortillas are lightly browned and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted. Cut into wedges if desired and enjoy!
Who knew that MyFitnessPal even offered recipes?! Well, I’m glad they do because I can’t wait to try this recipe!
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used 2% Fage)
- 1/2 tablespoon harissa (or other hot sauce of your choice; certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened brown rice cereal (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet or stone with parchment and a wire rack.
- In a shallow medium bowl, stir together the yogurt and harissa until well-blended.
- Place the brown rice cereal in a plastic baggie and pound/smash to crush. Once your cereal is crushed add it to a shallow bowl with the sesame seeds, parsley, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.
- Dredge the chicken tenders in the yogurt mixture, wiping off any access and then dip them into the brown rice cereal mixture. Roll until tender is covered completely. Place the cereal coated tenders on the wire rack on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and chicken is completely cooked through.
- Remove tenders from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
This meal is not only super simple and quick but amazingly tasty! I love to prepare this for work when I’m running a little behind or have too many things to do, this recipe from The Creative Bite is a lifesaver!
- 1 wrap
- ¼ c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. bleu cheese crumbles
- ⅓ c. cooked chicken, cubed
- 2 Tbsp. buffalo wing sauce
- ¼ c. broccoli slaw
- 2 Tbsp. celery, diced
- ⅓ avocado, sliced
- ⅓ c. tomatoes, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. red onion, diced
- Lay your wrap flat and spread with Greek yogurt. Top with bleu cheese crumbles. Toss the chicken in the buffalo sauce and layer it on the wrap with remaining ingredients. Wrap the sides toward the middle and roll up tightly. Cut in half and enjoy!
I was a bit skeptical of cauliflower at first, but I’m glad I got over my fears and tried it! It is such a great substitute for carb fueled food. I can’t wait to prepare this recipe from PopSugar for my family!
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces whole-grain fettuccine pasta (4 cups cooked)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Red pepper flakes, to garnish
- Fresh chopped parsley, to garnish
- In a stockpot, bring vegetable broth and water to boil. Add your cauliflower florets to the pot, and cook until tender (around 8 minutes). Reserve 1/2 cup of the broth the cauliflower was cooked in.
- Meanwhile, heat the ghee over medium-low heat in a small skillet. Add minced garlic, sautéing for 3-4 minutes, making sure it does not burn. Remove from heat.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook your fettuccine according to package instructions.
- Set up your blender or food processor. With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked cauliflower from the pot and transfer to the blender. Add the almond milk, reserved broth, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast to the blender. Blend well until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- After draining, return the cooked pasta to the pot, add cauliflower sauce, and mix until all the pasta is coated.
- Serve up among 4 plates or bowls (1 cup of cooked pasta in each), and garnish with fresh parsley and red pepper flakes if you wish.
Anything carbs are always delicious but aren’t always the healthiest option. But this recipe from The Recipe Rebel slay those myths!
- .75 lb Little Potatoes
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 green pepper chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 green onions sliced
- 4 thick slices bacon more if you’re using a thin cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Bake potatoes for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool completely and chop. (To save time, cook potatoes in the microwave for 5-8 minutes, checking every 3-4 minutes).
- Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13″ casserole dish.
- In a large bowl, stir together eggs, sour cream, salt, and milk.
- Stir in cheese, pepper, onions, bacon, and potatoes until combined. Pour into prepared casserole dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, until center is set. If edges are browning too quickly, cover with a piece of tin foil and continue baking.
- Serve with additional sour cream, bacon, green onions and cheese if desired.
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs for a GF option, try finely crushed GF tortilla chips!
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
- 1-2 bell peppers sliced
- 1/2 red onion sliced
- Buns, avocado, mayo, additional toppings to serve as desired
- In a large bowl, combine turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, seasoning salt, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and onion powder until just combined. Shape into 4-6 patties.
- Preheat pan or grill to medium heat and grease lightly. Cook burgers for about 4-5 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Top with cheese and let it sit until melted.
- Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Cook peppers and onions, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes until desired tenderness is reached (as crisp or tender as you like them!).
- Serve burgers topped with sauteed peppers on a bun (optional!) with desired toppings: avocado, mayo or sour cream, salsa, whatever you prefer!
Yet again, another one of my all-time favorite recipes is from The Recipe Rebel, but y’all this one is by far the most amazing thing I have ever tried!
Ingredients – (Chili)
- 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
- 1/2 large onion finely diced
- 1 large carrot peeled and shredded
- 1/2 bell pepper diced
- 2 stalks kale chopped (or a few handfuls of spinach)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 19 oz can black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed 540ml
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained 796ml
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Ingredients – (Biscuit)
- 2 cups flour all purpose or whole wheat
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder optional
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1/2-3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Chili in a large oven-safe skillet or dutch oven, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until browned. Add carrot, pepper, kale and chili powder and cook 2-3 minutes until veggies are softened. Add beans, tomatoes, ketchup and barbecue sauce. Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes so the flavors can come together. Meanwhile, make your biscuits.
- Biscuits in a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder. Cut butter into ½” cubes and add to the flour mixture, cutting in until crumbly. Stir in milk gradually, stirring in just enough that the dough comes together. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into biscuit rounds if desired (or just leave it as one piece).
- Place biscuits on top of chili mixture, lay a piece of tin foil over top (don’t tighten around the dish — this is only to prevent splatter in the oven. You don’t want it too steamy or your biscuits will be soggy) and bake for 10 minutes until light golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve.
Spaghetti squash was a scary thought to me at first. Every time I’ve seen it prepared it never really looks super tasty, but this recipe from PopSugar totally changed my mind!
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- Canola oil spray
- 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus 1 teaspoon grated parmesan as optional garnish
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut the spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Spray the center of both halves of the squash with cooking spray, and place the cut side up on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes.
- Remove the squash from the oven, and let cool. Once it’s safe to handle, scrape the flesh into a large bowl. Add the steamed broccoli florets to the bowl, and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the ghee on medium heat, and whisk in the whole wheat flour. Add the milk, and whisk quickly. Turn heat down to low, add the cheddar and 1/2 cup grated parmesan to the saucepan, and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the spaghetti squash and broccoli mixture, and toss until all the squash is covered.
- Dish into 4 portions, and top off with the salt and pepper to taste plus red pepper flakes and extra parmesan if you wish!
This recipe from Pop Culture had me sold once I read salmon & avocado!
- 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons blackened seasoning
- ½ cup plain, 0% Greek yogurt
- ½ avocado
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
- Place the chicken breasts and blackened seasoning in a large resealable bag. Seal and shake a few times to evenly coat the chicken.
- Lightly coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the yogurt, avocado, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt and pulse until smooth and creamy.
- To serve, top each chicken breast with 2 tablespoons of the creamy avocado sauce and garnish with ½ tablespoon green onions.
After trying the Mac & Cheese Spaghetti Squash, my whole mindset on the vegetable changed! This recipe from Recipe Runner is even better!
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
- 1/2 cup green enchilada sauce, use a gluten-free version to make this recipe gluten-free
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 4 ounce can be diced green chiles
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, I used a combination of both
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with foil.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, spray the inside with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet and roast until tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes before scooping out the strands with a fork and placing them in a bowl.
- Reserve the squash skins placing them cut side up back on the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Use your hands to squeeze out excess liquid from the spaghetti squash strands, then return them to the bowl.
- Preheat your oven to broil.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat stir together the enchilada sauce, green onion, green chiles, corn, cilantro and shredded chicken.
- Once the mixture is warmed through remove from the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt.
- Pour the enchilada filling in with the spaghetti squash strands and stir together until combined.
- Scoop the filling back into the spaghetti squash shells and top with the shredded cheese.
- Place the spaghetti squash back on the baking sheet and broil in the oven until the cheese is melted, then serve.