It doesn't matter what time of day you eat your biggest meal as long as your calories are working FOR you. The following meals have everything you could ever dream of and more! They are full of antioxidants to help you fight disease and protein to give you energy. The best part, they are all under 500 calories! Check them out:
1. Broccoli Slaw Stir-Fry
INGREDIENTSFor the stir-fry sauce: 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 2 tablespoons ginger, grated with microplane For the broccoli slaw stir-fry: 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil 1/2 red pepper, diced 1 zucchini, diced 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup baked or braised tofu 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 cups broccoli slaw (one bag of Trader Joe's) Sesame seeds, to garnish
- Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and fresh ginger in a small bowl. Mix well and refrigerate.
- Heat sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- Add the red peppers and zucchini, and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, tofu, and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring well to make sure the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add the broccoli slaw to the skillet, pour the soy-ginger sauce into the skillet, and stir to combine all the vegetables into the slaw. Continue stirring for about 4 minutes, or until the broccoli slaw starts to soften.
- Serve with sesame seeds and enjoy.
2. Slow-Cooked Mexican CasseroleCalories: 386
INGREDIENTS8 eggs 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped 1 pound bulk sausage, cooked and drained 1 red bell pepper, chopped 3/4 cup sliced green onions 2 cups low-fat Mexican blend cheese Cooking spray 9 corn tortillas 1/2 cup salsa, optional Pickled jalapeño slices, optional
- In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, and jalapeño with a whisk. Combine the sausage, chopped red pepper, green onions, jalapeño, and cheese in a separate bowl. Set both aside.
- Spray a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place 3 tortillas in a slow cooker, tearing, if needed, to cover the bottom.
- Top the tortillas in slow cooker with half of the sausage, bell pepper, green onion, and cheese mixture. Layer 3 tortillas on top, then top those tortillas with the rest of the sausage, vegetable, and cheese mixture. Top that layer with remaining 3 tortillas, tearing, if needed, to cover mixture. Pour egg mixture over tortillas.
- Cover, and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or on the high setting for 2 to 3 hours, or until temperature reaches 160°F and center is set.
- Serve with salsa, jalapeños, scallions, and whatever other toppings you wish.
3. Cauliflower Fettuccine AlfredoCalories: 300
INGREDIENTS1 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.
4. Sweet Potato Burger With Creamy Avocado SpreadCalories: 367
INGREDIENTSFor the burgers: 1 medium sweet potato 1/2 cup dry millet 1/2 cup rolled oats 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup corn 2 tablespoons olive oil 8 whole wheat hamburger buns For the cream sauce: 1 ripe avocado 3 ounces nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 Roma tomato, diced
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the sweet potato for 50-60 minutes or until soft.
- While the sweet potato is baking, cook the millet until soft, about 20-30 minutes.
- Once the sweet potato is baked and cooled, combine sweet potato, oats, one cup of black beans, cilantro, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil in a food processor. Mix until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sweet potato mixture with the remaining beans, the corn, and millet.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large pan on medium heat. Place heaping spoonfuls of the mixture onto the hot pan, and use the back of the spoon to pat them flat and form four-inch-diameter patties. Brown both sides of each burger.
- While the patties are cooking, mash the avocado with a fork. Mix in the Greek yogurt, lime juice, and salt. Stir in the tomatoes, and set aside.
- Serve on a bun with a dollop of avocado cream sauce.
5. Cream-Free Potato Leek SoupCalories: 255
INGREDIENTS5 cups veggie broth 2 large leeks, washed and sliced 1 onion, washed and sliced 1 clove minced garlic 1 cup cannellini beans 3 large russet potatoes, washed and diced 3 large carrots, sliced 1 cup frozen corn Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the veggie broth, leeks, onion, garlic, beans, and potatoes in a large pot and boil for 15 to 20 minutes uncovered, until the potatoes are soft.
- Turn off the heat, and purée using a handheld blender.
- Add the carrots and corn, cover the pot, and turn heat on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat off, and leave covered for another 10 minutes to soften the carrots. Season with salt and pepper, serve hot, and enjoy!
6. Paleo Stuffed PeppersCalories: 285
INGREDIENTS2 bell peppers, halved and cleaned 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1/2 large onion, diced Sea salt and black pepper, to taste 4 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned 1 pound ground turkey 6 basil leaves, finely chopped Extra basil leaves, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the bell pepper halves in a roasting dish face down for 10 to 15 minutes. (You can skip this step if you want to keep the peppers more firm or raw.)
- While the bell peppers are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions in coconut oil, adding sea salt and black pepper to taste, until they're translucent and slightly browned on the edges. Add the tomatoes and garlic, and simmer for about two minutes.
- Add the meat, and cook until fully done. Taste the mixture, and adjust seasoning to your liking. Mix in the chopped basil.
- Remove the peppers from the oven — they should be just a bit softened — and flip them over. Spoon the stuffing mixture into each one. You can go ahead and eat them at this point, or put them back in the oven for five to 10 minutes to allow the flavors of the bell pepper and the meat mixture to blend together more.
7. Panko-Crusted White FishCalories: 442
INGREDIENTSFor the fish: Olive oil cooking spray 1 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance spread, melted 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs 2 small halibut fillets 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley For the kale salad: 2 cups chopped curly kale 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a small dish, whisk melted Earth Balance, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt well. In a separate dish, make an even layer of panko breadcrumbs.
- Take one halibut fillet, and dip it in Earth Balance mixture. Flip the fillet and dip again so both sides are covered.
- Press the skinless side of the fillet into panko crumbs, then place the fish skin side down on prepared baking dish. Repeat with other fillet, then sprinkle both with fresh parsley.
- Place baking dish into the oven and cook for 13-15 minutes.
- While that's cooking, start the salad. Lightly drizzle chopped kale with extra-virgin olive oil, and massage kale with your hands. Keep massaging for 1 minute, and allow kale to sit for about 3 minutes.
- To make the dressing, mix Dijon, lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add the dressing to kale and toss evenly.
- To serve, prepare a small bed of half the kale salad and place fish right on top. Enjoy immediately.
8. Blueberry, Quinoa, and Kale Salad
INGREDIENTSFor salad 1 cup quinoa 1 bunch dino kale, washed and chopped (about 2 cups) 1 medium carrot, grated 1/2 cup sliced almonds 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved 1 cup blueberries, washed Toasted seaweed, such as nori, sliced thinly For dressing 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 1 tablespoon water
- Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining all ingredients into a blender and processing until smooth. Pour into a small jar with lid and set aside.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of dressing with the sliced kale in a large bowl, mix to coat leaves evenly, and set aside.
- When quinoa is cool, add to kale along with blueberries, almonds, carrot, and tomatoes. Mix to combine, adding more dressing if desired. Top with sliced noriand serve. Save any remaining dressing for later. Makes three servings of salad and approximately 10 tablespoons of dressing.
9. Mac and CheeseCalories: 285
INGREDIENTS1 package whole wheat macaroni or cavatappi, cooked 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash, boiled and pureed 1 cup low-fat organic milk 1 tablespoon organic butter or butter alternative 3 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt 1 cup part-skim sharp cheddar, grated 1/2 cup gruyère cheese, grated Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the butternut squash puree in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the milk, butter, and yogurt, and continue to stir until incorporated.
- When the puree begins to simmer, slowly start adding the cheeses, mixing the entire time. When all the cheese is melted and the sauce begins to thicken, season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Taste and season until the desired flavor is achieved.
- When the flavor is spot-on, stir in 1/4 of the macaroni at a time.
- When all the pasta is saturated with the cheese sauce, transfer the mixture to an oven-safe casserole dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven, and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot!
10. Healthy Chicken SaladCalories: 359 (including the bread!)
INGREDIENTS2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt 1/3 cup celery, diced 1/3 cup apple, diced 1/3 cup grapes, halved 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Dice poached chicken breasts and place in a large bowl. Mix in Greek yogurt until all the chicken is coated evenly.
- Add celery, apple, grapes, and almonds to the bowl and mix in.
- Enjoy immediately; store remaining chicken salad in fridge.