The following meals are packed with nutrients — from energy-sustaining protein to disease-fighting antioxidants. They are all under 500 calories, meaning you’ll be full and satisfied afterward without sacrificing weight-loss goals.
1. Zucchini Noodles Aglio et Olio – Calories: 257
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon almond flour or almond meal
- 4 large zucchinis, sliced with a julienne peeler
First thing you need to do is to heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about two minutes. Add the coconut oil and wait until it’s melted and add the almond flour and a pinch of salt. Stir until it’s toasty brown, about two minutes. Remove the crumbs from the pan and save for garnish. Add the julienned zucchini noodles in the same skillet. Sauté them until just tender and turn heat to low.
Combine olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a new pan on low heat and stir with a spoon until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the zucchini noodles to garlic and oil mixture and toss and stir until they’re coated. Turn off the heat and add salt, black pepper and parsley. You can Sprinkle with almond flour crumbs before serving.
2. Cauliflower Rice – Calories: 278
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 thinly sliced small red chili
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 julienned large carrot
- 1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 cups cauliflower florets (one large head)
- 2 tablespoons coconut or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 sliced red onion, divided
- 4 minced cloves garlic, divided
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
Pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until finely chopped and heat one tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add two minced cloves garlic and 1/2 sliced red onion and cook, stirring, until tender, about six minutes. Add cauliflower and season with coarse salt. About six minutes, stir in vegetable broth and steam, covered, until broth has evaporated and cauliflower is tender. Later transfer to a bowl and cover.
Wipe pan and heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and add 1/2 sliced red onion and cook, stirring, until tender. Add garlic, ginger and two minced cloves and chili and cook one minute. Add carrot, broccoli florets and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until tender. Season with a sprinkle of salt, remove from heat and add lemon juice.
For every serving, top cauliflower with vegetables and sprinkle with one tablespoon cilantro and one tablespoon pumpkin.
3. Healthy Chicken Salad – Calories (with two slices of wheat bread): 359
- 1/3 cup celery, diced
- 1/3 cup apple, diced
- 1/3 cup grapes, halved
- 1/4 cup slivered almond
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached
- 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
Dice poached chicken breasts and place in a large bowl and mix in Greek yogurt until all the chicken is coated evenly. Add almonds, apple, grapes and celery to the bowl and mix in. Either enjoy it right a way or store remaining chicken salad in fridge. You can make 6 servings with the above recipe.