These breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes are ideal for those days when you want a nutritious, homemade meal. With fewer than 10 ingredients and 500 calories or less, these ideas are simple, healthy and made for busy people looking to stay healthy.
- 1 1/2 cups (354 ml) cooked brown rice
- 1 strip bacon, chopped
- 1 cup (236 ml) frozen mixed vegetable medley, thawed
- 3/4 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground ginger
- 1/4 tablespoon (3.75 ml) reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 large (50 grams) egg, beaten
- Hot sauce, to taste
Prepare brown rice according to package instructions. Set aside.
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook for 5–7 minutes until crispy. Remove the bacon from pan and set aside.
To the same skillet, add vegetables, garlic and ground ginger, and stir-fry in the bacon grease. Allow vegetables to cook for 3–5 minutes until tender. Then, add the rice and soy sauce, and stir-fry for another 3–5 minutes.
Push the rice to the sides of the skillet to make a large well. Pour the eggs into the well and scramble. When the scrambled eggs are fully cooked, turn the heat to high and stir-fry for another 2–3 minutes allowing the fried rice to sizzle.
Fold in the bacon bits, and add hot sauce to the your desired level of spiciness.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 481; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 212mg; Sodium: 460mg; Carbohydrate: 78g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 18g
2. SWEET APPLE & MUSTARD CHICKEN
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) whole-grain mustard
- 1/4 tablespoon (2 ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml) apple-cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.2 ml) honey
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped parsley
- 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch black pepper
In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine the mustard, olive oil, applesauce, vinegar, honey and parsley. Add the chicken breast and marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to overnight, if desired.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Season with salt and pepper.
Grill the chicken breast until cooked through or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F (74°C), 4–6 minutes per side.
If you don’t have a grill, bake the chicken breasts in an oven preheated to 400°F (204°C). Bake the chicken for 30–40 minutes, until completely cooked through and opaque.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 286; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 105mg; Sodium: 477mg; Carbohydrate: 8g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 38g
- 2 slices uncooked center-cut bacon
- Juice and zest of 1/4 lemon
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 large basil leaves, finely chopped
- 2 large bibb lettuce leaves
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 large hard-boiled egg, peeled and sliced
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
Cook bacon to desired doneness. Set aside on paper towels to drain excess fat.
Grate 1/4 teaspoon zest from the lemon into a small bowl. Squeeze about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice into the bowl. Stir in mayonnaise and basil.
Spread 1/4 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on each lettuce leaf. Top evenly with tomato, egg and bacon. Sprinkle with pepper and wrap leaves around filling.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 280; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 207mg; Sodium: 464mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 12g
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pizza sauce
- 1 (1-ounce or 30 grams) mini reduced-calorie pita bread
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 3 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 leaves of basil, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400°F.
Spread 1/2 tablespoon pizza sauce on top of pita. Sprinkle evenly with basil. Add cheese. Arrange tomatoes, peppers and onion evenly on top.
Bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese melts and vegetables are tender. Garnish with more basil leaves, if desired.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 104; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 9mg; Sodium: 203mg; Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 6g
- 1/2 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml) fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.2 ml) ground cumin
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 (8-inch or 20-cm) whole-wheat tortilla
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Combine tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, cumin and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
Lightly coat one side of the tortilla with cooking spray. Place tortilla, sprayed side down, on a baking sheet. Top half of the unsprayed side with with chicken and cheese. Fold tortilla in half.
Bake 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut into two wedges. Serve with 1/2 cup salsa.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 358; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 85mg; Sodium: 616mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 11g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 38g
6. MANGO-PINEAPPLE YOGURT BOWL
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup (236 ml) plain low-fat yogurt
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) pineapple, fresh or frozen, diced
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) mango, fresh or frozen, diced
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) toasted walnut pieces
In a nonstick pan, toast coconut flakes over medium-high heat until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Assemble yogurt bowl by layering plain low-fat yogurt, pineapple and mango chunks. Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes and walnut pieces.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 334; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 172mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 32g; Protein: 16g
- 2 large (50 grams each) eggs
- 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) butter
- 3 cups (710 ml) baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated Parmesan
- Pinch of salt, if desired
- Pinch of pepper, if desired
Crack eggs into a medium-sized bowl. Add salt and pepper and whisk until well combined.
Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add butter, melt and add spinach. Cover and cook until wilted, about 2–3 minutes.
Add the whisked egg to the spinach, and allow eggs to cook. Stir occasionally until eggs are set, about 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan over the eggs and serve.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 237; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 390mg; Sodium: 714mg; Carbohydrate: 4g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 19
8. EGG & BEAN BREAKFAST BURRITO
- 2 large (50 ml) eggs, scrambled
- 1 large (12-inch) whole-wheat tortilla
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) canned black beans, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) salsa
Crack eggs into a glass bowl and whisk until yolk and white are well combined.
Pour the eggs onto a nonstick pan and scramble them on stovetop over medium heat. Move the eggs around to cook. Remove the eggs when they’re still slightly wet and set aside.
Rinse your canned black beans to get rid of excess sodium and set aside.
Lay the tortilla on a flat dish. Layer the eggs, beans and salsa. Roll the burrito and slice in half. Serve immediately.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 267; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 423mg; Sodium: 408mg; Carbohydrate: 23g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 18g