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Egg Muffins

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Calorie Crushers

Burning more calories each day than you take in can be part of a weight loss or management routine, but deprivation can be unhealthy — so it’s good to enjoy low-cal food to the fullest. These 40 dishes made from cheap, healthy whole foods combine a variety of textures and flavors for exciting meals and snacks. As a bonus, smaller portions lower a food budget.

Related: 26 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Mary Shustack contributed to this story.

Zucchini Parmesan
Nataliya Arzamasova/shutterstock

Zucchini Parmesan (52 Calories)

By omitting breading and unnecessary ingredients, the core of this simple dish shines through with enough calories to spare for a bit of marinara for dunking. Looking for other creative ways to prepare zucchini? Consider picking up a spiralizer, just one of the 24 Kitchen Accessories You Didn’t Know You Needed.

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (79 Calories)

Working protein into a dish for less than 100 calories is a feat, but mushrooms are one of the best options. This snack or light meal is stuffed with healthy and low-calorie spinach and tangy feta that is satisfying on many levels.

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Wonton Crunchies

Hummus (80 Calories)

This creamy dip comes in handy when watching calories but still need to participate in social gatherings — a quarter cup of this hummus is well below 100 calories. Stretching that with low-calorie celery and cucumber stalks makes it feel more plentiful.

Pickled Egg

Jalapeno Pickled Egg (88 Calories)

Corn & Mango Salad
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Egg Muffins
Celery, Onion & Orange Salad

Celery, Onion & Orange Salad (88 Calories)

Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Butternut & Red Pepper Soup
Zoodles - Zucchini Spirals at Noodles and Company
Zoodles – Zucchini Spirals at Noodles and Company by Tony Webster (CC BY)
chicken paillard and salad
chicken paillard and salad by Le Mai (CC BY-NC-ND)
Cauliflower Fried Rice

Fried Cauliflower With Vegetables (100 Calories)

Baked Apples
Dmytro Mykhailov/shutterstock
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Fruit & Yogurt
Billion Photos/shutterstock
Key Lime Pudding
Mocha Ice Pop
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (81 Calories)

A treat that can be indulged in guilt-free — it’s a relatively nutritious cookie, and oat flour helps keep the glycemic index low, which is good for anyone with blood sugar issues.

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Brenda Carson/shutterstock
Strawberry Smoothie
Banana Ice Cream
Cinnamon Oranges
Green Bean and Potato

Green Beans and Potatoes in Chunky Tomato Sauce (70 Calories)

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Healthy Steak Stir-Fry (95 Calories)

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean bland, as this Asian-influenced dish — complete with protein in the form of boneless beef sirloin steak — attests. Those who like a bit of zip will delight in the flavor combo of ginger root, a dash of steak sauce, garlic, and brown sugar. Those who love their veggies will savor the addition of broccoli and mushrooms, as well.

Healthy butternut squash and beans curry

Curried Winter Squash (100 Calories)

Pumpkin Muffin On A Vintage French Cooling Rack

Mini Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins (75 Calories)

If baked goods are your go-to splurge, you don’t have to feel shut out when watching your calorie intake. This recipe is lush with the creaminess of pumpkin and the salty-sweetness of butterscotch, and creates an ideal snack that’s less than 100 calories. More than 350 reviewers gave it an average of 4.5 out of five stars.

Homemade Green Kale Chips

Kale Chips (58 Calories)

Oat porridge with nuts and maple syrup for a breakfast

Salted Caramel, Low-Calorie Oatmeal (100 Calories)

Oatmeal isn’t always considered part of a low-calorie diet, but this recipe is a most-welcome interpretation of the breakfast staple, resulting in a 100-calorie oatmeal that brings something sweet to the table, too.

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

Shrimp and Mango Summer Dipping Rolls (75 Calories)

Shrimp, mango, and fresh mint combine so well, you may not crave those classic fried egg rolls. Indeed, this is a lighter take on that favorite appetizer, using airy rice paper and fresh ingredients that may leave you satisfied with just one. There’s even a complementary recipe for a lime juice and Sriracha-based dipping sauce that won’t tip the calorie count.

Mexican chicken soup with vegetables and rice on white background

Keto Chicken Soup (100 Calories)

A chill in the air signals the time for a hearty bowl of soup, and this option makes an ideal 100-calorie lunch. Old-fashioned comfort is embedded in this healthy recipe that provides a modern kick, thanks to tomatillos, cilantro, and lime. The recipe creator also offers a number of ingredient tips to customize to your taste.

Tuna Salad

Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad (100 Calories)

As this recipe’s description notes, “No mayo, no problem.” Probiotic-rich Greek yogurt gives this version of tuna salad a tangy touch further enhanced by Dijon mustard. Its flavorful spin makes it an attractive choice for a satisfying 100-calorie lunch.

Deviled eggs served on clear plate with grape tomatoes

Healthy Deviled Eggs (47 Calories)

Linzer cookies preparation man hands put strawberry jam with spoon
Peach Smoothie with Sliced Peaches

Peaches and Cream Smoothie (84 Calories)

Grilled pineapple slices with fresh mint on olive cutting board

Grilled Pineapple Slices (92 Calories)

Charred grilled purple Brussel sprout kabobs on a wood table

Bacon Brussels Sprout Skewers (75 Calories)

Clementine ambrosia in a martini glass. Made with blueberries, pineapple, coconut, marshmallows and pecans.

Low-Calorie Fruit Ambrosia (58 Calories)

Do you look longingly at a slice of cheesecake or a bowl of full-fat ice cream? Well, you can still enjoy a rich-and-creamy dessert with this clever recipe that’s fancy (and tasty) enough to serve guests. Fat-free yogurt, whipped topping and sugar-free pudding mix combine for a fluffy base that keeps you feeling far from deprived.

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