10 Simple Meals For Your Healthier Lifestyle

In need of a healthy meal? While working on that spring/summer body and keeping that New Years resolution, it is very hard to fight the urge of eating junk food and transitioning into a healthier lifestyle. It is the 1st official week of January and some have already lost hope in losing those holiday pounds.

See Related Article: Healthier Living: Start 2015 Off with the Mediterranean Diet

As we all know, if you aren't eating clean and healthy then the pounds won't shed, but sometimes healthy eat can get boring. While you are on the search for something more exciting and flavorful to assist you in peeling off those pounds, we've gathered a list of recipes that are quick, easy, tasty, and under 500 calories.

Courtesy of:  www.closetcooking.com

BBQ Chicken Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:15 minutes Total Time:25 minutes Servings: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 cauliflower pizza crust (see below)
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, torn

Direction:

  1. Mix the chicken and barbecue sauce, top the pizza with the chicken, mozzarella and red onion and bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 10-15 minutes.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 350, Fat 13g (Saturated 7g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 116mg, Sodium 823mg, Carbs 28g (Fiber 5g, Sugars 16g), Protein 32g
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:20 minutes Total Time:30 minutes Servings: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning blend
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rice the cauliflower in a food processor, place it in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 8 minutes or until cooked.
  2. Place the cauliflower in a tea towel and squeeze as much moisture out as you can.
  3. Mix the cauliflower, egg, mozzarella, parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper, press the mixture onto a baking mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 450F oven until lightly golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 127, Fat 6g (Saturated 3g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 65mg, Sodium 178mg, Carbs 11g (Fiber 5g, Sugars 5g), Protein 10g

Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower

Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:20 minutes Total Time:30 minutes Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil, salt and pepper, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Toss cauliflower in the hot sauce and enjoy warm with blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping and celery sticks on the side.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 48, Fat 4g (Saturated 0.3g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 0, Sodium 400mg, Carbs 4g (Fiber 2g, Sugars 2g), Protein 1g

Cilantro Lime Grilled Shrimp

Prep Time:10 minutes Marinate Time:30 minutes Cook Time:10 minutes Total Time:40 minutes Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 limes, juice and zest or 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Marinate the shrimp in the mixture of the lime juice, zest, oil, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper for 30 minutes.
  2. Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 147, Fat 4g (Saturated 0.3g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 142mg, Sodium 645mg, Carbs 12g (Fiber 0.5g, Sugars 2g), Protein 16g

Pesto Grilled Shrimp

Prep Time:10 minutes Marinate Time:20 minutes Cook Time:10 minutes Total Time:40 minutes Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup basil, packed
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (~1/4 lemon)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deviened

Directions:

  1. Pulse the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  2. Marinate the shrimp in the pesto for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight, in the fridge.
  3. Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 184, Fat 11g (Saturated 2g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 147mg, Sodium 755mg, Carbs 2g (Fiber 0, Sugars 0), Protein 18g

Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Sauce

Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:15 minutes Total Time:25 minutes Servings: 4

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 (~6 ounce) skinless and boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup oil packed sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until lightly golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, before setting aside.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the broth, cream, sundried tomatoes and parmesan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Mix in the chicken along with any juices, season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and mix in the basil.
Option: Add chopped spinach to the sauce.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 326, Fat 12.8g (Saturated 5g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 155mg, Sodium 330mg, Carbs 2g (Fiber 0.5g, Sugars 0.5g), Protein 55.5g

 

 

Crispy Baked Avocado Fries

Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:20 minutes Total Time:30 minutes Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large avocados, sliced
  • salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped

Directions:

  1. Season the avocado slices with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste, dredge them in flour, dip them in egg and then panko breadcrumbs.
  2. Place the avocado slices in a single layer on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Serve with a mixture of ranch and chipotle dressing.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 354, Fat 22g (Saturated 3g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 41mg, Sodium 373mg, Carbs 27g (Fiber 8g, Sugars 3g), Protein 8g

Orange Chicken

Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:10 minutes Total Time:20 minutes Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chill sauce such as sambal oelek or sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until cooked through, about 2-4 minutes per side.
  2. Add the mixture of the orange juice, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chill sauce, garlic, ginger and the mixture of the water and the corn starch, toss to coat and cook until the sauce thickens, about a minute.
  3. Remove from heat and serve garnished with sliced green onions.
Option: Replace some or all of the honey with orange marmalade. Option: Add some vegetables to the mix such as broccoli, peas, peppers, etc.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 288, Fat 7g (Saturated 1g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 100mg, Sodium 874mg, Carbs 19g (Fiber 0.5g, Sugars 15g), Protein 34g

Honey Lemon Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry

Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:10 minutes Total Time:20 minutes Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (reduced sodium)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chill sauce such as sambal oelek or sriracha
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and stir fry until cooked through, about 2-4 minutes.
  2. Add the asparagus and stir fry until it turns a brighter green, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the mixture of the honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, broth, chill sauce, lemon zest, garlic, ginger and the mixture of the water and the corn starch, toss to coat and cook until the sauce thickens, about a minute.
Option: Add some cashews with the asparagus.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 288, Fat 7.2g (Saturated 1.5g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 87mg, Sodium 584mg, Carbs 16.2g (Fiber 2.7g, Sugars 11g), Protein 36.4g

Teriyaki Sauce

Prep Time:5 minutes Cook Time:5 minutes Total Time:10 minutes Servings: 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

  1. Simmer everything in a sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Option: Add extras like garlic, ginger, etc. Option: Replace the sugar with another sweetener like maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, etc. Option: Replace the sake with another liquid like pineapple juice. Option: Mix 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch into 1 tablespoon water, add to teriyaki sauce and simmer until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes, for a thicker glaze. Tip: Make the teriyaki sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge ready to use!
Nutrition Facts (per cup): Calories 350, Fat 0 (Saturated 0, Trans 0), Cholesterol 0, Sodium 4794mg, Carbs 39g (Fiber 0, Sugars 26g), Protein 6g

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Prep Time:10 minutes Cook Time:10 minutes Total Time:20 minutes Servings: 24-36 pizza bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce or marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 ounce pepperoni (mini or quartered full sized)
  • oregano or italian seasoning to taste

Directions:

  1. Brush or spray the zucchini slices with oil on both sides, season with salt and pepper, grill, broil or sauté until just tender, about 1-2 minutes per side, place them on a greased baking sheet, top them with sauce, cheese and pepperoni and broil until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes, before optionally sprinkling with oregano or Italian seasoning to taste.
Option: Use you favorite pizza toppings.
Nutrition Facts (per pizza bite): Calories 17, Fat 1g (Saturated 0.5g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 2mg, Sodium 30mg, Carbs 0.7g (Fiber 0.2g, Sugars 0.4g), Protein 0.9g

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.
KMazur/WireImage

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.

 

Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/LxZfxcqRgF

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/BHlANZjCGZ

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/vLqLTVxqO9

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/ALDcT0ZQxR

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/zwk0AWMCoE

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/mM2GWEg1pe

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!pic.twitter.com/GfxBeJxUY1

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...

#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/iXNwssD3sY

— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/cGl269tuTr

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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