It is hard enough to find recipes that are both accessible and tasty. Add that they should be low in calories and it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. However, while counting calories can be tedious and frustrating, it can be helpful to keep a general heart rate on your calorie intake when trying to maintain a healthy weight.

To get the most nutritional bang for your buck, it’s wise to choose foods that have a low calorie density – or foods that provide a lack of nutrients for relatively few calories. Because foods like many fruits and vegetables are lower in calories, you can also eat more of them while keeping your daily intake within a healthy range. This means that you will often find that recipes made with low calorie foods are more satisfying than those that get rid of your calorie budget too quickly.

To help you get started, we have rounded up 12 recipes so you can test drive in your own kitchen. All of the recipes listed here contain fewer than 500 calories. Bonus? They are also packed with important nutrients and delicious flavors, so the meals are anything but boring.