26 recipes under 500 calories. And we're talking cupcakes, not salad

It’s time to make a bunch of resolutions you may or may not keep after the second week of January. And chances are, this year, you’ll vow, once again, to be more healthful.

If you’re looking to eat better, but you're not looking forward to an endless parade of salads, we've got 26 recipes, each with less than 500 calories. There’s a recipe for a baked apple crunch, pumpkin lasagna, pork chops with sage cream and even red velvet cupcakes

The recipe for the red velvet cupcakes is included below, and you can view all 26 of the recipes in our recipes database. Happy New Year indeed.

RED VELVET INSANITY CUPCAKES

Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time for the cupcakes | Makes 12 cupcakes

Note: Adapted from "Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories" by Lisa Lillien. Lillien writes, "You'd have to be insane to not flip over these brightly colored little cakes."

Frosting

6 tablespoons Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme

1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon granulated Splenda No Calorie Sweetener

6 tablespoons Cool Whip Free, thawed

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the marshmallow creme, cream cheese and sweetener and mix well. Fold in the Cool Whip and refrigerate, covered, until the cupcakes are ready to be frosted. This makes about two-thirds cup frosting.

Cupcakes and assembly

1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

2 (25-calorie) packets diet hot cocoa mix

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup cold water

1 cup moist-style devil's food cake mix (1/4 of an 18.25-ounce box)

1 cup moist-style yellow cake mix (1/4 of an 18.25-ounce box)

1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon granulated Splenda No Calorie Sweetener

1/8 teaspoon salt

Nonstick cooking spray, optional

Frosting

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a tall glass, place half of the mini chocolate chips and the contents of both cocoa packets. Add the boiling water and stir until the chips and cocoa mix have dissolved. Add the cold water and mix well.

3. Pour the cocoa mixture into a large bowl. Add the cake mixes, egg substitute, remaining chocolate chips, food coloring, sweetener and salt. Whisk until smooth and blended, about 2 minutes. The batter will be thin, but don't worry -- your cupcakes will puff up once baked!

4. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups or spray with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute the batter among the cups. Bake in the oven until the cupcakes are puffed and shiny and spring back lightly when touched, 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Cool the cupcakes completely, then evenly distribute the frosting over the tops.

Each cupcake: 149 calories; 4 grams protein; 25 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 3 mg. cholesterol; 262 mg. sodium.

I always have room for dessert. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_

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