The Man Approved Diet has a new home!!! You can find all my
recipes and other helpful kitchen how to's at
www.manapproveddiet.com

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Recipe at My New Blog: Gravy for Biscuits

I've got a new recipe up at my new blog www.manapproveddiet.com!  Gravy for Biscuits, quick and tasty, perfect for Chrismas morning, or any day you want to start off a little extra special.  It also makes for a great dinner recipe! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Recipe at My New Website: Sausage and Cheese Biscuits

The other day I made some delicious Sausage and Cheese Biscuits that are perfect for grab and go breakfasts.  The recipe makes about 35 of them, so one batch would last you almost a month.  The recipe for them are at my new website: www.manapproveddiet.com

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Official!!!

Hi everyone!!!  It's official, www.manapproveddiet.com is finally working!  It's been a little bit lot of trial and error to figure out how to get everything to connect and everything, but it's worth it.  All of the recipes that you've like on my blogger/blogspot blog have already been transferred over.  Plus my pinterest and facebook pictures have the updated links on them.  All that's left is for you to join me over there!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ch-ch-changes!!!

I've got a few plans in store for the Man Approved Diet after New Years.  Actually one of them already happened.  Thanks to the wonderful man behind the Man Approved Diet, you can now find me at www.manapproveddiet.com.  Granted that address will just lead you back to here for the moment, but I'm working on transferring to a wordpress based blog instead of blogspot.  When I am able to launch an entire website of my own, it'll be much easy to do so from wordpress than my current home.  If you add www.manapproveddiet.com to your blog list now, you won't miss anything when I do make the switch.  Of course I'll let everyone know when it happens.

There's a couple other things I've got in the works, but I'll leave them as a surprise for right now. 

Jalapeno Popper Pizza

This recipe is definitely one of my husband's favorite dinners.  It's a perfect snack for guys night.  It has three of his requirements for a well balanced meal: bacon, jalapeno and cheese.  It also has a good does of veggies from the jalapeno peppers and the red peppers.  You can use a homemade pizza crust if you would like, but since this is usually one of our quick dinners with just use premade.  You can also adjust how hot it is by adding the jalapeno seeds.  I usually add one or two jalapenos worth of seeds and it's a good compromise between what my husband likes (mouth on fire heat) and what I like (being able to taste my food).  You could adjust how much cheese there is if someone in your house likes super cheesy, just put extra cheddar on part of the pizza.

Ingredients

    1 12" premade pizza crust
    9 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
    1 cup chopped red peppers
    4 jalapenos, seeded and diced (save the seeds if you like your food little hotter)
    1 8 oz package fat free cream cheese
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large pan, cook the bacon until almost crispy. Add the red and jalapeno peppers the pan (add the seeds too if you like), cook until the peppers have softened. Stir the bacon and pepper mixture into the cream cheese. Spread over the pizza crust and sprinkle with cream cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheddar cheese has melted.
 
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 6
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 294.5
  • Total Fat: 5.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 20.0 mg
  • Sodium: 930.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 38.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 20.2 g


Monday, December 3, 2012

Breaded Baked Chicken with Cheesy Potatoes

Every once in a while I come up with a recipe that I'm seriously impressed with.  This cheesy potato and bacon recipe is one of them.  I was craving some potatoes, and I knew there was some bacon and cream cheese in the fridge that needed to get used soon. 
The chicken is a really simple recipe that can be altered to your tastes, just play with adding different herbs and spices.  Or marinate the chicken before breading them, like I did.  I started with barbecue marinated chicken breasts that we had in the freezer.
I know the calorie count for the potatoes seem a little high for a side dish, but when they were served up with the chicken and broccoli (like in the picture), the entire plate is less than 500 calories. 

Twice Cooked Cheesy Potatoes and Bacon

Ingredients

    1 large potato, sliced
    6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
    3/4 cup chopped bacon
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon flour
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    2 oz fat free cream cheese
    3/4 cup milk
    3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish.
In a large pan, pan fry the potatoes, bacon, chopped onion and minced garlic. When the bacon is cooked and the potatoes are fork tender, transfer them to the prepared baking dish.
In the same pan, add the butter, flour, garlic powder and onion powder. Keep moving the butter and flour around the pan until it thickens. Add the milk, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese to the pan, stirring until everything melts and forms a sauce.
Pour the sauce over the potatoes in the baking pan, gently stirring the potatoes so they're well coated.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and bubbly, and the potatoes are tender.
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 246.2
  • Total Fat: 8.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 32.7 mg
  • Sodium: 478.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 26.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Protein: 15.6 g

Breaded Baked Chicken


Ingredients

    2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Combine the flour, garlic and onion powders together in a large, flat bowl. Press the chicken breast into the flour mixture, lightly coating both sides. Place them in a lightly greased baking dish.
Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes, flipping it over halfway through. Cut into the thickest part of one of them to check that they are cooked all the way through.
 
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 2
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 146.7
  • Total Fat: 1.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.0 mg
  • Sodium: 331.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 7.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 24.1 g


Friday, November 30, 2012

Breakfast Cookies: Oatmeal-Chocolate-Cranberry-Pecan Cookies

It's that time of year when I start channeling Betty Crocker and do a couple all night cookie baking marathons.  This year it looks like there's going to be at least seven types of cookies, so somewhere around thirty dozen cookies.  I've done five of them so far and I thought I would share one of them with you guys.  I stumbled upon the combination a few years ago when I was playing around with an oatmeal cookie recipe.  Cranberries can be rather tart (like in my Cranberry Nut Pie), but it's balanced out nicely with the cookie and chocolate.  I call these Breakfast Cookies because they're great for a grab and go when you're in a hurry.

Ingredients



    1 1/2 cups softened butter
    2 cups brown sugar, packed
    1 cup white sugar
    3 1/2 cups flour
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    3/4 cup chocolate chips
    3/4 cup chopped pecans
    3/4 cup dried cranberries

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter together. Add the flour, eggs, baking powder and soda, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix until everything is thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, pecans, and dried cranberries. The dough is going to be very stiff.
    Drop by rounded teaspoons on to cookie sheets and bake for 12 minutes or until the cookies start to brown. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 60
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 160.2
    • Total Fat: 7.2 g
    • Cholesterol: 18.6 mg
    • Sodium: 33.9 mg
    • Total Carbs: 25.7 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
    • Protein: 1.8

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tomato Bacon Quiche

Since the husband has to work night shift this week, we're going to have breakfast for dinner (or lunch, or brunch, or whenever he decides to eat).  I personally love quiches and frittatas because they are so easy, just mix some stuff together and bake it.  I bet you could even mix the stuff the night before and just pour it in the pie shell and bake it the next morning.  They also reheat pretty well, which is always a plus when there's only two of us in the house. 

Ingredients

    4 eggs
    1 can evaporated milk
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
    2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    4 scallions, sliced
    1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1 frozen pie shell

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Add bacon, scallions, tomatoes, and cheese to bowl, stir together. Pour filling into frozen pie shell. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, or until the filling it puffed and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
 
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 259.4
  • Total Fat: 16.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 122.8 mg
  • Sodium: 377.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 15.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 12.5 g
 
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Attempt One of Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry

I love Thai Chicken Curry and have been attempting to create or find a recipe for it.  In Germany it was a little difficult sometimes because it was hard to find the curry paste and curry powder just didn't quite work.  I finally found some here and decided it was time to try to make it, again.  Well, it tasted just ok and wasn't really like the chicken curry I was trying to recreate.  I'll add the recipe on here just because someone else might find it good or it might be a good starting point for a recipe in the future. 

Ingredients


    1 13.66 oz can lite coconut milk
    3 tablespoons red curry paste
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
    1 cup chopped celery
    1 medium potato, chopped
    1 cup chopped onions
    1 cup chopped bell peppers
    4 cups cooked rice
 
Mix the coconut milk, water, curry paste, chili powder, and garlic in a bowl. Put the veggies and chicken in a slow cooker and pour the coconut milk mixture over it. Cook on low for eight hours.  Thirty minutes before serving, cut the chicken breast into bite sized chunks or shred it.  Serve over rice.
 
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 422.9
  • Total Fat: 5.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 32.5 mg
  • Sodium: 514.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 73.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5.4 g
  • Protein: 20.6 g

 



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cranberry Nut Pie

After being in Germany for three years, a lot of American things seem really sweet.  Germans use a lot less sugar, in fruity desserts they rely more on the natural sugar found in the fruit.  In other things they just add less sugar.  The tartness of this pie makes it a nice contrast to the usual sweet desserts you find around Thanksgiving.  Plus cranberries have a ton of health benefits like antioxidants(more information about the benefits here).  Depending on you taste, you may want to top your pie with some cool whip like my husband does.

Ingredients


    For the Pie:
    1 ready to bake pie crust

    3 cups fresh cranberries, berries cut in half
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup chopped pecans

    For the Top "Crust"
    1 egg

    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup flour
    1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
Combine the cranberries, brown sugar and pecans. Pour into the pie crust.
Combine the egg, sugar, flour and butter. Pour over the cranberry mixture. You may have to spread it out with a spoon.
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, or until the top starts turning golden brown.
 
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 311.1
  • Total Fat: 14.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 38.6 mg
  • Sodium: 117.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 49.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Protein: 2.8 g
 



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Herbed Sausage Stuffing

Stuffing is one of those essential Thanksgiving sides.  Luckily, I grew up with homemade stuffing and not something from a box.  Although I understand the appeal of how easy it is to make boxed stuffing, this recipe is pretty easy.  Plus you you can do most of the preparation ahead of time.  Make the sausage mixture and keep it in the fridge (or freezer) and toast the bread ahead of time and store them in a bag or air tight bowl.  Then when you make the stuffing, just mix the two parts and continue with the recipe. 
Now just to warn you, this makes a ton of stuffing.  Seriously, it's about 15 cups of stuffing, but there's not much leftover.

Ingredients



    12 cups bread, cut into cubes
    12 oz reduced fat sausage
    4 cups chopped onions
    4 cups chopped apples
    3 cups chopped celery
    1/2 cups minced garlic
    2 tablespoons dried sage
    1 tablespoon dried thyme
    1 tablespoon dried rosemary
    1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
    1 1/2 cups chicken broth

    Directions

    Toast the bread crumbs in a 300 degree oven in a large roasting pan for 30 - 45 minutes, or until throughly dried.
    In a large pan, cook the sausage, garlic, sage, thyme, rosemary and poultry seasoning until the sausage is no longer pink. Add the onions, apples, and celery to the pan and cook until the celery is tender.
    Combine the bread and sausage mixture in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the chicken broth. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
     
    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 24
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 133.1
    • Total Fat: 3.3 g
    • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
    • Sodium: 171.8 mg
    • Total Carbs: 16.2 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
    • Protein: 2.2 g



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Out and About in Leander, TX

 
I don't know how many of you know it, but I'm a Pampered Chef consultant.  Considering I love cooking, I figure it fits me pretty well :-)  I just got invited to a little vender event in Leander, TX.  If you live in the area and would like to check it out, let me know.  I'll have some yummy goodies in the kitchen and there will also be Mary Kay, Celebrating Home, Discovery Toys, Interior Reflections by Rose, Miche Bags and Parklane Jewelry.  If you'd like the address or any other information, you can drop me an email at manapproveddiet@gmail.com  Or if you'd like to check out my Pampered Chef website, just click on the picture below.  I hope to see a couple of you there!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sex on a Plate Apple Pie

I know with a name like that you just had to take a peek, right?  The more traditional name for this is Amish Sour Cream Apple Pie, which is just as long but not as fun as Sex on a Plate.  A more PG version of the name, Dirty Word Pie, was created by a friend of mine with kids.  The original recipe was my mom's, I'm not entirely sure where she got it from.  But I took it and adapted it into something that was my own.  This pie is probably the thing that I get the most requests for every Thanksgiving.  I've even had a few friends who got this instead of a cake from me for their birthdays! 

If you don't like apple peels, feel free to take them off.  I leave them on because they add more fiber and vitamins, plus it takes a little less time to make the pie.  It'll take two small - medium Braeburns, or three big ones if you're doubling the recipe (which I highly recommend!!).  Of course you can use any type of apple you like, I think my mom's recipe used half regular Red Delious and half Granny Smith.  For the topping part, depending on how soft your butter is, you may need to add a little extra flour to get it to the crumbly texture you're looking for.



Ingredients

    For the pie:
    1 cup fat free sour cream
    1 egg
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 1/2 cup diced and peeled apples (I like braeburn)
    1 unbaked 9" deep dish pie crust

    For the topping:
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup flour
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Directions

    Preheat oven at 400. Mix together the sour cream, eggs, sugar, two tablespoons flour and vanilla. Add in apples and pour into pie crust. Bake for 25 minutes. While that's baking, combine the brown sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of pie and return to oven for another 20 minutes.
     
    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 8
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 252.5
    • Total Fat: 7.8 g
    • Cholesterol: 31.0 mg
    • Sodium: 159.2 mg
    • Total Carbs: 45.4 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
    • Protein: 3.7 g

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sausage Potato Soup

Since winter has taken hold of our part of Texas, it's time to pull out some recipes that warm you up.  And if this one worked while I was growing up in North Dakota (where it's not uncommon to spend days below freezing), it'll definitely work wherever you are! 

I haven't tried it yet, but you might be able to skip dicing the potatoes if you use a bag of the frozen diced potatoes, like the ones by the hashbrowns or the ones you steam in the microwave to make mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

    1 14 oz package smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
    1 medium onion, diced
    5 cups water
    1 bag coleslaw mix
    3 cups milk (at least 1%)
    3 tablespoons flour
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    Parsley to garnish, if desired

Directions

In a large soup pan, combine sausage, potatoes, onions with a little salt and pepper. Add five cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cooked for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cabbage and cook for ten more minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of milk, mix the remaining milk with the flour, stir into soup. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring often. Stir in cheese until melted.
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 10
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 167.4
  • Total Fat: 6.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 35.5 mg
  • Sodium: 483.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 13.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 12.0 g

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blogging Break

I'm sorry everyone that it's been a bit since I last posted a recipe.  The husband was gone for a few weeks and just got home, so that past week has been getting ready for him coming back and then enjoying being around him again.  I should have a couple new recipes this week.  I'm going to try to get some Thanksgiving ones up next week, hopefully in time for you to get the stuff to make them yourselves. :-)
Well, back to enjoying the husband :-)

The picture is from his deployment homecoming a couple years ago, luckily this trip was MUCH shorter!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spaghetti Cups

I love easy and tasty recipes, and this is one of them!  They're perfect for grab and go meals, or when everyone needs to eat at different times.  Just serve them with some veggies and you'll have a complete meal.  The leftovers can be thrown in the freezer and reheated later.

Ingredients



    24 wonton wrappers
    1/2 pound ground beef
    1 15 oz can no salt chopped tomatoes, undrained
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    3 cloves of minced garlic
    1 teaspoon basil
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1 teaspoon rosemary
    3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place two wonton wrappers in each cup of a 12 cup muffin tin, overlapping to make a wonton cup.
In a large saute pan, brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, and rosemary to the pan.  Cook on high until all of the liquid is gone, about five minutes.
Spoon the meat mixture evenly among the wonton cups. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake for about 10 minutes.
 
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 12
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 109.3
  • Total Fat: 3.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 15.4 mg
  • Sodium: 175.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 12.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
  • Protein: 5.9 g
 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Trifle

Since the "Pumpkin Holidays" (you know, Halloween and Thanksgiving) are coming up I thought it would be fun to make a pumpkin dessert for a little Pampered Chef get together I had. I love making trifles because they are crazy easy and look pretty impressive.
The cake layer of this was inspired by the two ingredient pumpkin cookie recipe that has been all over Pinterest, the one where you mix a can of pumpkin into cake mix and bake it. Instead of using a cake mix I went with gingerbread cookie mix. Next time I might add a little extra spice into the mix. The pumpkin dip layer was from Pinterest as well, the original recipe can be found here. One person suggested maybe adding some more spice to that layer.
I went with sugar-free ingredients for most of this (except the gingerbread mix) to help keep the calories down, but you could use the regular version of this stuff.

Ingredients


    1 batch of pumpkin dip (1 can of pumpkin, 1 container of sugar free cool whip, and 1 box of sugar free vanilla pudding mix all mixed together)
    1 bag of gingerbread cookie mix, dry mix
    1 15 oz can of pumpkin
    1 container of sugar free cool whip
    1/2 cup caramel topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the gingerbread cookie mix with the can of pumpkin. Spread it in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Let it cool for at least a couple of hours. Cut it done into bite sized pieces.  Set aside a handful of cake pieces for topping.
In a trifle bowl or other clear bowl, layer the cake, pumpkin dip, and cool whip. Repeat so there are two layers of each ingredient. Top with the cake pieces that were set aside and a touch of cool whip. Drizzle the caramel on top.
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 12
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 290.5
  • Total Fat: 16.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 269.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 60.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 2.4 g

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mediterranean Pizza

Most of the time, what ingredients you chose to use in your recipes really makes a difference when it comes to the nutritional values.  When you buy canned foods try to makes sure that it's packed in water or juice, not oil or syrup.  It can really rack up the calories and fat.  It might take a little extra time when you're out shopping, but compare the labels and make sure that you are getting the most nutritional ingredients you can.
 
This is a simple little recipe, it doesn't really require much prep work.  It's a delicious twist on a regular pizza.  The trick to keeping it lower in calories and fat is to really pay attention to what you are using to make it.  I made notes in the ingredients so you know what I used, but of course you're welcomed to make it your own!
 

Ingredients


    1 mini flat bread (I used Flat Out Mini with Whole Grains)
    2 tablespoons hummus (I used my homemade hummus)
    1/4 cup chopped red peppers
    2 tablespoons sliced black olives
    4 pieces of canned artichoke hearts packed in water
    1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    Spread the hummus over the flat bread, then top with the peppers, olives, artichoke hearts and cheese. Bake for about ten minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
     
    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 1
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 241.6
    • Total Fat: 6.5 g
    • Cholesterol: 5.0 mg
    • Sodium: 889.1 mg
    • Total Carbs: 19.2 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 4.0 g
    • Protein: 11.8 g
     
     
     

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Easy Hummus

    A friend of mine introduced me to hummus a few years ago and I loved it.  The store bought stuff is good, but it's easy to make your own and you can flavor it however you would like.  Besides, regular hummus has about 70 calories for two tablespoons.  A serving of this stuff is almost four tablespoons and only 53 calories per serving.  You can expand upon this recipe if you feel like experimenting, try blending in some red bell pepper, more chili powder or a little lemon juice, maybe even all three.  You can serve this with crackers, chips, or veggies.  I like it on a Mediterranean style pizza (more on that in a later post).

    Ingredients


      1 16 oz can of reduced sodium garbanzo beans, undrained
      1 tablespoon onion powder
      1 tablespoon garlic powder
      1 teaspoon chili powder
      1/4 teaspoon salt

    Directions

    Without draining it, pour the can of beans into a food processor. Sprinkle the onion, garlic and chili powder on top. Blend until smooth. Taste and depending on your preference, add the salt and blend again.
     
    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 8
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 53.1
    • Total Fat: 0.9 g
    • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
    • Sodium: 176.7 mg
    • Total Carbs: 10.3 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
    • Protein: 2.9 g

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Barbecue Chicken Pizza

    I love this recipe!  You can really alter to your taste, use spicier barbecue sauce if you like more of a bite (like my husband) or you can use a sweeter sauce if you prefer (like me).  Plus you can use whatever marinade you like, or none at all.  You can even grill it if you'd like a smokier flavor.  This recipe makes two servings, you can share the pizza or save some for later.  It's a really quick recipe, so it would be good for those nights when you don't know what else to make.  If you forget to pull out the chicken ahead of time, just microwave it for a few minutes to defrost it and use some barbecue rub instead of marinade.
     

    Ingredients



      1 small pizza crust (I used Mama Mia's Thin and Crispy 8")
      4 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, marinaded in your favorite flavor and diced
      3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
      1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 425.
    Cook the diced chicken breasts until no longer pink.
    Spread the barbecue sauce over the pizza crust, then layer on the chicken and cheese.
    Bake or grill it over indirect medium heat for 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. 
     
    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 2
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 241.4
    • Total Fat: 4.8 g
    • Cholesterol: 29.4 mg
    • Sodium: 856.1 mg
    • Total Carbs: 31.5 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
    • Protein: 17.0 g

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Stuffed Pepper Bowl

    The husband and I both like stuffed peppers, I just don't like the fuss that comes with making them.  So I thought I'd try to find an easier way to have the flavors from a stuffed pepper in a easier to make form.  This is what I came up with.  I could see this being great when you have left over rice or you could make twice the amount of rice called for and use the leftovers the next day to make fried rice.  I like to add some garlic powder and onion powder to the rice while it's cooking.  It gives it just a little more flavor without extra calories or sodium.
     

    Ingredients


      2 cups cooked rice
      1/2 pound extra lean ground beef
      3 cloves of garlic
      1 cup chopped onions
      2 red peppers, diced
      1 can no sodium diced tomatoes
      1 tablespoon basil

       

      Directions

      In a large pan, cook the ground beef, onions and garlic. Add the red peppers and cook for three minutes or until slightly softened. Add the can of tomatoes, rice and basil. Cook for a few more minutes, until most of the liquid has been cooked off.
       
       
      Nutritional Info
      • Servings Per Recipe: 4
      • Amount Per Serving
      • Calories: 316.4
      • Total Fat: 12.7 g
      • Cholesterol: 40.1 mg
      • Sodium: 657.9 mg
      • Total Carbs: 35.9 g
      • Dietary Fiber: 6.5 g
      • Protein: 15.3 g
       
       

      Sunday, October 14, 2012

      Bacon Cheddar Ranch Potato Soup

      This is a great slow cooker recipe.  It has my husband's three favorite ingredients: bacon, ranch and cheese.  Amazingly, it's only 176 calories per serving and a serving is about a cup and a half of soup.  So you could add a topping or two without any guilt.    I like my soup a little less chunky, so about half an hour before serving I scooped out the diced potato and mashed it a bit.  Depending how thick you like your soup, you may need to whisk a little flour into the pot.  You can reduce the sodium count a bit by using lower sodium beef broth and ranch mix.

      Ingredients


        2 medium potatoes, diced
        1 12-oz can fat free evaporated milk
        1 cup beef broth
        3 cups water
        1 packet ranch mix
        1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
        1 cup onions, diced
        3 cloves garlic, minced
        6 slices center cut bacon, diced

        Directions

        In a large pan, saute the bacon, garlic and onions until the bacon is starting to brown.
        In a slow cooker, whisk the ranch mix into the evaporated milk, then combine with the water and beef broth. Add the potatoes, cheese, and bacon mixture to the slow cooker. Cook on low for eight to ten hours.
        You can top the soup with some onion straws, parsley, a little sour cream or whatever else sounds good to you. (Extras aren't included in nutrition facts.)
        Nutritional Info
        • Servings Per Recipe: 6
        • Amount Per Serving
        • Calories: 176.3
        • Total Fat: 1.7 g
        • Cholesterol: 10.9 mg
        • Sodium: 830.8 mg
        • Total Carbs: 25.2 g
        • Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
        • Protein: 14.7 g

      Honey Wheat Bread in the Bread Machine

      There is nothing better in cooler weather than a nice thick slice of warm bread.  This bread is a bit denser than regular bread, but I like it that way (unfortunately the hubby doesn't like it that dense).  It's got a bit of sweetness and it doesn't really taste like wheat bread. 
      I love using my bread machine to make bread because (much like the slow cooker) I can just toss the ingredients in there and let it go.  Just a few hours later and you have fresh, homemade bread.  The only downside is that I can't really give much direction because different machines can work differently.
      The calorie count is a little higher than I'd normally like for bread, but it could fit into your diet depending what you're eating with it.

      Ingredients


        1 1/2 cups warm water
        1/2 cup honey
        2 tablespoons olive oil
        4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
        1 packet yeast

      Directions

      Layer the ingredients in the bread maker according to the machine's instructions. Run a "wheat" cyle and enjoy!
       
      Nutritional Info
      • Servings Per Recipe: 12
      • Amount Per Serving
      • Calories: 215.2
      • Total Fat: 3.1 g
      • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
      • Sodium: 0.6 mg
      • Total Carbs: 44.7 g
      • Dietary Fiber: 5.5 g
      • Protein: 6.0 g


      Tuesday, October 9, 2012

      Cheesy Salsa Pasta

      Apparently tonight's dinner was an absolute home run.  The husband said I could make this any time I want and he went back for seconds, not to mention nummy comments while he was eating.  The sauce part of it only took as long as getting the water to boil and pasta cooked.  You can adjust the spicy factor by using hotter or mild salsa.  You could use just regular ground beef or turkey, but the sausage adds an extra layer of flavor (without any extra work).
       

      Ingredients


        6 oz uncooked pasta
        1/2 pound turkey sausage
        1/4 cup fat free cream cheese
        3/4 shredded cheddar cheese
        1 cup salsa

        Directions

        Cook the pasta according to the directions.
        Cook the sausage in a large pan. Stir in the cream and cheddar cheeses. When it's mostly melted add the pasta and salsa, stir until everything is well coated.
         
         
        Nutritional Info
        • Servings Per Recipe: 4
        • Amount Per Serving
        • Calories: 356.9
        • Total Fat: 13.2 g
        • Cholesterol: 53.8 mg
        • Sodium: 877.1 mg
        • Total Carbs: 38.6 g
        • Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
        • Protein: 22.3 g
         
         
         

        Eggplant "Bruschetta"

        Sometimes when I try to create something new it doesn't quite work out.  Sometimes it does but it doesn't quite make it to "Man-Approved" status.  Unfortunately, this was one of those creations.  I thought it was pretty tasty, but the husband wasn't as big of a fan.  He had never had eggplant before and didn't really like the texture of it.  But he thought the breading/toppings would be good on chicken.  I thought I'd put this up for you guys, in case your husbands do like eggplant.  Let me know if you try it and it meets approval from your guys (or roommates, friends, whatever).



        Ingredients


          For Eggplant:
          2 Medium Eggplant, cut into 1/2" slices
          1 cup panko breadcrumbs
          1/4 cup shredded parmesan
          2 tablespoons garlic powder
          2 tablespoons onion powder
          2 tablespoons basil
          1 tablespoon rosemary
          1 tablespoon oregano
          For Topping:
          2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
          3 cloves garlic, minced
          3/4 cup chopped onion
          2 tablespoons basil
          1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

          Directions

          Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

          Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic and onion powders, basil, rosemary and oregano. Place some of the breadcrumb mixture on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Press the eggplant slices into the breadcrumbs, covering both sides. Gently brush off the excess (you want just a thin coat). Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, flip, then cook for another ten minutes.
          While that is in the oven, combine the chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, onion and basil in a bowl. After the eggplant is done baking, spoon the tomato mixture on each slice. Top evenly with the mozzarella and bake for another five minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
           
          Nutritional Info
          • Servings Per Recipe: 4
          • Amount Per Serving
          • Calories: 240.5
          • Total Fat: 2.6 g
          • Cholesterol: 7.4 mg
          • Sodium: 363.0 mg
          • Total Carbs: 43.9 g
          • Dietary Fiber: 11.1 g
          • Protein: 10.4 g

         
         

        Friday, October 5, 2012

        Green Smoothies

        Sometimes the hardest meal to get my husband to eat is breakfast. Part of it is that he doesn't have much time in the morning, so whatever he eats needs to be either quick or portable. I started making smoothies for myself awhile ago and then I heard about green smoothies. It was all over from there, not only are they packed with good for you stuff like calcium, iron and vitamin c. Plus you can alter them to your own taste, changing the fruits to suit your tastes (or whatever is in your fridge). If you like them thicker you can use frozen fruit. For us, I use fresh so it's easier to drink them from the to go cup the hubby has. I suggest putting either the liquid or the fruit pierces closest to the blender blades and the spinach the furthest away, it blends a lot easier that way.


        Tropical Yogurt Smoothie

        Ingredients

          1 container greek yogurt with honey
          1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder
          1/2 cup mango chunks
          2 clementines, peeled and seeds removed
          1 cup fresh spinach

        Directions

        Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
        Nutritional Info
        • Servings Per Recipe: 1
        • Amount Per Serving
        • Calories: 313.9
        • Total Fat: 0.6 g
        • Cholesterol: 25.0 mg
        • Sodium: 145.7 mg
        • Total Carbs: 59.1 g
        • Dietary Fiber: 5.2 g
        • Protein: 21.9 g
         
         

        Peach Berry Smoothie (No Yogurt)

         

        Ingredients

          2 peaches, chopped into small pieces
          6 oz fresh raspberries
          2 cups fresh spinach
          1 scoop vanillla protein powder
          1/2 cup water

          Directions

          Layer the ingredients in a blender, raspberries closest to the blender blade, peaches next, then spinach. Mix the protein powder and water together and pour over everything. Blend until smooth.
           
          Nutritional Info
          • Servings Per Recipe: 2
          • Amount Per Serving
          • Calories: 140.7
          • Total Fat: 1.2 g
          • Cholesterol: 20.0 mg
          • Sodium: 123.7 mg
          • Total Carbs: 25.8 g
          • Dietary Fiber: 9.9 g
          • Protein: 9.8 g
           

        Tropical Smoothie (No Yogurt)

        Ingredients

          1 mango, peeled and diced
          1 orange, peeled with seeds removed
          3 kiwi, peeled and chopped
          3/4 cup diced pineapple
          2 cups fresh spinach
          1 scoop vanilla protein powder
          1/2 cup water

          Directions

          Mix the protein powder into the water. Layer the rest of the ingredients in a blender, starting with the pineapple and mango, then the orange and kiwi, with the spinach the furtherest from the blade. Pour the protein powder and water over everything. Blend until smooth.
          Nutritional Info
          • Servings Per Recipe: 2
          • Amount Per Serving
          • Calories: 265.5
          • Total Fat: 1.8 g
          • Cholesterol: 20.0 mg
          • Sodium: 132.1 mg
          • Total Carbs: 57.7 g
          • Dietary Fiber: 10.8 g
          • Protein: 11.1 g
        

        Wednesday, October 3, 2012

        Zucchini Sausage Pasta

        
        Growing up in the country, or at least my part of North Dakota, meant you'd have an endless supply of two things: rhubarb and zucchini.  I don't think we could have gived it away if we wanted to.  Luckily, rhubarb freezes pretty well and we had quite a few recipes for zucchini.  This is a bit of a twist on something that we used to make to try using up some of the zucchini.  In the old version we used summer sausage and a quite a bit of it.  In this one I used turkey sausage, so it has the same sort of flavor, but less fat and calories.  For me and the husband, I add more of the zucchini to my bowl so he doesn't have as much.
         
         

        Ingredients

          6 ounces pasta, cooked
          2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced into 1/4 thick half circles
          7 oz turkey link sausage, halved lengthwise then sliced into 1/4 thick half circles
          2 tablespoons light butter
          2 tablespoons flour
          1 tablespoon onion powder
          1 tablespoon garlic powder
          1 1/2 cup milk

          Directions

          Cook the pasta according to the directions and set aside.
          In a large pan, lightly saute the sausage and zucchini together for about five minutes, just until the zucchini started to brown. Set aside.
          Melt the butter in the same pan used to saute the sausage and zucchini. Add the flour, garlic and onion powders and stir until it forms a paste. Whisk in the milk a bit at a time to make sure there's no clumps. Let it simmer for a few minutes, then add the sausage mixture and pasta. Toss to coat, let it sit on the heat until the sauce is the thickness you'd like.
           
          Nutritional Info
          • Servings Per Recipe: 4
          • Amount Per Serving
          • Calories: 324.6
          • Total Fat: 9.6 g
          • Cholesterol: 47.1 mg
          • Sodium: 552.3 mg
          • Total Carbs: 44.3 g
          • Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
          • Protein: 16.8 g
        
         
         

        Saturday, September 29, 2012

        Chili

        It's been a little chilly and rainy here today, so what better for dinner than chili?  I've never made it from scratch before, I usually just use the premade chili mix and go from there.  Today I decided to give homemade a try.  I'm actually pretty impressed with how it turned out.
         
         

        Ingredients


          1/2 pound extra lean ground beef
          3/4 cup chopped onions
          14.5 oz can of no salt added diced tomatoes
          14.5 oz can of chili beans
          8 oz can of no salt added tomato sauce
          1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
          1 tablespoon garlic
          1/2 teaspoon cumin
          1 cup of water

          Directions

          Cook the ground beef and onion in a large pan. Add the canned ingredients, water, and spices, mix well. Cook on low for until it reaches the consistancy you prefer, mine cooked for about half an hour.
           
          Nutritional Info
          • Servings Per Recipe: 4
          • Amount Per Serving
          • Calories: 280.7
          • Total Fat: 11.0 g
          • Cholesterol: 38.8 mg
          • Sodium: 608.7 mg
          • Total Carbs: 31.7 g
          • Dietary Fiber: 9.5 g
          • Protein: 18.5 g

          
           

          Thursday, September 27, 2012

          Spinach Pesto Chicken Pasta

          
          This would be a great dish to really make your own.  As I was putting it together I kept thinking of different things I could do to modify it in the future, like adding some cherry tomatoes or bacon.  Maybe topping it with a little extra shredded parmesan.  It's just around 300 calories, so as long as you don't go crazy you can add a few extras and still have it fit into your diet.
           

          Ingredients


            1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
            1 cup fresh spinach
            1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan
            1 tablespoon garlic powder
            1 tablespoon onion powder
            2 boneless skinless chicke breast, diced
            3 cups cooked spaghetti noodles

            Directions

            Combine the basil, spinach, parmesan, garlic and onion powders together in a food processor, blend until smooth.
            In a large frying pan, cook the chicken breast until lightly browned. Add the pesto and spaghetti noodles, stir until well mixed. You may have to add a little water so the pesto coats the spaghetti and chicken better (use the water used to cook the pasta).
             
            Nutritional Info
            • Servings Per Recipe: 4
            • Amount Per Serving
            • Calories: 293.0
            • Total Fat: 4.6 g
            • Cholesterol: 52.2 mg
            • Sodium: 208.2 mg
            • Total Carbs: 35.9 g
            • Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
            • Protein: 26.7 g

           
           

          Monday, September 24, 2012

          Weekly Menu

          I guess it's already been about a week.  We didn't do a very good job of staying on track with the menu last week, but that's alright.  My husband decided to be a sweety and took me out exploring one day and we decided to pick something up on the way home.  Another day we just weren't feeling what was on the menu, so we substituted something else.
           
          Hopefully this week we'll be a little better.  Here's the menu:
           
          Monday: Chili, just plain old from a mix chili
          Tuesday: Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings, rescheduled from last week (might get switched to Thursday if my hiking group goes out Thursday)
          Wednesday: Eggplant Parmesan
          Thursday: German Sausage Chowder
          Friday: Pesto Chicken Pasta
          Saturday: Grilled Steak and Asparagus (if we don't have a cook out with some friends)
           
          
           

          Thursday, September 20, 2012

          Bacon "Spaghetti" Pie

          I saw a recipe for spaghetti pie and thought it looked delicious, but it was over 550 calories per serving and didn't have any veggies.  I thought I could change it up and make it healthier.  I replaced the pasta with spaghetti squash, which does give it a little sweeter taste, but it works well with the bacon.  A lot of recipes call for half and half or cream, which I switched out fat free evaporated milk.  It still has a creaminess, but without the extra fat and calories.  You could use mozzarella cheese instead of parmesan if you wanted to.
           

          Ingredients


            1 medium spaghetti squash (about 6 cups cooked squash)
            8 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
            4 eggs
            3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
            3 cloves garlic, minced
            15 basil leaves, chopped
            1 - 12 oz can fat free evaporated milk
            1 onion, chopped

            Directions

            Cook the spaghetti squash by cutting it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place both halves in a baking pan with about an inch of water in the bottom. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. When it is done, scrape the squash out of the shell with a fork, separating the strands as you do.

            In a bowl combine the eggs, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, the milk, garlic and basil. Add the beans, squash and onions. Transfer everything to a 2 quart round baking pan or a 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Let it cool for at least ten minutes before cutting.

            Nutritional Info
            • Servings Per Recipe: 6
            • Amount Per Serving
            • Calories: 239.3
            • Total Fat: 9.9 g
            • Cholesterol: 143.2 mg
            • Sodium: 528.2 mg
            • Total Carbs: 20.8 g
            • Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
            • Protein: 18.0 g
          
           

          Taco Chicken Chili

          I love slow cooker meals.  You toss a bunch of stuff in the cooker, put the lid on and just let it do it's thing.  It's really great for when you aren't sure when everyone will be home for dinner or if you have a busy afternoon/evening and you don't what to get stuck eating take out. 

          Chili is one of those things that you can really make your own.  If you like it hotter, just add some extra chili powder or jalapenos to the slow cookers.  If you're like my husband, you can add a bunch of cheese, crushed corn chips and sour cream (or ranch dip).  If you're more like me, it tastes great just as it is.  This recipe will make a lot, so you can make it when you have company or save it for leftovers.  It's just about 200 calories for a one cup serving, so you could even splurge a little with the toppings or an extra serving.

          Ingredients


            1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
            1 cans no salt added stewed tomatoes
            1 can chili beans, undrained
            1 can green chili peppers, undrained
            6 ounces frozen corn
            1 packet lower sodium taco seasoning
            1 tablespoon cumin
            1 tablespoon chili powder
            3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with visible fat removed

            Directions

            Combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a crock pot. Lay the chicken breasts on top and cook for six to eight hours on high. If it looks a little dry add a small can of tomato sauce.  About 30 minutes before serving, take out the chicken and cut or shred into small pieces. Don't worry too much if it looks a little watery, most of it will will absorbed after you shred the chicken.
             
            Nutritional Info
            • Servings Per Recipe: 8
            • Amount Per Serving
            • Calories: 209.7
            • Total Fat: 1.9 g
            • Cholesterol: 40.0 mg
            • Sodium: 945.7 mg
            • Total Carbs: 32.0 g
            • Dietary Fiber: 7.3 g
            • Protein: 21.6 g