The Man Approved Diet

The Return of Man Approved Monday

It’s nice to be back!  It was a wonderful vacation, especially since it started right after my finals.  The Man and I were able to go up in the Arch in the St. Louis, visit the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois, and mined for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.  After a small scare about one of my papers, I also found out that I successfully passed both of my classes last term and will be getting my Bachelor’s degree soon.  But the highlight of the trip was seeing family members and getting to see my cousin get married.  All in all, it was simply amazing!

I did get some awesome news regarding Man Approved Diet.  A while back I submitted this blog to the Army Wife Network to be considered for a feature on their website.  Well….  I got an email from them saying that I won their first quarterly competition!!!!  I spent about two days smiling and giggling to myself.  Just gives me that extra little motivation to make sure I keep on posting, well, that and the little extra bit of weight The Man and I managed to gain during the last few weeks.

With all that said, it’s time for Man Approved Monday!  Since there were only two links last time, I thought I’d feature them both.  First up is The First Year Blog who shared her home made version of Samoas.  The second one was from Memories by the Mile, sharing Double Pistachio Cake.  Both recipes look absolutely fantastic, thank you for sharing them!  I can’t wait to see what you’ve all be up to while I’ve been gone.

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I look forward to seeing what everyone shares this week! Please grab the Man Approved Mondays Button to put somewhere on your blog and check out what the other people brought to the party.

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Quick Chicken Soup

The Man wasn’t feeling so well the other day, so my first instinct was to make him chicken soup. My version takes an extra pan because I was trying to make it quickly. Cooking the chicken, onions and celery are quicker in a pan than boiling them, but I can never seem to get carrots cooked in a pan quite the way I’d like them. That’s why I get a jump start on softening them up by boiling them while I’m cooking the chicken. Otherwise you could just toss everything in a big pot and let it boil until the chicken is cooked and the veggies were tender.

6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup carrot strips or grated
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon thyme

Put the chicken broth, water and carrots in a large pot, let it start boiling.
At the same, in a large pan add the rest of the ingredients. Cook until the chicken isn’t pink and the veggies are tender.
Add the chicken mixture to the chicken broth. Let it simmer for at least ten minutes, longer if possible.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 70.3
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 13.7 mg
Sodium: 520.3 mg
Total Carbs: 7.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 9.0 g

Quick Chicken Soup-001

Liebster Award

Moms Don’t Say That nominated me for the Liebster Award.  It’s a blogger to blogger award to help get to know each other.  I get eleven questions to answer and then I think of eleven different questions to ask eleven other bloggers that I nominate for the award.

Here’s the questions I was asked:

1. If you could change one physical thing about yourself what would it be and why?
I’d like my hair to be red.  I keep dying it, but the color doesn’t stay long.

2. What is your greatest strength?
I’m able to find something good in pretty much anything, I think I’ve said almost every place I’ve visited or lived has been my favorite place.

3. Who are the top 5 guys (or girsl) on your list? (you know, the laminated one that if they showed up at your door you could bang/fornicate/stare at naked with no questions asked)
I never really thought about it, but I guess the pirate version of Johnny Depp; the elf version of Orlando Bloom, Sean Connery (something about the voice), Booth from Bones, and I’m unsure who the fifth one would be.

4. What is your favorite movie that you could watch over and over again?
My favorite movie changes a lot, but I could always watch Friends.  It’s my comfort TV when The Man has to leave town or when he deployed.

5. Who is one person who has influenced you over the years? Why do you look up to them?
I would definitely have to say my husband, The Man, has been a huge influence.  He is incredibly smart in areas that I just feel lost in, like electronics or anything mechanical.  And if there’s something he wants, he keeps pushing towards it until he either reaches his goal or he has tried everything possible to get there.

6. What is your favorite restaurant to eat at?
Anywhere that has steak J  Luckily I live in Texas, so that’s a lot of them.

7. If money was no object what type of house would you live in?
I love our house (it’s our first one), I just want a couple acres of land.  We have a huge house with a big kitchen and an office for each of us.  We have a few projects we want to do around here, but I think we’ll have projects not matter which house we live in.

8. What is your favorite memory from childhood?
The first time I tried making a snowman when I was five.  I was horrible at it on my own, my dad had to come out and help me.

9. What are three goals you have for yourself for the next year?
I want to be able to go out for a two day backpacking hike.
I will get started on my master’s degree.
I’m going to continue working on the Man Approved Diet and helping it grow.

10. What book are you reading right now (or your most recently read one) and why should we read it?
I’m reading The Pampered Chef, it’s the story about how the Pampered Chef founder Doris Christopher started her own business and how it became what it is today.  It’s incredibly inspiring to read how the company came about.

11. What is one piece of advice that you would give to up and coming bloggers?
Just keep at it.  It might start off really slow, but it’ll be worth it.

So my eleven questions for my nominees are:

  1. What is your favorite food?
  2. What is you least favorite food?
  3. If you could be anything when you “grow up”, what would you be?
  4. If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  5. Do you have any pets?  What are they?
  6. What’s your favorite TV show and why?
  7. If you had to live in a different time period, which one would you choose?
  8. Do you prefer cooking or baking, or don’t like the kitchen at all?
  9. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
  10. What’s your favorite website?
  11. What’s something you’ve always wanted to try, but haven’t yet?

The eleven bloggers I’m nominating are:
The First Year Blog
Inside BruCrew Life
Pink Polka Dot Creations
I Heart Nap Time
Blessed with Grace
Love Bakes Good Cakes
Housewife How-To’s
Lil’ Luna
Nanny to Mommy
The Taylor House
Too Much Time on My Hands

Food Review: Campbells Soup

I’m a member of Smiley 360, so once in a while I get little missions to try something new and then share what I think about it with friends or family. Recently one of the missions was for Campbell’s Slow Kettle Style Soups. They sent me the Southwest-Style Chicken Chili with Black Beans & Sweet Corn one for free to try out, along with some coupons to share and a pair of socks. The socks seemed a little random to me, but I have a thing for tall stripe-y socks, so I’m not going to complain. They also gave me a coupon link to share with anyone who’s interested in trying it out for themselves.

The chili was pretty tasty, especially since I was having a Tex-Mex craving for a while. Each tub (I’m not sure what else to call it) has two servings in it, but at 190 calories a serving you could eat the whole thing for dinner and probably be fine as far as calorie counting goes. The thing that would stop me from eating it all would be the sodium content. It has 740 mg per serving, which is 31% of your daily value if you are eating about 2000 a day.

I wouldn’t have this on a regular basis, but I’ll probably keep a couple of them on hand for those nights where I just don’t feel like cooking and I don’t want to order out. Or in case one of my kitchen experiments fail 🙂

Let me know if you give one of the other flavors a try and what you thought of it!


Man Appoved Monday

Good Morning Everyone!  I’m actually pretty proud of myself for getting this post done up early 🙂  Just a little note, I’m not going to be able to do the featured post for the next couple of Mondays because I’ll heading up to Chicago for a wedding and to visit some family (not to mention a well deserved break after my last set of finals for my bachelors!).  But I promise I’ll post one after I get back!!

And now to the fun part 🙂  This week’s Man Approved Recipe goes to Memories by the Mile and her Creamy Lobster Farfalle!  Maybe it’s because we started watching Deadliest Catch, but lobster sounds amazing, especially if it’s in pasta 🙂  Please feel free to take the button for your page.

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I look forward to seeing what everyone shares this week! Please grab the Man Approved Mondays Button to put somewhere on your blog and check out what the other people brought to the party.

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Cheesy Italian Pasta

My Cheesy Salsa Pasta was such a huge hit around our house that I wanted to try making something that was similar to it, but with different flavors. This time I decided to try it with an Italian spin on it, replacing salsa with regular tomatoes and adding some Italian seasoning. I left out the cream cheese and used a little cornstarch in white wine to thicken it up. All in all, it went over really well here.

6 oz uncooked pasta
3/4 pound extra lean ground turkey
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 cans diced, no salt added tomatoes, drained
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Cook the turkey, onions and garlic together in a large skillet until cooked thoroughly. Add the beef broth, Italian seasoning, and tomatoes. Whisk the cornstrach into the wine, then pour into the skillet. Let it come to a boil. Add the pasta and cheese to the skillet. Simmer until the sauce becomes thick.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 415.4
Total Fat: 7.0 g
Cholesterol: 48.8 mg
Sodium: 461.6 mg
Total Carbs: 49.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.9 g
Protein: 35.3 g

Cheesy Italian Pasta-001

Shredded Pork over Mashed Potatoes

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that I bought a big thing of pork loin and I’ve been working on ways to use it. Well, I gave up with another recipe using it. The Man liked that this was a full meal all in one bowl. If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while, you know I don’t add salt to recipes if I can help it. So you might want to add a dash of salt to this, but it’s really pretty good.

1 pound pork roast
3 medium potatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup butter
1 10 oz bag frozen green beans

Put the pork, onions, garlic and potatoes in a slow cooker and pour the broth over everything. Let it sit for 8 hours on low or high for 4 hours.
Pull out the potatoes and mash them with the butter, set it aside.
Take out the pork and shred it, set it aside.
Whisk the cornstarch into a little water, then whisk into the liquid remaining in the slow cooker. Turn it up to high and let it get hot enough to start bubbling.
Steam the green beans in the microwave for about five minutes. Add them and the shredded pork to the slow cooker. Mix to coat with the gravy.
Serve on top of the mashed potatoes.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 418.4
Total Fat: 26.0 g
Cholesterol: 91.7 mg
Sodium: 206.3 mg
Total Carbs: 23.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Protein: 21.0 g


Man Approved Monday

Hi Everyone!  I hope you guys are all doing well.  It’s been a bit hectic around here.  I’m in my last term of school for my bachelors and midterm week was last week.  And no midterm week is complete without a little sickness, so The Man got a bug and was nice enough to share a minor version of it with me.  Such a sweetie 🙂  This week is going to be better, the weather is starting to warm up enough for me to get out and do a little hiking.  And it’s a good thing too because this week’s Man Approved Recipe is The First Year Blog’s Homemade Thin Mint Cookies.  I love that she gave us a recipe to make them at home because I’m sure they’re a least a bit better for you than the boxed ones and they don’t have all the extra chemicals.  Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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I look forward to seeing what everyone shares this week! Please grab the Man Approved Mondays Button to put somewhere on your blog and check out what the other people brought to the party.

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Cheeseburger Empanadas

On one of my Pampered Chef chat boards, someone was looking for a recipe for cheeseburger empanadas. I didn’t find the recipe they were looking for, so I decided to try coming up with a recipe on my own. Besides, I love grab and go meals. The last time I made empanadas I could freeze them and they reheated really well. I don’t see why this ones would be any different.

3/4 pound extra lean ground beef
6 strips bacon, diced
1 cup diced onions
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup diced tomatoes (I like using cherry tomatoes)
1/4 cup barbecue dry rub seasoning
20 empananda wraps

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pan, cook the beef, onions, garlic, and bacon until meat is done. In a bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, cheese, dry rub, and meat mix.
Place a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of one of the empananda wraps. Fold it in half and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top becomes golden brown.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 20
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 182.6
Total Fat: 7.4 g
Cholesterol: 14.2 mg
Sodium: 275.3 mg
Total Carbs: 23.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 7.9 g

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French Onion Soup

There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of French Onion soup, with big croutons and melted provolone on top. Mine is slow cooked, so more of the flavor is able to develop. Now, you could just throw the uncooked onions in the slow cooker, but it doesn’t taste quite right that way. Cooking them gives the onions a smoother taste. You could also use store bought croutons if you’d like, premade are easie but homemade are better for you. Either way, it’s delicious!

2 rolls, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
6 cups low sodium beef broth
6 slices provolone cheese

Brush the bread cubes with the oil olive and dust with any herbs you’d like. Cook in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes or until completely dry. Stir often to avoid burning.
In a large skillet, cook the onions over medium heat until they brown and carmelize. Transfer them to a pot and add the beef broth. Cook on low for about an hour or until the flavors have mixed.
To serve, top a cup of soup with a few of the dried bread cubes and a slice of cheese. Broil for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starts to brown.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 224.9
Total Fat: 10.8 g
Cholesterol: 19.6 mg
Sodium: 804.5 mg
Total Carbs: 18.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 13.2 g

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