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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

Cheeseburger Empanadas-001


Man Cups

I love using these little fillo cups to make snacks for parties. And although The Man likes all of them that I’ve posted, a lot of times they tend to be a little more on the, well, girly side. So I decided to make some especially for The Man. Not surprisingly, they were the first ones to disappear at the party!

1 small boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
15 mini fillo shells

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange the fillo shells on a cookie sheet.
In a skillet, cook the diced chicken and diced bacon until the chicken is golden and the bacon crispy. Set aside for few minutes to let it cool. Mix the bacon, chicken, cheese, and barbecue sauce together. Spoon into the cups and bake for seven to ten minutes. Let them cool for a couple of minutes before eating them.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 15
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 40.2
Total Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 8.0 mg
Sodium: 86.2 mg
Total Carbs: 2.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 3.6 g

Man Cups-001

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Shaken Together

Loaded Potato Salad

Potato salad is normally something that you would serve at cookouts during the summer. Well, I guess one of the fun things about Texas is that it’s pretty much cookout weather year round! The Man has a wonderful rib recipe that he uses at pretty much every cookout. He likes to say it’s world famous because he discovered the recipe while we were stationed in Germany and would win the neighborhood rib cook off contests the guys would have. (Although I’m pretty sure the other guys say they won, but that’s guys for you.) To me, nothing goes better with ribs than potato salad. My friend gave me the idea of adding bacon to it and I think all good potato salad should have hard boiled eggs. This one is also loaded with veggies. If you have a leftover veggie tray or just random salad veggies in your fridge, they would work just as well. Instead of the usual mayo and mustard based dressing, I kind of made up my own using plain greek yogurt and dry mustard (specifically this djion mustard rub from Pampered Chef). Doing so cuts down on the calories and fat, which when added to all the extra veggies, makes this potato salad not so bad for you (and the guys would never guess that it’s healthier for them).

5 large potatoes, chopped into 1 inch pieces
6 large eggs
2 cups fat free plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons dry ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
10 slices center cut bacon
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 large red peppers, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chopped potatoes and eggs. Boil until the potatoes are tender enough to easily stick with a fork (about 20 minutes). Drain the potatoes, peel and chop the eggs.
In a bowl mix the greek yogurt, dry mustard, salt, and water. Set aside.
Dice the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Cook in a skillet with the onions and garlic until the bacon is crispy.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, bacon mixtures, chopped veggies, and yogurt/mustard mixture. Stir until everything is well coated with the yogurt and mustard mixture. Cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least three hours (preferrably overnight).

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 10
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 187.8
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Cholesterol: 117.0 mg
Sodium: 390.9 mg
Total Carbs: 23.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 12.1 g


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.

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

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

Jalapeno Popper Pizza

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

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

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9×9 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

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

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

Breaded Baked Chicken with Cheesy Potatoes

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.

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

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

Tomato Bacon Quiche

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.


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


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

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Potato Soup

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.


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

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

Bacon Spaghetti Pie

Bacon and Cheese Meatloaf

My husband doesn’t normally like meatloaf, but add bacon and cheese and he actually starts requesting it.  You could use turkey bacon if you wanted, just make sure you check the labels.  Depending on your dietary requirements, regular bacon might be more what you are looking for.  The brands I compared had higher sodium contents than regular bacon.  I prefer to get the center cut because it seems to have less fat on it, but the beauty of cooking yourself is you can use whatever you want.  A lot of times I’ll cook up something and do half of it with extra cheese or bacon for him (like the slice below) and put less on the other half for me.  Simple little things like that really help when trying to accommodate two different diets.  I usually serve this with some steamed broccoli (buttered for him and plain for me) and maybe dinner rolls.

3 minced cloves garlic
3 diced plum tomatoes
1 diced jalapeno pepper (leave in seeds for a hotter taste)
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup barbecue sauce plus two tablespoons
1/2 cup chopped onions
6 slices centercut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the diced tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, breadcrumbs, ground turkey and 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce in a large bowl.
In a saute pan, cook the bacon and onions until the bacon is crispy.  Drain well on paper towels.
Line a bread pan with foil.  Put half of the meat mixture in the bottom of the pan, creating a depression running down the center of the loaf.  Fill the depression with the bacon mixture and half of the cheese.  Cover with the remaining meat mixture, ensuring that the bacon and cheese are sealed in.
Bake covered for 30 minutes.  Top with the remaining barbecue sauce and cheese, bake for another five minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Microwave Directions
Follow the directions above, except put the meatloaf in a microwave safe container. Loosely cover with a lid or plastic wrap and microwave for 15 – 17 minutes. Top with the barbecue sauce and cheese, microwave for another 3 – 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 393.0
Total Fat: 15.0 g
Cholesterol: 97.5 mg
Sodium: 851.0 mg
Total Carbs: 31.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
Protein: 33.5 g