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Strawberry Balsamic Salad

The weather here has been a little crazy, one day it’s in the 80’s and another it’s down to the 40’s. I’m glad that spring is moving into Texas, I just wish it would be more consistently springy. That’s a big part of the inspiration behind this salad. I’m sure that plain balsamic vinegar would be just as tasty as the vanilla bean one I found at Con Olio.

Ingredients
3 cups fresh spinach
6 strawberries, sliced
1 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons vanilla bean balsamic vinegar

Directions
Toss all the ingredients together and enjoy.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 255.9
Total Fat: 17.5 g
Cholesterol: 15.0 mg
Sodium: 192.2 mg
Total Carbs: 16.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.9 g
Protein: 10.6 g

Strawberry Balsamic Salad-001

Pinterest Wednesday: Flavored Waters

Everyone knows they need to drink more water, myself included. But lets be honest, plain water can get a bit boring. So I pinned this set of recipes for Naturally Flavored Water a while ago. The Yummy Life posted five different I tried the citrus water a few times and it’s pretty good. The only thing is that it’s not sweet like most things we’re used to drinking. This week I decided to give the other flavors a try.  The only one on her site that I didn’t try was the watermelon one.  The Blackberry Sage looked really pretty, but the flavor wasn’t quite there.  I think I had the same problem she mentioned in her post, the blackberries just weren’t ripe enough to compete with the sage.  Next up was the Raspberry Lime, which I think was The Man’s favorite.  It reminded me a little of Cherry Limeade from Sonic, which I love.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was sometimes the seeds would get through the strainer., but that could be fixed with a better strainer.  I think my favorite was the Pineapple Mint, it was really crisp and refreshing.  I could really see it taking the place of lemonade in the summer and it was perfect for a drink after a workout.

Blackberry Sage Water-001

Her post actually inspired me to try making my own flavored water.  I’ve been under the weather with a stomach bug lately.  Since ginger naturally helps settle the stomach, I’ve been drinking ginger all like you wouldnt’ believe.  I decided to use fresh ginger (to settle my stomach) and oranges (for the vitamin C) to come up with a flavored water that had the added benefit of helping me get over whatever bug I caught.  I don’t know if it helped me get better, but it did help my stomach and it was really tasty!

Blackberry Cream Cups

Awhile back our local grocery store had blackberries on sale, so I tried to make a blackberry meringue pie. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out at all the way I was hoping it would. Since then I’ve really had the taste for something with blackberries in it. So when we hosted our next party, I decided to try again. This time I went with the mini fillo shells because they are perfect for parties and I’ve really enjoyed coming up with fillings for them. These are a little bit of work, you’ve really got to watch the pot once it starts boiling because it get thick fast. In the directions it says you can spoon the filling into the cups. Well, you can also put the filling in a frosting bag with a wide tip and pipe it into the cups. The Man helped with this part and I think he kinda had fun with it. The only problem with this method is that the filling is a little runny, so it’ll work but you’ll have to move quickly from one cup to the next. We problem would have been able to fill a few more cups if it wasn’t for the filling that dripped out between cups.

Ingredients
30 mini fillo cups
5 oz fat free cream cheese
3/4 cups frozen blackberries, thawed (with juice)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions
Arrange the fillo cups on a cookie sheet or plate.
Whisk the cornstarch into the water. In a small pot, whisk together the cream cheese, blackberries with juice, sugar, and cornstarch water. Slowly bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Afterr it starts boiling it will get very thick very fast. When it’s about the same thickness as a pudding, take it off the heat. Spoon it into the mini cups and let them cool. The cream will thicken as it cools.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 30
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 29.5
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.8 mg
Sodium: 39.4 mg
Total Carbs: 5.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 1.2 g

Blackberry Cream Cups-001

Nutty Apple Bites

I had two lonely apples sitting in my kitchen that were just begging for me to use them in something. Well, luck for them, we decided to have a party and I wanted to make a sweet little bite and they were just perfect for it! I like including a dessert type dish whenever we have parties, which are usually pretty heavy on savory or spicy dishes. These gave the perfect contrast without being too sweet.  Plus they’re only 27 calories for each one, so you can have a few of them without feeling guilty. I used the Pampered Chef cinnamon blend, which I think added a little extra flavor, but you can use regular cinnamon. Leave the peels on the apples to make it easier on yourself. Besides, the peels have some fiber and other healthy stuff.

Ingredients
2 medium gala or braeburn apples, finely diced
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped pecans (the really small pieces)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
30 mini filo cups

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange the filo cups on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine the diced apples, chopped pecans, greek yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract.
Spoon the apple filling evenly between the cups. They will be almost overflowing.
Bake at 350 degrees for eight minutes.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 30
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 26.7
Total Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 8.8 mg
Total Carbs: 3.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.9 g

Nutty Apple Bites-001

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

Cranberry Nut Pie

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

Sex on a Plate Apple Pie

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

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