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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

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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

Breakfast cookies

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

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

Herbed Sausage Stuffing

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

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

pumpkin trifle