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Veggie Ranch Cups

Sometimes it can get a little old putting out the same veggie tray at every party. But at the same time, you want to have some sort of healthy option for your guests (and sometimes yourself). Well, fillo cups to the rescue again. Although these have most of the same ingredients you would find in a regular veggie tray, these are a little easier to handle in a party setting. Instead of using bottled ranch dip, the seasonings in the ingredient list makes a ranch dressing without the extra sodium or fat.

Ingredients
15 mini fillo shells
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 diced tomatoes
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions
Arrange the fillo shells on a plate or cookie sheet.
Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and spoon into the fillo shells.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 15
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 30.4
Total Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 19.8 mg
Total Carbs: 5.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 1.6 g

Veggie Ranch Cups-001

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

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

Med Pizza

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

easy hummus

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

eggplant bruschette

Red and Yellow Italian Pizza

During my first trip to Italy I discovered Margerita Pizza, a simple pizza with just a little sauce, fresh basil and fresh buffalo mozzarella.  The freshness of the ingredients really stands out.  This is a little twist on that pizza.  Pizza is one of those things that just about everyone loves, and with all the variations on it, you could have it a couple times a week without anyone getting tired of it.

Although I normally just buy pizza crust because it’s convient, this crust is tastier than most you could buy because of the herbs in it.  Plus, it’s really not the difficult.  If you don’t want to waste the other half packet of yeast, double the recipe and bake two crusts.  Let one cool competely, then freeze it in a air tight bag.

Ingredients

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 package dry yeast (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon dry basil

For the toppings:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes (red and yellow)
3 cloves minced garlic
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
10-15 large leaves of fresh basil

Directions

For the pizza crust:

If you have a stand mixer (like a KitchenAid), use the dough hook.  Place the water in the bottom of the bowl.  Layer the flour on top, letting it mound up in the middle.  Using the back of a spoon, create a small indentation in the flour and pour the yeast in the dent.  Add in the basil, garlic and onion powders.  For the first few seconds, run the mixer on lower then increase the speed.  Mix it until the dough forms a ball and all of the flour has been mixed in.

If you don’t have a mixer, mix the herbs, yeast and half the flour.  Add the flour mixture to the water with a spoon.  Continue adding the flour and mixing with a spoon until no more will mix in.  Place the dough on a floured surface and knead in the remaining flour a little at a time.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the dough on a plate and loosely cover with a cloth towel.  Place it on the stove for about ten minutes (the heat from the preheating oven will help the dough rise).  After the dough has rest, flatten the dough into a 1/4-1/2 inch thick circle.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to brown.

 

While the crust is rising, cut the tomatoes in half.  Pat the mozzarella with paper towel to remove the extra moisture and cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Snip the basil leaves in small pieces (I use herb scissors, they cut the herbs into 1/8-1/4 inch pieces).

After the crust is done baking, lightly brush the pizza crust with the olive oil.  Layer the mozzarella slices over the crust and evenly top with tomato halves and garlic.  Bake at 400 degrees for another 5-7 minutes, until the cheese has melted.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil.

Nutritional Info

  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 385.5
  • Total Fat: 13.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 32.9 mg
  • Sodium: 267.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 45.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 20.7 g