Author Archives for A Pinch of Crazy

About A Pinch of Crazy

Molly Mills is a Jesus follower, coffee lover, work-at-home wife and mother who values healthy meals with family. Molly wants to bring easy, healthy meals, with a pinch of crazy, to her readers.

A Cornucopia of Ideas

See what I did there? Thanksgiving. Cornucopia. But instead of fruit and gourds, my cornucopia is full of ideas for your Thanksgiving menu! To be honest, I only have one extra recipe photographed right now, it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving or the holidays (it’s a make-ahead breakfast cup), and all my creative juices are going towards stopping temper tantrums, lessons, and reorganizing to get Zemirah’s big girl room and the baby’s room ready. So that being said, my cornucopia of ideas is all pulled from recipes past, but all linked in this handy dandy notebook post! Hope you can glean some ideas for your turkey day!

Drinks:

  • Slow Cooker Apple Cider – This would be perfect to have simmering in the slow cooker when guests arrive. For adults, add a splash of spiced rum!
  • Death by Hot Chocolate – Perfect to serve alongside desserts; you could even have a fun hot chocolate bar set up by the dessert table. My favorite kind of bar 😉
  • Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer – Another one of my favorite bars is a coffee bar, and if you have creamer options out by the coffee, this is a must!
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Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Appetizers:

  • Spicy Deviled Eggs – Everyone loves a deviled egg appetizer, and these have just the right amount of spice thanks to tangy pickled jalapenos.
  • Slow Cooker Meatballs – These tender meatballs are swimming in a flavorful tomato sauce and ready for your appetizer table.
  • Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping – A sweeter appetizer, but this pumpkin bread is delicious, and would be so perfectly adorable sliced on a little wooden cutting board. Next to the butter dish of course!
  • Classic Garlic Hummus – The perfect dip to add to your charcuterie board – goes great with crackers, breads, or veggies!
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Spicy Deviled Eggs

Main Dish:

  • Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy – If you’re going for a classic main dish at your Thanksgiving dinner, turkey it is. This turkey has a garlic, herb compound ghee (you could also use butter) rubbed under the skin for moistness (gag. I said it.), with a squeeze of grapefruit juice for acidity. With great flavors, perfectly crispy skin, and tender meat, this is a crowd pleaser, and it comes complete with a simple gravy recipe.
  • Roasted Chicken with Carrots – This is a perfect main dish for a smaller crowd. It’s still a whole bird, just smaller, but with bright flavors, crispy skin, and a side dish built right in!
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Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey

Side Dishes:

  • Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots – Nothing says fall more than carrots roasted in a maple syrup glaze. These are tender, sweet and salty, and perfect to go alongside your Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Sweet and Sour Broccoli – The name says it all. A little sweet, a little sour, and a little spicy. Change up your steamed broccoli game!
  • Roasted Potatoes – Easy, “cheesy”, crispy potatoes are delicious with any meal, so why not make it easy on yourself and toss these in the oven alongside your turkey?
  • ABC Brussels Sprouts – A is for almond, B for balsamic, C for cranberries; this sweet and tart veggie side is sure to please the taste buds and the eye with it’s festive colors.
  • Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes – You gotta have mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving! Why not make them healthier by being dairy free?
  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts – Delight your guests with a salty, crispy, roasted side.
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Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Desserts:

  • Pumpkin Pecan Muffins – For those with the not-so-big sweet tooth who want just a touch of dessert with their after-dinner coffee.
  • Apple Pie Parfaits – Adorable single serve parfaits are full of all the flavors of apple pie.
  • No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust – A classically plain “cheese”cake: sweet, mildly tart, with a nutty, chocolatey crust has endless topping possibilities! Guests can create their own with their favorite fruits or nuts.
  • Microwave Molten Lava Cake – These personal chocolate cakes are decadent, easy, and perfect for a smaller crowd.
  • No Bake Pumpkin Pie – A classic remade with a healthy twist!
  • Molasses Cookies – You have to have a cookie jar on the dessert table, and these are the cookies to fill it with! Full of warm, spiced flavors, and sweetened with molasses.
  • Pumpkin Spice Cake – All the flavors of fall in a gorgeous bundt cake, bathed in dark chocolate ganache and topped with candied pumpkin seeds. If this cake doesn’t say “fall”, I don’t know what does!
  • Two Layer Paleo Fudge – It’s time to pull out the holiday favorites, like fudge! This fudge has a layer of almond butter topped with chocolate; add a sprinkle of sea salt on top, and it’s fudgy perfection!
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Two Layer Paleo Fudge

 

Hopefully this list can give you some ideas for a healthier, yet delicious Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has a blessed holiday, enjoy your family, enjoy the food…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots

How is it already mid-November?! I’m pretty sure it was just New Year’s Day 2019 and now the year is almost over…not to mention, the holidays are right around the corner. The countdown to Thanksgiving 2019 is on, and I have to tell you, as a pregnant woman in my second trimester, I’m pretty  extremely excited! The pregnant appetite is real these days so I’m speculating I’ll down a second plate plus a dessert plate at least. Anyway, you’re not here for my Thanksgiving day dreams, you’re here for the carrots.

These are special enough for a Thanksgiving side, yet simple enough for a weeknight dinner. Roasting the carrots brings out their natural sweetness, which is only enhanced by maple syrup, counteracted by the tartness of Dijon mustard, and a touch of rosemary adds brightness. I struggle to get Zemirah to eat carrots, but she wouldn’t stop taking these right from the bowl while I was photographing them! I certainly hope your family will like these as much as mine did!

Maple Dijon Roasted Carrots


Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of baby carrots, halved lengthwise (large carrots would work, too, but would need to be sliced into quarters)
  • 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp of butter (my favorite brand of grass fed butter) or ghee, melted (or substitute with your favorite cooking oil such as coconut or avocado)
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Lay carrots flat on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt your butter or ghee (if using a liquid at room temp oil, ignore this step)
  4. Combine butter, syrup, mustard, rosemary, and salt
  5. Pour mixture over carrots and stir to ensure all carrots are covered
  6. Roast for 50-60 minutes, stirring halfway through, until fork tender
  7. Store leftovers covered in fridge for a week to 10 days

 

Easy peasy and delicious! The carrots in my Roasted Chicken with Carrots are also amazing, and for more vegetable side dishes check out my Crispy Brussels SproutsSweet and Sour BroccoliABC Brussels Sprouts, plus plenty of potato recipes. I hope this simple recipe inspires you for your Thanksgiving sides, or even as a way to make a weeknight dinner a little fancier – and it never hurts to cover your kids’ vegetables in syrup and butter 😛 Eat your vegetables, like them, too…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

First Trimester Recap

If you hadn’t heard, now you know! Baby Mills #2 is coming in April 2020! I briefly spoke about my pregnancy in my most recent post, and have also shared on my social media, but I wanted to give a more in-depth recap of our journey to Baby 2, how my first trimester went, and what I ate – this is a food blog after all 😛

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Journey to Baby

On June 25th, 2019 I took a pregnancy test which, much to my shock, came back positive; I didn’t have any symptoms other than being late. We had talked about wanting to start trying soon, but weren’t quite there yet. However, we were so excited and planned to tell our families on July 4th festivities. Sadly, this little one never made it that far – we lost our darling babe on July 2nd. Due to our recent move, a surprise pregnancy, and the holiday, it took what seemed like forever to finally get in to see a doctor and make sure everything had passed and was okay. But I eventually found a team of midwives that we (all 3 of us!) adore! They tested my hormone levels to make sure I didn’t have any pregnancy hormones left, and said we could start trying again at any time.

We weren’t exactly “trying”, but also weren’t preventing, and when I had three consecutive days of slight, annoying nausea, and still no cycle after the miscarriage, I decided to take a pregnancy test on July 30th. Again, positive! We were simultaneously nervous and over the moon. Almost immediately we visited the midwives to test my hormone levels and make sure they were rising appropriately – they were! We even did a very early ultrasound at 6 weeks to make sure everything was in the right place, and got to see our teeny tiny grain of rice baby flicker ever so slightly with a heartbeat.

Now I am 18 weeks pregnant (almost halfway!), Baby is the size of a cucumber, and while I still think about, and feel sad about, the sweet baby we won’t meet on this earth, I am so thankful to feel these precious baby jabs in my womb. It is frightening that there are so many variables that can cause a pregnancy to fail, but all I can focus on is that for now I have this little, wriggling life inside of me, and he/she has a rambunctious big sister who loves to kiss them already and even put lotion on them! Rather than fretting about what could be, I will choose to cherish these moments.

10 weeks, 12 weeks, 15 weeks

Symptoms and Cravings

Nausea: the dreaded symptom of all pregnant mamas, yet, this time around, it was an odd comfort to know that my hormones were high and Baby was well! Miraculously, I never vomited due to morning sickness *praise hands* but had plenty of food aversions, uncomfortable nausea, sensitive gag reflex, and was sensitive to smells.

One of the first foods I quickly had to give up was eggs of all kinds. I thought my first pregnancy barf was coming one morning when I was 8 weeks pregnant and peeling a hard boiled egg for Zemirah. Gag! So then instead of our standard boiled eggs and oatmeal (which was also hard for me to stomach), we would usually have toast and a big glass of my Berries and Greens Smoothie; something nice and cold, sweet, and with hidden veggies – which were another food aversion.

I started craving dairy, which we hardly have in the house. I made a big lasagna with gluten free noodles, spinach, and lots of cottage cheese, I also ate cheese-sticks for snacks, bowls of cottage cheese, and made my Spaghetti Bake with Balsamic Glaze with ooey gooey mozzarella! The dairy craving has passed now, but I have found with this pregnancy that my stomach can handle dairy much better than my non-pregnant stomach can.

I have been craving all things tart and sour since the beginning of pregnancy, and still am! Green olives and/or kalamata olives are a standard snack for me, along with pickles or banana peppers, and at the beginning of pregnancy I couldn’t get enough ice cold lemonade! Instead of drinking the overly sugary, overly dyed kind, I chose to get Simply Lemonade, made with water, lemon juice, and cane sugar. A deliciously sweet/tart treat I’ve enjoyed this pregnancy is Annie’s Sour Bunnies – an organic, real sugar chewy treat!

Sandwiches! Oh my word, I could not get enough sandwiches at the beginning of pregnancy. They were light, refreshing, cold, and I could put lots of tart condiments like mustard, pickles, banana peppers, and put extra veggies in there like greens, tomatoes, or cucumbers. Not to mention, I could pile them high with meats! The sandwich craving has passed for now, and I’ve lowered my bread intake, but I was just letting myself eat as much whole grain bread as I needed to to stave off the nausea while filling my belly.

Speaking of meat…yes I craved meat at the beginning of pregnancy. Which was weird for me because I wasn’t like that with Zemirah. Maybe it’s a boy??? But I was all about big, juicy lettuce wrapped burgers or tacos, Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Veggies with pork or beef, and have made a lot of Roasted Chicken with Carrots to satisfy my cravings while getting some vegetables in, too.

My eating habits have pretty much returned to normal now; I still have more carbs than usual due to my growing appetite, but I am eating more vegetables and little to no dairy again. However, I felt perfectly comfortable letting my body dictate how I needed to eat those first few months and just steering it healthier. Because while I might have been craving deep fried mozzarella sticks (yep, I was) I knew I could satisfy that craving and feel better in my body by eating a cheese stick and some crackers with hummus…probably with a handful of olives, too. Yum!

Activity

While pregnant with my first, Zemirah, I struggled to be active and exercise. With this baby, though, I am fortunate to be a Stroller Strides instructor so I have to get outside and exercise at least twice a week! And on those mornings where I thought I wouldn’t even be able to hold down a piece of dry toast, I found that movement and fresh air really helped cure my nausea. My goal for each day is to move my body, whether that’s instructing Stroller Strides, going to one of the other classes offered with Fit4Mom, going for a long walk, and some days when it’s hard to get out of the house, that may just look like some stretchy yoga. One of my midwives told me, “any movement is better than no movement” so if all I can manage one day is a few downward dogs, I’m counting it!

I’ve also given myself more grace to rest and nap this time around. I can usually find a hundred other things to do rather than lay down, but I know I need to get rest for this little baby. Oftentimes, I nap when Zemirah does, but on days where I have to work, I make sure to have time to sit and quiet my brain. Nearly every night, I go to bed early…usually on the couch and then my husband cruelly wakes me up to go to the bed haha! And if I’m feeling extra sleepy when my alarm goes off, I snooze until Zemirah comes and wakes me.

Basically what I’ve learned in this Crazy season of having a toddler, multiple part time jobs, and being pregnant is that it’s all about grace. Grace to not post a new recipe here every week, grace to not have a spotless house, grace to sleep in, grace to eat toast or cheese. And whatever season you’re in, you deserve some grace, too. Eat that dessert, take that power nap, leave your dishes overnight, whatever you need to do for a little breathing room…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

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This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

 

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

How does time keep escaping me? I blinked and October is almost over! Halloween is a mere 9 days away, and I still haven’t hemmed Zemirah’s Elsa costume, nor have I blogged in over two weeks. Two weeks with no new recipes is officially my longest, albeit accidental, break from my blog. In case you missed it on my social media (click the links at the bottom of this post to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook), we are expecting Baby Mills #2 in April! I’m currently four months along, Baby is the size of a large avocado, and giving me sweet little jabs every now and then. After our miscarriage in July, we’ve been concerned with Baby’s health, but so far everything is looking perfect!

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Little baby bump when I was 12 weeks along.

Obviously pregnancy along with being the mom of a rambunctious toddler has kept me occupied, in a true Pinch of Crazy way. *insert crazy heart eyes here* Bear with me over these next months; I promise I’ll blog whenever I get the chance! For now, continue relishing your crisply cool fall days while enjoying these delicious, not-too-sweet, healthy Pumpkin Pecan Muffins. Nothing like a homemade pumpkin treat to welcome fall in!

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins


Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of almond flour
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted (here is my favorite brand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of roughly chopped pecans (or buy pecan pieces)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 liners. (or use these reusable silicone liners)
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine first 6 ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg).
  4. Create a well in your dry ingredients and add the next 4 ingredients (pumpkin through syrup), stirring until just combined.
  5. Fold in your chopped pecans.
  6. Fill each liner about 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top bounces back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Serve warm or room temperature with butter and a drizzle of honey (optional but sooo delicious!)

I love this season of pumpkin treats! For more pumpkin recipes, check out my Pumpkin Bread with Crumb ToppingPumpkin Spice Cake, No Bake Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer. If you’re searching for more a savory fall recipe, you would probably like my Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Lemon Butter ShrimpCreamy Tomato Basil Soup, or my Two Bean Turkey Chili. Whatever you end up cooking/baking, I hope it warms your bellies and your hearts! Bask in these gorgeous fall days, nap in the afternoon sunshine, crunch some fallen leaves beneath your feet…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Lemon Butter Shrimp

I’ve talked before about my love of pasta. Honestly who doesn’t love a big bowl of al dente hopes and dreams carb-y deliciousness slathered in creamy sauce? Don’t lie, you know your mouth is watering 😉

Back in 2015, my husband David and I had only been married about a year, living in a little one bedroom apartment on-base, and I was really starting to experiment in the kitchen. I was feeding us all sorts of delicious, albeit not great for us, foods – pasta most of all! When January 2016 rolled around, our New Year’s resolution was to save for a trip to Italy in 2017. I was going to learn how to make homemade pasta from some Italian grannies, David was going to see all the fantastic art, and we were going to eat and drink our way through the country. Come May 2016, we had saved about $1,300…but then my Aunt Flo didn’t show up for her monthly visit, and I saw two pink lines that completely shifted our future plans. In January 2017 we welcomed our Zemirah Capri (you can read her birth story here), whose middle name was inspired by our plans to visit Capri, Italy, and the rest is *happy* history! We still plan on visiting Italy one day – after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day – so I’m sure it will stick around 😉

Fast forward another year and I discovered how much steering clear of dairy really helped my IBS symptoms (you can read our journey with healthy-ish eating here), and we both discovered limiting gluten helped with decreasing bloat and feeling better all around! We are not 100% dairy free or gluten free, but I can tell you that a big bowl of the *real deal* fettucine alfredo would not do us any favors. And since it is now officially fall and all the lovely gourds are in season, I thought I would make over this classic comfort food to be easy for our digestive systems while still tasting amazing! I truly hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, and can indulge in your comfort food cravings without regret!

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Lemon Butter Shrimp


Ingredients

    For the spaghetti squash:
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • Two medium sized spaghetti squashes, to produce about 7-8 cups of shredded spaghetti squash (roasting instructions below)
  • 1/3 cup of avocado oil based mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 10 oz of light coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • Cayenne to taste, optional
  • For the shrimp:
  • 1 lb of peeled and de-veined shrimp (if using frozen, thaw them first)
  • 3 tbsp of butter or ghee
  • One large lemon (or two small), sliced
  • Dried parsley
  • Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds and pulp (you can pierce the squash and microwave for about 5-6 minutes to soften up if you are having a hard time cutting it)
  3. Drizzle each half with olive oil, and season to your taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
  4. Roast on a baking sheet, cut side up, for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the skin is easily pierced with a fork, and the flesh can easily be scraped out.
  5. Shred the squash and set aside.
  6. Make the sauce by combining mayo, nutritional yeast, coconut milk, lemon juice, and seasonings in a large pot.
  7. Bring sauce to a soft boil, stirring often. If the sauce looks too thick, add more coconut milk. If it looks to runny, add more mayo.
  8. Once sauce has come together, reduce heat to low and add squash, using tongs to toss and combine.
  9. Cover and keep heat on low while you cook the shrimp.
  10. In a large pan, melt your butter over medium-low heat.
  11. Once melted, add the shrimp – making sure all shrimp are touching the pan and not overcrowded.
  12. Season as desired with kosher salt and dried parsley.
  13. Lightly squeeze lemon slices, then add those to the pan as well.
  14. Cook shrimp for about 2-3 minutes per side, until pink.
  15. Serve immediately and garnish with lemon slices and parsley, if desired.
  16. Keep leftovers covered in the fridge. The shrimp will keep for about 3-4 days and the squash for a week.

For another noodle “pasta” recipe, check out my Zoodles with Meat Sauce, but if you’re wanting some actual gluten free noodles, check out my Spaghetti Bake with Balsamic Glaze or Baked Ziti with Sausage – personally, I love them all. But then again, I could swim in a pile of noodles, whether they are spiralized veggies or made from chick peas.

This spaghetti squash recipe is so easy, healthy, and astoundingly delicious! I am sure it will be a fall favorite for my family, and I hope it will be for yours, too. Eat some healthier comfort food, really savor it…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Apple Pie Parfaits

It is officially fall! The first day of fall was four days ago and the high today is…95. So while it may not quite feel like fall, we can still celebrate by busting out the decorations and using all the warm, spiced flavors! These Apple Pie Parfaits are full of all the fall flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and coziness. 🙂 Warm, spiced apples are “cozy” between layers of dairy free whipped cream and nutty, crunchy granola crumble. Delicious! I knew this recipe was a keeper when my picky nephew kept asking for more. *praise hands* I hope you and your family enjoy this vegan, refined sugar free fall treat as much as mine did!

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Apple Pie Parfaits


Ingredients

    For the apple filling:
  • 4 medium sized apples, thinly sliced (I used two Gala and two Granny Smith. I also left the skin on for looks + extra fiber, but you can peel them if desired.)
  • 1 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp of pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the granola crumble:
  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1 tbsp of whole flax seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • For the whipped cream layer:
  • Generous spoonfuls of dairy free whipped cream (there is also a coconut cream whipped cream made by Reddi Whip)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Drop apple slices in the boiling water and boil for about 5-7 minutes, until tender crisp.
  3. While the apples are boiling, make your granola crumble by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until combined, but with texture – you don’t want granola dust!
  4. Once apples are cooked, drain and return to pot. Stir in remaining apple filling ingredients until all slices are coated in “coziness” 😉
  5. In a glass of your choice, layer whipped cream, granola crumble, and apple slices. Repeat layers until you reach the top, ending with whipped cream!
  6. Serve warm.
  7. Keep leftovers separate – apples in the fridge and crumble at room temperature. Simply reheat the apples when you want more and layer away!

For more recipes to celebrate fall (or “hotumn” as I saw on Facebook), check out my Cinnamon ApplesauceSlow Cooker Apple CiderPumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping, or Pumpkin Spice Cake. And to make your home smell like a fall-themed bakery, use my “recipe” for Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Scent! I certainly wish it were cooler, but it’s my favorite season, so I will still celebrate! Enjoy this marginally cooler weather, celebrate anyway…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

 

Spaghetti Bake with Balsamic Glaze

Spaghetti is the ultimate easy dinner; delicious, loved by all, and you can easily sneak in some extra vegetables for the littles. Sometimes you just need to jazz it up, though, and what better way to do that than to top it with mozzarella, bake until bubbly, then drizzle with sweet and tangy balsamic glaze? I made this recipe by default (as per usual), but it was so delicious I decided to document. I’m telling you, it is like the Italian comfort food love child of spaghetti and lasagna: cheesy, saucy, delicious! I hope you give it a try – I’m willing to bet it will be a family favorite!

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Spaghetti Bake with Balsamic Glaze


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 8 oz of mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1.5 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 jar sugar free marinara
  • 1/2 lb of whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti
  • 2 cups (packed down) of fresh spinach
  • 8 oz of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Balsamic Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup of raw honey
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add mushrooms, onion, and bay leaves – cooking until tender.
  3. While cooking, boil salted water in a large pot – preparing to cook your spaghetti.
  4. Add ground meat to vegetables, crumbling while it cooks.
  5. Season with salt and spices, and continue to cook.
  6. Drain excess fat if necessary, and remove bay leaves.
  7. Once water is boiling, add your spaghetti noodles and cook according to package directions, using the minimum amount of time for cooking – the noodles will continue to cook in the oven.
  8. While noodles cook, preheat your oven to 375 F.
  9. Once noodles are cooked, drain and return to pot.
  10. Add cooked meat and vegetables, pasta sauce, and fresh spinach to the noodles; stir to combine well.
  11. Evenly spread spaghetti in a 9×13 pan, and top with mozzarella slices.
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is browning and sauce is bubbling.
  13. While spaghetti is baking, make your balsamic glaze by combining honey and balsamic vinegar in a small pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer until thickened.
  14. Serve spaghetti bake hot with a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze.
  15. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a week.

For more pasta recipes, try my Zoodles with Meat Sauce or my Baked Ziti with Sausage. I hope this quick yet fancier version of spaghetti can become a family favorite for you! Indulge in some cheesy, saucy pasta…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

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