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.

Cheesy Popcorn

This is my first post in two weeks, and I apologize, but I needed to take a break from the work that I could these last few weeks. A surprise pregnancy followed by a heart shattering miscarriage left me reeling with grief and unable to do much more than the bare minimum. I will probably write more about my miscarriage experience someday, but for now I will just write a recipe for a classic comfort snack. Popcorn!

I don’t know about you, but when I am going through a hard time, food is the ultimate love language – people bringing meals (or coffee!), buying food, or making snacks is the kindest gesture of solace – it helps me know I’m not alone in my sadness, and I have people truly thinking of me. After discovering the perfect cheesy popcorn ratio, my sweet husband would often make us a big batch of this popcorn and then we would cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie, and during these past few weeks, it was a welcome comfort. So now I will gift you with this Cheesy Popcorn recipe, and you can use it to comfort yourself in sad times or just to spice up your Friday night movie nights!

Cheesy Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  2. Add kernels to hot oil, cover, and wait for them to pop, shaking your pan occasionally.
  3. Pour popped corn into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add melted butter, salt, and nutritional yeast while still warm.
  5. Enjoy!

I hope this tasty, quick, and easy snack recipe brings some levity to your life. You can get these cute popcorn holders here – perfect for a family movie night or a party! As always, you can find many more easy recipes on my site – for more snack-y recipes check out my Oven Baked FriesSpicy Garlic Chicken NachosKale Chips Two Ways, and dips like Simple Guacamole and Spicy Garlic Salsa. Hug your loved ones tight, live in gratitude…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; it is a small commission for me, which allows me to keep recipe testing. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Have you ever met a couple who had a perfect marriage? I have. They are both rich, and their sweetness and bitterness compliment each other in a decadent way. Peanut butter and chocolate. PB&chocolate4eva ❤

I’ll stop with the corny mom jokes…even though it’s true. Peanut butter and chocolate go together so deliciously perfect, and everyone knows it! And do you know what’s better than a fudgy dark chocolate brownie? A fudgy dark chocolate brownie marbled with streaks of peanut butter and honey. *drool emoji* Add in that these brownies are also gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free and you’ve got a jaw-dropping healthier dessert! Even my picky nephew devoured one of these Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies and was an adorable chocolate-y mess. These brownies are delicious on their own, or topped with a scoop of nice cream for a spectacular sundae! Whip up a batch for all your summer celebrations!



Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies


Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup of 100% cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar free peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of raw honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease an 8x8 baking pan.
  3. Whisk together all dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  4. Add melted coconut oil, almond milk, and the egg - stirring until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter and honey.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of the peanut butter/honey mixture on the brownie batter.
  8. Swirl with a knife to make a pretty marbled pattern.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the brownies bounce back when touched.
  10. Let cool completely before slicing.
  11. Keep leftovers covered at room temperature.


For more PB&chocolate recipes, check out my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie BarsDark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsWholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats (AKA dessert for breakfast) I hope you find a scrumptious, healthier treat for you and your family! Have a treat, not a cheat, eat dessert…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Pasta has to be one of my favorite foods – carbs covered in sauce with some delicious meats and veggies in there plus a mound of cheese on top! *insert drool face here* Honestly, what’s better than a flavorful pasta dish? How about a pasta dish that is dairy free and gluten free – leaving you with zero tummy troubles?! I’d wholeheartedly consider pasta a comfort food, but the after effects of sugar, dairy, and gluten are anything but comforting. With this delicious, creamy, warm baked ziti recipe I can have my cake (noodles) and eat it, too, and so can you! Okay enough with the rhyming, let’s get to the recipe.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb of gluten free penne pasta
  • 1 lb of chopped smoked sausage
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 28 oz of crushed tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of salt, divided
  • 3 tsp of dried basil, divided
  • 3 tsp of dried oregano, divided
  • 2 tsp of dried parsley
  • 2/3 cup of avocado oil mayo
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook your pasta for one minute less than the minimum time on the box.
  • While your pasta is cooking, sautee your mushrooms, onions, and garlic in olive oil
  • Once pasta has cooked, drain excess water and return to pot
  • In the same pot, add sausage, cooked mushroom/onion mixture, crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp each of basil, oregano, and parsley. Stir to combine.
  • Place pasta mixture in a 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine mayo, nutrtional yeast, coconut milk, and remaining seasonings. Stir until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour cheese sauce on top of pasta mixture.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes until warmed through and bubbling.
  • Let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge.

That’s all! A comforting pasta dish without all the discomfort later. You can order avocado mayo here, coconut milk here, and nutritional yeast here – I know those are sometimes tricky to find in your local supermarket.

For more comfort foods, be sure to check out my Zoodles with Meat SauceBBQ Chicken, Bacon, Ranch PotatoesOven Baked Fries, Microwave Molten Lava Cake, and of course, Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I hope you can find some healthier comfort foods you and your family love! Feed your family healthy, tasty food…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!

Berry Lemonade

Since late summer of 2014, I’ve been frolicking on beaches, dipping my feet in the cool water, enjoying the ocean breeze coming through my open windows, and never had to worry about bug spray. That was in sunny Oceanside, California. Cut to now, late spring 2019 in Dallas, Texas. I have sweat dripping from my elbows after an hour outside – I didn’t even know your elbows could sweat! The sun is so hot it feels like I’m living on it, my body is covered in bright red mosquito and chigger bites, and the humidity makes my hair look like a small dog that just rolled in the mud.

But nothing beats summertime here with our family. Everyone is a sweaty mess so we just let it slide while we sit around, watching the kids play outside, eating watermelon and sipping lemonade. Lemonade is a must around here – cool, sweet, tart, and refreshing – it’s a welcome treat in the hot summer sun. I decided to make my own refined sugar free version and add some berries for an antioxidant boost! It turned out to be a hit – well received by my daughter, niece, nephew, sister, and, most importantly, my husband – who isn’t a lemonade fan! In his words it was “the perfect amount of tartness”. High words of praise from a lemonade hater!

Zemirah and I had a blast having a tea party (well, technically a lemonade party) outside one hot morning, but because of those dreadful chiggers I put down our gorgeous Karastan rug from Rug Studio, and we drank our lemonade in peace from bugs! You can get my rug here – in different sizes to fit your needs. It adds such a cozy feel to our bedroom, and is luxuriously soft! Plus it makes a great bug protector 😉

However and wherever you choose to have your lemonade party, I hope you make this Berry Lemonade for a refreshing and immune system boosting treat!

Berry Lemonade

Makes 2 quarts.

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of  fresh or thawed (if frozen) berries (I used a blackberry/blueberry/raspberry combo)
  • Juice of 4 large lemons
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of raw honey

Directions:

  • In a blender, combine berries with 2 cups of water
  • Blend just a few seconds until combined
  • Strain berry juice through a nut milk bag and mesh strainer – squeezing all the juice out into a large pitcher (this is the most time intensive step, but it’s worth it so you don’t have berry seeds stuck in your teeth all day!)
  • On the stove in a small pot, combine honey (to taste) and 1 cup of water, whisking until combined
  • Add honey water to the pitcher with the berry juice
  • Squeeze all four lemons directly into the pitcher
  • Add remaining 4-5 cups of water (to taste)
  • Chill until cold or serve over ice
  • Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to a week

For more “berry” delicious summertime recipes, check out my Berries and Greens SmoothieChocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding, and No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust! For some scrumptious treats to accompany your lemonade, whip up some Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream, a No Bake Chocolate Date Cake, or a batch of  Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies! I sincerely hope your summer is off to a great start – filled with family, healthy food, laughter, and happy movement. Soak up your family this summer…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I am sure you know by now that I’m a die hard chocolate fan. Or some may say chocoholic, addict, but whatever. The point is, I love chocolate! And if I were going to pick a cookie, it would 100% be my Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies, but sometimes people just need a little space…even from good things. So even though these cookies may not be chocolate, they are light, sweet, chewy, and tasty! They are gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, and make the perfect companion to your afternoon cup of coffee or can keep you company during your late night binge of reality TV. I hope you don’t discriminate against non-chocolate desserts – give these a try!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes 18 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup of raisins

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Line a baking sheet with a baking mat
  • Combine all dry ingredients (coconut flour through salt) in a mixing bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients (coconut oil through egg)
  • Stir until well combined
  • Add in the oats and raisins
  • Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on prepared baking sheet
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the top springs back when touched and the bottom is lightly browned
  • Store leftovers covered at room temperature

For more cookie recipes, check out my favorite Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies or my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars. I also have browniescheesecake, and mug cake if you want something in a different direction. I am here to be open minded to all kinds of delicious desserts! When I bake with healthier ingredients, I can truly enjoy my dessert without any stomach aches, blood sugar spikes, or mental guilt – and let’s be honest, dessert feeds the soul. Find something on my site to enjoy for yourself, or share if you want 😉 Either way, feed your soul…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it doesn’t cost you any extra and I get a small commission. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Berries and Greens Smoothie

 

It’s officially summertime! Which to me means pool parties, late nights, fireflies, and fresh berries. Growing up, we would pick blackberries and blueberries every Father’s Day; it was always hot, and there were bees everywhere, but we would run and hide in the bushes, sampling all our berries while filling up buckets full! That night, we would come home sticky, tired, and covered in thorn scratches, but we would sit down to a cool, refreshingly sweet bowl of berries and cream. This smoothie is an homage to the berries and cream of my childhood summers – berries and greens! Also cool and refreshingly sweet, this smoothie is delicious and packed with antioxidants (which gives it the pretty purple color), vitamins, healthy fat, and fiber. It’s as easy as tossing some ingredients in a blender, and I guarantee your whole family, kids included, will gulp it down! Your toddler may get super messy and turn purple, and may even have some chia seeds stuck in her hair the next day (true story), but messy, healthy fun will be had by all!

Berries and Greens Smoothie

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients:

  • Two large bananas – ripe with brown spots
  • 1.5 cups of frozen berries – I used a blackberry/blueberry/raspberry medley
  • 1 cup, packed down, of fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp of ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender
  • Blend and enjoy!
  • Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator and give it a shake/stir before drinking

I hope you give this short and sweet recipe a try – smoothies are a great breakfast or snack in the summer heat, and you’re giving your kiddos essential vitamins and nutrients! Without them complaining about eating veggies…which is an extra bonus 😉 If you like breakfasts in a jar/cup, be sure to check out my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding and my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, and for more summer-y treats, check out my No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate CrustNo Bake Chocolate Date Cake, and Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream. Wishing a happy start of summer to everyone! Get your antioxidants and vitamins in, stay cool…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 – helping me earn extra money to keep making recipes. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a chocoholic, and I am a lover of all desserts. I don’t discriminate, each dessert is delicious in it’s own way (except you, Jell-O, you’re a sick food and can’t pass as dessert), but I have a special spot in my heart for milkshakes. When my husband and I first moved to California, we lived within walking distance of a burger place that sold those really big milkshakes like in a 50’s diner. Of course, after thoroughly enjoying my usual chocolate covered strawberry shake, I would feel sick from all the sugar and dairy and did not enjoy the stomach ache…but would still usually get one whenever we went. Oops.

The first time I made this chia pudding, I was instantly transported to sunny Southern California and reminded of the flavor of my beloved chocolate covered strawberry shake. It’s a huge bonus that this deliciously sweet pudding is refined sugar free and dairy free – so no stomach aches or wacky blood sugar! Chia seeds are small but mighty, containing 11 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein in just one ounce. Plus they are high in magnesium, which has a calming effect, zinc, B vitamins, and calcium. So when people find out you don’t eat dairy and ask about your calcium intake – tell them you eat chia pudding! This sweet treat is perfect for breakfast meal prep, and is delicious eaten as is, mixed with overnight oats, or on top of smoothies or even nice cream. Let’s grab a spoon and dig in!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding

This recipe is for one half pint mason jar. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk – this can change depending on the consistency you want
  • 1 tbsp of no sugar added strawberry fruit spread or preserves
  • 1/2 tbsp of 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of honey and/or pure maple syrup
  • Optional toppings:
    • more preserves
    • a drizzle of syrup/honey
    • fresh or frozen fruit

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a half pint mason jar
  • Stir to combine well
  • Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator overnight
  • Stir again before eating
  • Top with desired toppings and enjoy!

For more sweet breakfast treats, check out my Flax and Oat Pancakes or my Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal – both sure to leave your tummy, and your sweet tooth, satisfied. Don’t forget to pin this recipe by clicking the “pinterest” button down below – that way you can come back to it often. Chia pudding may be something new for you, but I dare you to try it! It’s light, sweet, refreshing, and high in fiber, healthy fats, and calcium. Eat your tummy-ache free “milkshake”, get your calcium in…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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