Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

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Who out there doesn’t love tacos? I don’t mean the greasy yet crunchy tacos with questionable meat sold by what I think is a clown…? Although those tacos are tasty, and have their place in college at 2 AM, they do not compare to soft tacos full of tender, shredded chicken topped with guacamole and a squeeze of fresh lime. Yum!

I’ve talked before about my affinity for slow cookers – flavorful yet simple meals ready for you when you walk in the door. Can’t be beat, right? Wrong! Let’s combine slow cooker simplicity with the deliciousness of tacos!!!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of boneless, skinless dark meat chicken
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Juice of two limes
  • Optional toppings:

Directions:

  • Place chicken and garlic in your slow cooker (I have this small one – it’s on sale right now!)
  • Cover with seasonings
  • Squeeze lime juice over chicken (I suggest using a manual juicer to get all the juice and none of the pulp or seeds)
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5
  • Shred chicken
  • Serve on tortillas or lettuce wraps with plenty of toppings, and don’t forget the side of guac and plantain chips!
  • Leftover meat will keep covered in the fridge for up to a week – it goes great on a taco salad.

I hope this taco recipe can “spice” up your weekend! For more spicy meals, check out my One Pan Chicken and Shrimp FajitasTaco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch, or Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos. And if you like slow cooker meals, you may also like my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale SoupSlow Cooker Pork Roast with Veggies, or Slow Cooker Meatballs – can you tell I use my slow cooker often?! I hope these tasty tacos can help simplify your life, and bring peace knowing that you are feeding your family well. Nothing beats taco night! Go ahead and get another scoop of guacamole…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!

Baked Falafel

Recently, I’ve been trying to work two vegan or vegetarian meals into our week; I always feel kind of bloated and gross when I consume too much meat, and it saves money to not buy so much meat! Win win! The only problem is that I sometimes struggle with creativity to come up with vegan meals – we’ve done plenty of roasted veggies with rice, veggie fajitas/tacos, and beans and rice – and I was wanting to spice it up. Then I remembered many years ago making a baked falafel recipe, and decided to try my own!

Falafel is a Middle Eastern street food – a patty of sorts – made from ground chick peas, herbs, and spices. I looked up recipes for inspiration, and saw that most of them used dried chick peas that they then soaked. Well I don’t have the time for that, nor do I have a health food store close by to try and find any. So I went the canned chick pea route…and totally failed. The first time I made this recipe, my falafel was mush. I then attempted to fry these little bean balls, hoping to bring a some crispy life to them, but they completely disintegrated in the oil. Total disaster! But I wasn’t going to give up!

A big part of why I started this blog was to show that healthy food and convenience can be synonymous. So while baking falafel and using canned chick peas may not be traditional, it’s a heck of a lot simpler than running around town hunting down dried chick peas, letting them soak for hours, then making a mess with hot oil in your kitchen by frying them. In fact, it’s as simple as combining ingredients in a blender or food processor and lopping blobs onto a baking sheet. Sounds sexy, huh? 😉 Convenient, tasty, healthy, and even loved by my toddler! It took her a few tries, but now she loves eating “waffles”. If you need a break from meat, I hope you give this Baked Falafel a try!

Baked Falafel

Serves 6-8, depending on patty size.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 1/3 cup of parsley
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp oat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut flour

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  • Pulse until semi-smooth
  • Spoon large patties of the mixture onto a prepared baking sheet (greased, parchment paper, or a silicone liner)
  • Bake for about 25 minutes
  • Flip each patty, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until both sides are brown
  • Serve warm

For more vegetarian meals, check out my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup or Creamy Tomato Basil Soup to lighten up your weeknight meals, and for another chick pea recipe, check out my Classic Garlic Hummus. My cooking philosophy after becoming a mother is to KISS (keep it simple, silly!) and keep it healthy. If you’re looking for healthy yet simple recipes that fit into your busy lifestyle, whether that be slow cooker recipes, one pan recipes, easy baked goods, or quick meal prep ideas; I’ve got you covered! KISS…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!

Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Veggies

Who doesn’t love a slow cooker meal? Minimal prep, and you come home at the end of the day, the house smells delicious, and dinner is waiting for you – pretty perfect! On one particularly Crazy day, I knew I would need to have a slow cooker meal waiting for us when we got home, and my mind instantly went to pot roast. However, upon perusing the meat section at the store, I realized that beef roast wasn’t in the budget for the week, but saw that pork roast was much more affordable!

My southern mother-in-law has often cooked pork roasts for Sunday dinners, and they are always delicious. So with that southern taste as inspiration, I made my first pork roast, and oh my word! It was delicious! It was so tender that it was literally falling apart, the fatty richness gave it a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs flavor, which was perfect paired with the lighter vegetables; we all cleaned our plates! In fact, after dinner was over, I was cleaning up, turned my back on the table, and next thing I knew, Zemirah had climbed up on a chair, eaten the remaining carrots, and another serving of pork. I urge you to try this simple slow cooker meal – fancy enough for Sunday dinners (Easter dinner maybe? 😉 ), yet simple enough for a weeknight. It’s so good, you’ll have to keep the leftovers hidden from your kids!

Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Veggies

Serves about 8.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 lb boneless pork roast
  • 8 oz of baby carrots
  • 8 oz of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 russet potatoes, chopped into one inch pieces
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1.5 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp of ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of chicken stock/bone broth (homemade version here)

Directions:

  • Place your prepared veggies in the bottom of your slow cooker (I have this one which is perfect for our little family)
  • Place roast atop the veggies
  • Season everything, kind of rubbing the seasonings into the roast (don’t worry about getting it too even, the flavors all meld together eventually)
  • Add apple cider vinegar and broth on top of everything
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5
  • Shred pork and serve, top with juices if desired
  • Keep leftovers covered in fridge for up to a week

Slow cooker meals are a great way to ensure your family gets a hearty, healthy, and nutritious dinner in even on your long, Crazy days. For more slow cooker meals, check out my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale SoupSlow Cooker Meatballs, or Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos. In the same vein, if you have a little more time available for prep, one pan meals are a great way to get a well rounded meal on the table with minimal time or mess. For some easy yet tasty one pan meals, check out my Roasted Chicken with CarrotsSheet Pan Salmon, or One Pan Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas. I hope you can find some meals that will easily fit into your schedule and make you feel good about feeding your family a healthy meal! Happy Easter, celebrate with family and friends…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!

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Just in time for Easter: deviled eggs. But with a twist! Made even more “devilish” (why are they actually called “deviled”???) with pickled jalapenos and cayenne pepper. Use some of my homemade aioli or store bought avocado oil mayonnaise for healthier mayo options. The ingredients in those dips are simply vinegar (or lemon juice), egg, and a healthy oil – nothing to be afraid of! The only thing you should be afraid of is how devilish these are *insert evil laugh*!!! No, but really, these are pretty spicy and my two-year-old couldn’t handle them, so scale back if you wish, but they are the perfect spicy appetizer to bring to the Easter potluck!

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Makes 12 deviled egg halves. 

Ingredients:

  • Perfect Boiled Eggs, peeled
  • 3 tsp mayo (healthy options linked above)
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (I made them with about a 1/2 tsp and found them too salty, but my husband didn’t think so; adjust to your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 8-10 pickled jalapeno slices, diced
  • Optional toppings:
    • sliced fresh jalapeno
    • sliced pickled jalapeno
    • a sprinkling of paprika
    • chopped cilantro

Directions:

  • With a sharp knife, cut boiled eggs in half length-wise
  • Scoop out yolks and place in a small mixing bowl
  • Add remaining ingredients (besides toppings) to the bowl
  • Mix/mash until combined
  • Evenly scoop filling back into egg whites
  • Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until ready to serve
  • Top with desired toppings just before serving
  • Keep leftover eggs covered in the fridge for 3-5 days

For other Easter/spring time meal ideas, check out my Mustard Potato SaladCrispy Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Potatoes for sides dishes, and my Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy or Celebration Steaks with Pan Sauce for main dishes. For spring-y desserts, check out my No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust or No Bake Chocolate Date Cake. I know you’ll find something you and your family will love! Bring these Spicy Deviled Eggs to the Easter potluck, spice it up…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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

 

Perfect Boiled Eggs

Breakfast is important, but hard to make time for, so every Sunday night I do breakfast “prep”, which usually includes boiled eggs, overnight oats, and some form of breakfast casserole. It helps us get our days off on the right start nutritionally, without making us run late! I’ll admit it – I used to hate hard boiled eggs. The chalky texture, the gray ring around the yolk, the smell… yuck! Turns out, that was the wrong way to boil eggs! Well, unless you are trying to boil them to death… then that would be the correct method. So here it is, just in time for Easter, the perfect (in my opinion) way to boil eggs!

Perfect Boiled Eggs

Use as many eggs as desired. I usually do 6-8 for weekly meal prep.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs – as many as you need
  • Water – enough to cover all your eggs
  • A bowl of iced water

Directions:

  • In a large pot, bring water to a gentle boil
  • Just as it starts bubbling, gently add your eggs
  • Cover and let the eggs boil for 8 minutes
  • After 8 minutes, immediately submerge your eggs in the iced water to prevent them cooking further
  • Store eggs in fridge until ready to use

There you have it; a simple way to make tasty eggs with jammy yolks, not that chalky gray stuff. These are easy to peel, too! Eat them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper – perfect for breakfast meal prep or a quick snack on-the-go. For more breakfast prep ideas, check out my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight OatsTurkey Sausage Breakfast Bake, or Fruit and Nut Granola. You can eat your most important meal of the day and still get out the door on time! Drink some coffee, get a nutritious breakfast, slay that morning carpool or meeting…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Simple Guacamole

Avocado: a delicious healthy fat that tastes good on top of or mixed into anything. Seriously. There are avocado brownies, avocado toasts, avocado ice cream, fried avocados, stuffed avocados, the list goes on. Avocados are everywhere! But one of my favorite ways to eat those delicious, fatty, green guys remains the classic guacamole. Perfect for topping salads, sandwiches, tacos, dipping, or eating with a spoon. I mean…what? Guacamole can get really fancy; you can go spicy, sweet, and with all sorts of mix-ins, but this “recipe” (I feel bad even calling it that!) is one of my favorite ways to make a flavorful yet simple guac that will go good with anything. It’s quick to make, with minimal chopping, and loved by my whole family. In fact, I left my toddler with a bowl of it in her near vicinity, and when I came back into the kitchen, she had climbed up on a chair and was licking guacamole off her hand, saying, “mmm that’s good ‘cado!” I couldn’t even be mad because it was so cute, and I was glad she was getting her healthy fats in! Anyways, let’s get to this super simple recipe that can transform any meal!

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My guacamole thief 🙂 

Simple Guacamole

Serves 4-5. Definitely double this recipe if you’ll be feeding a big crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Juice of one lime (I use this juicer to get out every last drop!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  • Other possible mix-ins
    • diced tomato
    • fresh garlic (just a little!)
    • fresh or pickled jalapenos
    • a splash of your favorite salsa
    • charred corn
  • Chips to dip

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the flesh of the avocado and lime juice
  • Mash until semi-smooth
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Stir until combined
  • Dip, spread, or spoon (not just me, right?) away!
  • Store leftovers, covered, in fridge. It will turn a little brown due to oxidizing, but just give it a stir and it will be fine!

And that’s it! Easy, huh? Adding a little guacamole will seriously transform your dinner. Boring chicken breast? Top with guacamole and you have “Fiesta Chicken”! Boring salad? Nope. Add guacamole and it’s “Taco Salad”! You get the point 😉

For more delicious dips, check out my Classic Garlic HummusDairy free Garlic Herb Ranch, and Spicy Garlic Salsa. For some simple dinner ideas that would go perfectly with this guac, check out my One Pan Chicken and Shrimp FajitasSalmon Burgers, or Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos. These are all good ideas for any March Madness parties you may be throwing, too! I know you’ll find something easy to make that the whole family finds easy to eat. Add a little guacamole, and it’s a party! Party on…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 to keep my pantry stocked! Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Salmon Burgers

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You’ve probably heard before that fish is a healthy protein you should be eating more of. Fish, salmon specifically, has lots of omega-3s, AKA healthy fats (plus B vitamins, selenium, and more) which are good for the brain; that fact alone makes me want to make more fish, especially for my two-year-old and her growing brain. There are a couple of issues with serving salmon to my family, though: I’m the only one in my family who truly enjoys salmon, but my husband tolerates salmon…if it’s super fresh and wild caught. That is a wonderfully delicious splurge every now and then, but we can’t afford to spend nearly $20 a pound every week on fish.

I realized to resolve the issues of feeding my family salmon, I simply needed to create a delicious salmon dish while remaining budget conscious. It sounds impossible, but it’s not! This recipe uses exponentially cheaper canned salmon, which is then mixed with spices, and pan fried to crispy perfection! Served with a lettuce “bun” and your favorite burger toppings, it is a quick, tasty, and cheap weeknight meal that will satisfy taste buds and tummies alike!

Salmon Burgers

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz canned, in water, salmon (I used StarKist boneless, skinless), drained, rinsed, and dried
  •  1/2 cup of oat flour (you could also use almond flour to keep it paleo)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade version here)
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Enough olive or avocado oil to pan sear
  • Romaine or butter lettuce for “buns”
  • Desired burger condiments, such as sugar free ketchup, mayo, ranch, and fresh chopped veggies

Directions:

  • Heat a large, oiled skillet over medium heat
  • Combine all ingredients (excluding lettuce and condiments) in a medium mixing bowl
  • Form the salmon mixture into patties
  • Cook, covered 3-4 minutes per side
  • Serve on lettuce “buns” with desired condiments
  • Leftovers will keep, covered, in fridge – reheat on the stove

A burger always needs his best pal fries, so be sure to make my Oven Baked Fries to go alongside your burgers! While this recipe is about savings, if you happened to splurge and make my Sheet Pan Salmon, you could also use leftover meat in this recipe! For other budget friendly meals, check out my Roasted Chicken with CarrotsChicken Salad Stuffed Avocados, and One Pan Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas. Feed your family well while staying on budget…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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