Tag Archives: appetizer

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!

 

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!

guac2

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!

Slow Cooker Meatballs

App Attack!

For Christmas Eve, I made meatballs in the Crock-Pot, and thought it would be the perfect appetizer to serve at a New Year’s Eve party! Growing up, we always would eat tons of appetizers and finger foods on New Year’s Eve. It was so fun getting to stay up until midnight eating snacks, drinking sparkling cider, and waiting for the ball to drop! Our most common appetizer we would have on New Year’s Eve would be spicy cheese dip…made with a block of soft maybe-not-real cheese. Always a delicious crowd pleaser, but not the most healthy. And now that I know how my body reacts to copious amounts of dairy, I generally steer clear.

So I went a little healthier (and dairy free!) this year. These meatballs are tender, cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce, and so easy to make! Simply make the meat mixture, and toss it all in the slow cooker! I hope your 2019 is a wonderfully blessed year…and I hope you ring in the new year with these Slow Cooker Meatballs!

Slow Cooker Meatballs

Makes about 30-35 meatballs.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional toppings:
    • Parmesan
    • fresh basil

For the sauce:

  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (no salt or sugar added)
  • 10 oz tomato paste (no salt or sugar added)
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp of dried basil

Directions:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a large slow cooker (lined with these for easy cleanup!)
  • Combine all meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Using your hands, make sure all ingredients are well incorporated
  • Shape about 2 tbsp worth of meat mixture into balls
  • Place meatballs into sauce, making sure they’re covered by sauce
  • Cover and cook on high for 3 hours
  • Serve warm, with sauce and optional toppings
  • Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for a week

For other appetizers, check out my Spicy Garlic Salsa, which is delicious with plantain chips, or my Classic Garlic Hummus…do you think I like garlic? 😛

For a beautiful centerpiece for your New Year’s Day dinner, take a look at my Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with GravySheet Pan SalmonCelebration Steaks with Pan Sauce, or my Roasted Chicken with Carrots; all are simple and delicious!

And for sides or desserts, there are so many options, including my ABC Brussels SproutsRoasted PotatoesTwo Layer Paleo FudgeDark Chocolate Paleo Brownies, or Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies to name a few!

Let me know what your New Year’s Eve/Day traditions are! Whatever you may be doing, I pray for blessings on your new year, with lots of healthy and good food. Celebrate the new year…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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

Classic Garlic Hummus

hummus

Generational Food

Hummus has gained popularity in the last few years as a healthy, good-for-you food, and it is! But at the risk of sounding like one of *those* people… “I was into hummus before it was popular”.  Actually, though, hummus and I do go way back.

My grandmother, Elizabeth Aijian Munroe, was a first generation American whose parents fled Armenia to escape the Turks. Because of their traumatic experiences in Armenia, they wanted to raise their children as Americans not Armenians. So they spoke English in their home and did not keep many Armenian traditions…except food. While my sisters and I wish that we knew the Armenian language or some of the customs and traditions, we are all thankful we grew up with the tradition of Armenian hospitality and food.

As a child, we lived about 6 hours north of my grandparents so it was always quite the ordeal driving down to Mimi and Papa’s. Whenever we would arrive, Mimi would always, without a doubt, have out an appetizer spread which always included hummus. To be honest, I hated it as a kid. I would much rather eat the pita bread, Armenian cheese, and kalamata olives she’d set out. Now, however, I love hummus!

My Mimi and Papa were married for 64 years, and just last year, they passed on into eternity a mere 12 days apart. So now, I see hummus in a whole new light: a love of culture, food, and hosting loved ones in your home…all in one little dip. In fact, when I was making this hummus, Zemirah helped me squeeze the lemon juice and I felt a rush of emotions (and maybe my eyes watered a bit) and gratitude as I thought about the history and love in this little bean dip. I imagined my great-grandmother making hummus with my grandmother, my grandmother making hummus with my mom, my mom making hummus with me, and now, here I was, continuing on in the tradition.

This recipe is based on the one found in the cookbook, Armenian Cooking Today, which was gifted to me by my sweet mom, who was wise and kind enough to have herself and Mimi write notes in the margins. Food has such history, can tell incredibly vast, beautiful stories, and brings us all together to enjoy eating with ones we love. I hope this simple, healthy dish can bring some history and love to your table, too.

Classic Garlic Hummus

Serves 10-12. Delicious as a veggie or chip dip, or as a spread.

Ingredients:

  • One 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Water as needed
  • Optional garnishes:
    • a drizzle of olive oil
    • chopped parsley
    • a sprinkle of paprika

Directions:

  • Combine chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil in blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Blend until smooth
  • Adjust consistency with water if needed (I like mine thicker, but not too oily and heavy, which is why I use water)
  • Best if chilled overnight before serving
  • Garnish before serving, if desired

Thank you for letting me share a little about myself and my family. I hope you keep this easy hummus on hand for a quick snack or spread, but just be warned, you might want to pop a breath mint after eating it haha! Although, garlic is nature’s antibiotic, so eat up and stay healthy! Eat all the garlic…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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