Tag Archives: easy

Vegetable Fried Rice

Do you have a staple, go-to, easy dish you frequently fix for your family? Vegetable fried rice is one of ours! It’s a quick, simple, and delicious way to eat plenty of veggies while taking a break from meat. Plus it’s healthier than any take-out you can get! We typically try to eat 1-2 vegetarian/plant based meals per week because it’s good for the tummy and the budget! You can eat it as a side dish – it would go great paired with my Sweet and Sour Broccoli – or solo for a light, vegetarian dinner. If you want to take a break from eating too much meat, but find yourself scratching your head for ideas, I hope you try out this delicious and veggie-heavy dish!

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Vegetable Fried Rice


Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice (cooked according to package)
  • 1 lb of frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 knobs of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp of coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat sesame oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic, cooking until tender and fragrant (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Add in ginger and sesame seeds, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Turn heat to medium-high and add frozen stir fry vegetables.
  5. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once vegetables are tender (but still vibrant in color, not mushy!), add cooked rice.
  7. Add in seasonings and coconut aminos, stirring to coat everything.
  8. Create a hole in middle of the pot and add beaten eggs.
  9. As the eggs start to cook, slowly scramble them, then mix into the rice.
  10. Serve hot topped with chopped scallions and extra coconut aminos.
  11. Store leftovers covered in fridge for 7-10 days.

I hope you give this easy vegetarian dish a try! For more plant based dinner ideas, check out my Baked Falafel and my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup. Eat your vegetables…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!

Maple Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Imagine that it’s a sweltering hot [boiling] August afternoon; it feels like your next door neighbor is Mr. Sun himself, and you just can’t wait for your afternoon cup of dark black, bitter, burn-your-tongue-hot coffee. *cue game show buzzer: EH!* (that was my best attempt at spelling a sound…) No! You need sweet, cold, iced coffee, and you need it now. Personally, if I’m drinking cold coffee, I need it just a touch sweeter than the way I drink my hot coffee. But not too sweet because I’m not looking for cavities and anxiety attacks, ‘kay?! This Maple Vanilla Creamer is the perfect mix of sweet but not too sweet! It mixes in great to your cup of iced coffee or cold brew, but it’s also good for hot coffee, and, I discovered, a delicious nut milk sub in my Dairy Free Chocolate Milkshakes.

Also, I will share an iced coffee tip I learned from my husband, who learned from my brother-in-law, who used to work at Starbucks. (How’s that for a game of telephone?) When we want to make iced coffee, we simply brew coffee as usual, but with half the amount of water. Then we add ice cubes to the carafe; that way, as the hot coffee brews over the ice, some of it melts, cooling the coffee without watering it down. Then we add extra ice to our individual glass. Another way to have iced coffee is just to be a mom… you’ll never finish a mug of hot coffee. But, alas, I digress. However you make your iced coffee, pour this creamer in to your heart’s content, and enjoy!

Maple Vanilla Coffee Creamer

  • Servings: 1 cup of creamer
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp of pure maple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Use immediately, or store covered for up to 2 weeks. Give the jar a shake before pouring.

That’s it! A simple, dairy free, refined sugar free way to spruce up your iced (or hot) coffee. For more coffee creamers, check out my Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer (pumpkin season is almost upon us!) and my Mexican Mocha Creamer. If you love coffee as much as I do, I know you will love all these sweet, but not too sweet, creamers! Sip some sweet, cold coffee, soak up the last rays of summer…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!

Sweet and Sour Broccoli

I have to admit something – I used to despise broccoli. I would eat it if I had to, but I wouldn’t pick broccoli as my vegetable of choice. In the last few years I’ve discovered the crispy, delicious magic that is roasted veggies, and that changed the [veggie] game! First with brussels sprouts (you can read that post here), then with carrots. I already liked carrots, but discovered how much sweeter they were when roasted (the carrots in this recipe are amazing!), so I decided I’d try roasting more veggies. Since broccoli is a readily available and versatile veggie, I decided to try roasting it. The results were, of course, delicious, but even great things need a little variation sometimes. Enter the Sweet and Sour Broccoli – crispy roasted broccoli tossed in a sticky sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy sauce. The result is a vegetable party in your mouth. This broccoli recipe is a perfect side dish, but it can also be served over rice for a vegetarian meal. However you eat it, I hope you enjoy!

Sweet and Sour Broccoli


Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of fresh broccoli (about 3 medium heads), chopped into small florets
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup of raw honey
  • 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp of ground mustard

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Lay broccoli flat on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
4. Roast for 40-50 minutes (until desired crispiness), stirring halfway through.
5. While the broccoli is roasting, prepare your sauce by combining remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
6. While the broccoli is still warm, toss in the sweet and sour sauce.
7. Serve warm, topped with more crushed red pepper and coconut aminos.
8. Store leftovers covered, in fridge.

For more roasted vegetables, check out the recipes linked in the first paragraph, as well as ABC Brussels SproutsRoasted Potatoes, and Kale Chips Two Ways. I promise that your kiddos will eat their veggies more willingly if they’re crispy and crunchy! Grown-ups might, too. 😉 Just like your mom used to tell you – eat your veggies…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!

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!

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!

Flax and Oat Pancakes

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You groggily open your eyes one Saturday morning. Spring is here; this fact is made evident by the warm sun streaming through the blinds and the cheerful songs of the birds outside your window. You hear your children and spouse giggling down the hall, you smell the freshly brewed coffee, with a light and happy heart you head to the kitchen and…pour the same tired, old, strangely-reminiscent-of-cardboard cereal for breakfast?! No! Such a perfect spring Saturday morning calls for pancakes! And, believe me, these hearty and healthy pancakes will have everyone around the table full, happy, and ready to enjoy their spring break adventures without a sugar crash.

Flax and Oat Pancakes

Makes about 12 pancakes, depending on size.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour (could be made gluten free by substituting GF flour)
  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp of whole flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4-1 cup of water
  • Optional toppings:

Directions:

  • Heat your skillet over medium-low heat, and grease with desired cooking oil
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour through salt)
  • Add egg, oil, and almond milk, stirring until combined
  • Add water about 1/4 cup at a time, until it makes a fairly thin batter
  • Spoon batter (your desired pancake size) into hot pan
  • Once bubbles form and pop, flip and cook on the other side
  • Repeat with remaining batter
  • Serve warm with desired toppings
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge – they reheat fine in the microwave, good to grab and go!

I hope you and your family can enjoy a slow Saturday morning breakfast together; I’d guess that these pancakes could rouse even the most sullen teen out of bed 😉 For more breakfast ideas, check out my Whole30 Breakfast HashTurkey Sausage Breakfast BakeFruit and Nut GranolaCinnamon Apple Oatmeal, or Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats. I hope this season, in all of its newness, starts off wonderfully for you. Have some quality time at breakfast…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

 

Ten Minute Home Workout

I Like to Move It, Move It!

Let me preface this post by saying that I am in no way a physical trainer nor do I have any training in that arena, so please consult your doctor/trainer/fitness junkie friend if need be. I am simply sharing a little home workout I created for those busy days where I can’t find the time for a longer workout, or those freezing cold days (like today) where I don’t want to step foot outside for a walk/jog.

My blog is all about finding easy, healthy meals that go well with “A Pinch of Crazy”; healthy food doesn’t have to be pretentious, expensive, or complicated, and healthy movement and exercise doesn’t have to be either! To read more about my food and movement journey, check out my post 23 Pounds and Other Non-Scale Victories. I sincerely hope you can find an extra ten minutes in your day to do this quick workout to get your heart pumping while working arms, core, legs, and booty. Enjoy!

Ten Minute Home Workout

Repeat each movement for a total of 30 seconds, then move on to the next immediately, or with a short 10 second break if needed. Count your reps so you can measure your growth! It’s amazing to look back and see how much stronger you’ve gotten.

Cardio:

  • March in place
    • Keep your knees high
  • Jumping jacks
    • Keep your arms straight
  • Burpees
    • Start in a standing position, feet hip width apart
    • Squat down, touch the ground
    • Keeping feet hip width apart, jump back into a high plank
    • Jump back to squat
    • Finally, jump up in the air, then return to standing
      • Modification: replace all jumping with stepping (i.e. step back to a high plank)
      • Take it further: add a push up after you jump back into plank
  • High knees
    • Run in place, but bring your knees above your hip line

Legs:

  • Skater jumps
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      Demonstration of “Skater Jumps”

      Jump sideways

    • Land with one leg straightened behind you, hand touching the ground by your front foot
    • Repeat going the opposite direction
      • Modification: instead of jumping side to side, simply step it
  • Squats
    • Keeping your back straight, squat down as low as you can, then rise to standing
  • Lunges
    • Place one foot in front, bending both knees so that your legs are both at 90 degree angles
    • Alternate leading leg
  • Side Lunges
    • Standing with your legs a little wider than hip width, lunge to one side
    • Come back through center, then lunge to the other side

Core:

  • Crunches
    • Don’t crunch your neck- really use your abdominal wall to lift!
  • Bicycle Crunches
    • Touch opposite elbow to opposite knee
  • Leg Raises
    • Lie flat on your back and place hands underneath tailbone
    • With control, raise your legs slowly, then slowly lower them
  • Plank
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    Demonstration of “Plank”

    • Hold a plank with a flat back from neck to tailbone, either on your forearms or palms
      • Modification: Place your knees on the ground, but keep your bottom in line with your back, not up in the air

Arms:

  • Push-Ups
    • Starting in high plank, lower down halfway, then rise back up
      • Modification: begin your plank on your knees, keeping your bottom in line
  • Tricep Dips
    • Sit on a chair or couch, clasp the edge with your hands, and straighten your legs
    • Slide your bottom off so that you are supported only by your arms
    • Dip down halfway, and rise back up
      • Modification: bend your knees
  • Up/Down Plank
    • Start in high plank
    • Lower down to forearms one arm at a time
    • Rise back up to high plank one arm at a time
      • Modification: plank on your knees
  • Inchworm
    • Start in high plank
    • Slowly inch your hands back to your feet, keeping legs straight
    • Slowly inch back to high plank, keeping legs straight
      • Modification: bend your knees while inching your hands

Booty/Hips:

  • Leg Push Backs
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    Demonstration of “Leg Push Backs” with a Zemirah cameo 🙂

    • Start in tabletop- on hands and knees
    • Lift one leg and straighten it backwards with a flexed foot
    • Repeat one leg for 30 seconds, then switch to second leg, or alternate legs for one full minute
  • Fire Hydrant Extensions
    • Start in tabletop
    • Lift your leg to, yep it’s gross, but to simulate a dog with a fire hydrant
    • Straighten that leg to the side with a flexed foot
    • Repeat on one leg for 30 seconds, then switch to second leg, or alternate legs for one full minute

Stretch

Some of my favorite stretches include:

  • Child’s Pose
  • Downward Dog
  • Standing Wide Legged Forward Fold

 

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Demonstration of “Child’s Pose” with a child 🙂 

 

As you can see by that last picture, this workout is fast paced and fun enough to do with kiddos around; they can join in, too! I’ve been convicted of how closely Zemirah watches me; it’s so important to model healthy habits for her! Whether that be exercise, eating a nutritious meal, indulging in a cookie, taking a long walk in the sunshine, or (and maybe especially) positive self talk – showing gratitude to our Creator for my body – not trash talking it. You can read a poem I wrote on appreciating our bodies here.

So I hope this quick little workout can help you to move your body in a fun way, while instilling in your kids, and yourself, the importance of healthy movement. If you need a delicious and nutritious post-workout snack, check out my Kale Chips Two Ways, or for a sweeter snack, my Fruit and Nut Granola or Banana Bread with Granola Crumble would be perfect! Move your body, have fun…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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