Tag Archives: gluten free

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!

spaghetti2

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!

Breakfast Bites

Ding! The toaster sends two pieces of toast bouncing up, ready to be slathered with butter and jelly – a welcome sound to your grumbling tummy. Mornings are usually fairly frantic for people (myself included); trying to get yourself plus a child or two (or three or four) ready to get out the door on time for school/work/morning activities, and breakfast is usually a sad afterthought. It may be quick and easy to grab a yogurt or some toast, but your hunger will return with a vengeance for a nice mid-morning slump, and leave you scourging the office for snacks. I have a great solution for both the harried mornings and the pre-lunch slump: Breakfast Bites!

With just a little before hand prep, you can have a quick, healthy breakfast on hand to grab and go out the door. This is such a versatile recipe – you can use your favorite breakfast meat(s) and vegetables, cheese or no cheese – whatever you have on hand. They reheat great, and are delicious served with Spicy Garlic Salsa or hot sauce. I sent two (with salsa) plus some fruit for my husband’s breakfast, and Zemirah and I each ate one with a small glass of Berries and Greens Smoothie, and we were full until lunch! Do yourself (and your office’s snack supply) a favor, and make a batch or two of these Breakfast Bites!

Breakfast Bites


Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chopped breakfast meat (I used sausage)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1.5 cups of desired vegetables (I used spinach and onions)
  • 9 eggs, beaten well
  • 1/3 cup of cheese, chopped or shredded
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large skillet, cook your breakfast meat over medium heat.
  3. Remove cooked meat and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add olive oil and vegetables.
  5. Lightly sautee vegetables – for about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
  7. Grease a 12 count muffin tin with coconut oil.
  8. In a large bowl, beat your eggs until whites and yolks are combined.
  9. Add salt, pepper, cooked meat and veggies, and cheese to scrambled eggs.
  10. Pour egg mixture into muffin tins, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
  11. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until risen with the edges slightly browned.
  12. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a week.

For more breakfast prep ideas, check out my Turkey Sausage Breakfast BakeFruit and Nut GranolaPeanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding. Get your mornings off to a good start, ditch that mid-morning slump…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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

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!

friedrice1.jpg

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!

Berry Watermelon Jigglers

Okay so I admit, I don’t know if “jigglers” is a word, but that’s what my mom always called the Jell-o squares she made us, and it’s just fun to say! We are still hanging out in the triple digits here in Texas, and I basically wish I could live in the refrigerator next to these refreshingly cool jigglers. These tasty little gelatin squares are made from fresh fruit, water, honey, and unflavored gelatin. That’s it! They are cool, fresh, and healthy! You get plenty of hydration from the fruit juice, antioxidants from the berries, and collagen from the gelatin. Not to mention, your kids will love them, and you can offer dessert without dripping sweat into a bowl of brownie batter. I hope these yummy fruit treats hit the spot for your family and keep you nice and cool!

jello1.jpg

Berry Watermelon Jigglers

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh berries of your choice, or thawed from frozen.
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh watermelon
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 oz of unflavored gelatin

Directions


1. In a blender or food processor, combine fruit, water, and honey.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Strain juice through a nut milk bag
4. Follow the directions for your gelatin on how much juice to boil, but for the Knox brand (linked above), I boiled 3 cups of juice and sprinkled the gelatin over 1 cup of cold juice.
5. Pour boiling water over soft gelatin, and stir until all gelatin is dissolved.
6. Pour gelatin into a 9×9 pan or these cute silicone molds
7. Refrigerate for 2+ hours, until firm.
8. Slice (or use cookie cutters for fun!) into individual jigglers!
9. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

If you, like me, are not a fan of unnecessary sweating, check out some of my other no bake treats like Dairy Free Chocolate MilkshakesNo Bake Chocolate Date Cake, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. And for more berry treats, try my Berry Lemonade or No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust – which is divine topped with fresh strawberries. Whatever you end up making, I hope you enjoy! 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; it is just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

 

Dairy Free Chocolate Milkshakes

We had our first triple digit days this week in good ol’ Dallas, Texas, and I have to tell you…it wasn’t that bad  I thought my face was going to melt off! Now you know I’ve had a long standing affair with chocolate (sorry, honey 😉 ), but when it feels like the oven might actually make my eyelashes meld into my eyelids, I am not about to bake – no matter how delicious a chocolate chip cookie might be. Thankfully I’ve discovered a lot of delicious, dairy free, no bake desserts where I can literally have my cake and eat it, too. One of those delicious desserts is, of course, “nice cream” – a creamy, sweet creation made with frozen bananas. This “milk”shake is a version of nice cream: a thick, creamy dark chocolate shake sweetened with honey and maple syrup, and thinned with coconut water for an extra burst of hydration + electrolytes. If you are melting in this heat wave, a big pitcher of Dairy Free Chocolate Milkshakes is just what you need to hydrate, cool you off, and satisfy your sweet tooth!

Dairy Free Chocolate Milkshakes


Ingredients

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 3/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1/4 cup of coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp of 100% cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp of unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  2. Pulse/blend until smooth
  3. Serve immediately – chilled

For more no bake treats, check out my Chocolate Banana “Nice” CreamNo Bake Chocolate Date CakeNo Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate CrustMicrowave Molten Lava Cake, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Do you think I have a thing for chocolate?! 😉 Whichever no bake treat you whip up, I hope you enjoy! 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. 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!

1 2 4
%d bloggers like this: