Tag Archives: gluten free

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.

Baked Ziti with Sausage


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!

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!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Classic Candy with a Healthy Twist

If you hear the words “peanut butter cup”, I am sure you think of that certain candy with an orange wrapper, AKA chocolate-coated-peanut-buttery-goodness. Ah yes. They are certainly delicious, but those candies have 16 grams (8 per cup) of sugar! I’m sure you know by now that I have a huge sweet tooth [monster], and I’m definitely a fan of the classic peanut butter/chocolate pairing. Before I discovered the effects of sugar on my anxiety, I could gobble up 2 orange packages (32 grams of sugar!) without batting an eye…then, when I was lying in bed wide awake at 2 AM, I would wonder why my chest was tight and my heart was racing. *face palm*

For Zemirah’s stocking this Christmas I…I mean, Santa…decided to make refined sugar free candies, and peanut butter cups were first on the list! I made them again for her birthday, and they were a hit! If you ask me, these peanut butter cups taste even better than the ones with the orange wrapper; they are vegan, no bake, gluten free, can be made paleo, and the best part (to me) is that they are refined sugar free! Sweetened only with maple syrup, these peanut butter cups will give you the nostalgia of opening one of those orange packages, with an even better taste, and won’t send your blood sugar soaring! These little treats would be the perfect things to pack in your kiddo’s lunch box for their Valentine’s Day treat; they will love them, and you will love knowing they will still be able to focus in school without a sugar crash! Chocolate-coated-peanut-buttery-refined-sugar-free-goodness for the win!

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Makes 6 large peanut butter cups. Could easily be doubled.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Line 6 muffin tins with parchment paper cupcake liners
  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine the baking chocolate and 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth
  • Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, salt, and coconut flour in a separate bowl
  • Fill each liner about 1/5 of the way with chocolate
  • Scoop a large spoonful of the peanut butter mixture on top of each, flatten with a spoon
  • Cover each peanut butter scoop with remaining chocolate
  • Chill in refrigerator for about an hour, until firm
  • Keep leftovers covered, in fridge, for 5-7 days (though they will be gone in 2!)

For more nut butter/chocolate goodness, check out my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie BarsTwo Layer Paleo FudgePeanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, and Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies. And for more no bake desserts (is there anything better?!) check out my Microwave Molten Lava CakeNo Bake Chocolate Date Cake, and Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream. I hope you find a treat you love for this Love Day, and don’t forget to pin it (at the bottom of the page) so you can keep coming back to it! Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with some refined sugar free chocolate, keep your sugar monster silenced, your blood sugar regular…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 pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Microwave Molten Lava Cake

Chocolate Love

It’s February: the month of love, flowers, and, most importantly, chocolate. Some people love candies and cookies, but cake, namely chocolate cake, is my favorite dessert; if anyone wanted to speak my love language (gifts), you should gift me with some homemade chocolate cake, and we would probably be BFFLs.

But this isn’t about me. This is about you and your special someone celebrating Valentine’s Day together. Making a cake is always a great way to celebrate! Unfortunately, making a cake is usually time consuming, it’s usually chock full of butter and white sugar, and a whole cake seems kind of daunting sitting on your counter. You may already have a stomach ache, but you don’t want to waste this gorgeous cake. *sigh*

However, this cake is the solution to all of those problems! It is dairy free, flour free, refined sugar free, the perfect size for two lovebirds to share, and it cooks in about two minutes in your microwave! If you are celebrating Valentine’s Day solo this year (which was me 5/7 years my husband and I have been together), never fear! You can totally make this cake just for you, eat the whole thing, or save the other half. Whether you are single, happily coupled, or celebrating with your pals, Microwave Molten Lava Cake is the perfect guilt-free chocolate indulgence!

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Microwave Molten Lava Cake

Serves two.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Melt two ounces of dark chocolate in a large microwavable bowl, heat 30 seconds, stir, heat another 30, then stir again
  • Add all other ingredients except egg
  • Stir until combined
  • Let cool for a couple minutes before adding egg…otherwise your cake will be streaked with scrambled egg. Not that I speak from experience or anything…
  • Beat and combine egg well (again, you don’t want scrambled egg cake)
  • Press the other ounce of dark chocolate down into the center of the batter
  • Microwave for 1.5 minutes
  • Top with desired toppings
  • Let cool for a few minutes
  • Dive in

I don’t think desserts get much easier than this! If you are looking for another Love Day dessert that’s actually baked in an oven, check out my Wholesome Chocolate Chunk CookiesChocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars, or Dark Chocolate Paleo Brownies. If no-bake treats are your thing, I’ve got you covered with my Chocolate Banana “Nice” CreamTwo Layer Paleo Fudge, or my No Bake Chocolate Date Cake.

Go to my “Desserts” menu and use the drop down arrow to see what else I have for you! I am sure you will find something special for this special holiday! Love your family, friends, and chocolate…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Oven Baked Fries

fries

Delicious AND Nutritious

It’s not often that the words “fries” and “nutritious” are used in the same sentence, but in this case, they are! These fries are baked, not fried (should I call them French Bakes?), and only have one tablespoon of olive oil used, so they aren’t dripping unhealthy grease everywhere. I have said before (here and here) that potatoes aren’t the villains they’re made out to be. No, in fact, they are the hero’s (the hero being vegetables, of course) side kick, a little quiet and plain, but with the right amount of healthy attention, flourishes and compliments the hero quite nicely!

Okay, weird super hero analogies aside, potatoes actually are good for you! They contain plenty of fiber and protein, and sweet potatoes have lots of vitamins A and C in them, which you can read about here. And, I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat a hot, salty, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside french fry?! Dunk it in some homemade or store bought ranch or ketchup and you’ve got the perfect side dish or snack. Let me just wipe the drool off my keyboard and get to the recipe now…

Oven Baked Fries

Serves about 5, but could easily be doubled.

Ingredients:

  • Two large potatoes, russet or sweet, or a combo, cut into fry shaped strips (quick tutorial on my Instagram)
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of paprika

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Prepare a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Place sliced potatoes on prepared baking sheet
  • Drizzle with oil of choice
  • Evenly sprinkle seasonings
  • Using your hands, mix potato slices so they are all evenly coated with oil and seasonings
  • Arrange the potatoes in an even layer, so that each slice is on the tray
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes
  • Remove from oven and flip each fry
  • Return to oven and bake for another 15-25 minutes, depending on your desired crispy-ness
  • Eat hot with sauces
  • Leftovers will keep covered in fridge for 5-7 days, I suggest reheating in the oven or in a hot skillet

For other potato sides, be sure to check out my Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes, Mustard Potato Salad, or Roasted Potatoes, and for main dish potato recipes, I have Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch or Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup; all of which I’m sure you will love! After all, who doesn’t love a super hero sidekick?!

I hope your family, kiddos included, love these fries as much as mine does, and that they can become a weeknight staple for you. Fries that don’t leave you feeling greasy and regretful – woo! Go on, dunk away…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!

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