Tag Archives: healthy

Berry Lemonade

Since late summer of 2014, I’ve been frolicking on beaches, dipping my feet in the cool water, enjoying the ocean breeze coming through my open windows, and never had to worry about bug spray. That was in sunny Oceanside, California. Cut to now, late spring 2019 in Dallas, Texas. I have sweat dripping from my elbows after an hour outside – I didn’t even know your elbows could sweat! The sun is so hot it feels like I’m living on it, my body is covered in bright red mosquito and chigger bites, and the humidity makes my hair look like a small dog that just rolled in the mud.

But nothing beats summertime here with our family. Everyone is a sweaty mess so we just let it slide while we sit around, watching the kids play outside, eating watermelon and sipping lemonade. Lemonade is a must around here – cool, sweet, tart, and refreshing – it’s a welcome treat in the hot summer sun. I decided to make my own refined sugar free version and add some berries for an antioxidant boost! It turned out to be a hit – well received by my daughter, niece, nephew, sister, and, most importantly, my husband – who isn’t a lemonade fan! In his words it was “the perfect amount of tartness”. High words of praise from a lemonade hater!

Zemirah and I had a blast having a tea party (well, technically a lemonade party) outside one hot morning, but because of those dreadful chiggers I put down our gorgeous Karastan rug from Rug Studio, and we drank our lemonade in peace from bugs! You can get my rug here – in different sizes to fit your needs. It adds such a cozy feel to our bedroom, and is luxuriously soft! Plus it makes a great bug protector 😉

However and wherever you choose to have your lemonade party, I hope you make this Berry Lemonade for a refreshing and immune system boosting treat!

Berry Lemonade

Makes 2 quarts.

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of  fresh or thawed (if frozen) berries (I used a blackberry/blueberry/raspberry combo)
  • Juice of 4 large lemons
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of raw honey

Directions:

  • In a blender, combine berries with 2 cups of water
  • Blend just a few seconds until combined
  • Strain berry juice through a nut milk bag and mesh strainer – squeezing all the juice out into a large pitcher (this is the most time intensive step, but it’s worth it so you don’t have berry seeds stuck in your teeth all day!)
  • On the stove in a small pot, combine honey (to taste) and 1 cup of water, whisking until combined
  • Add honey water to the pitcher with the berry juice
  • Squeeze all four lemons directly into the pitcher
  • Add remaining 4-5 cups of water (to taste)
  • Chill until cold or serve over ice
  • Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to a week

For more “berry” delicious summertime recipes, check out my Berries and Greens SmoothieChocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding, and No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust! For some scrumptious treats to accompany your lemonade, whip up some Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream, a No Bake Chocolate Date Cake, or a batch of  Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies! I sincerely hope your summer is off to a great start – filled with family, healthy food, laughter, and happy movement. Soak up your family this summer…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost for you, just a small commission for me – funding my experimental cooking. 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!

Berries and Greens Smoothie

 

It’s officially summertime! Which to me means pool parties, late nights, fireflies, and fresh berries. Growing up, we would pick blackberries and blueberries every Father’s Day; it was always hot, and there were bees everywhere, but we would run and hide in the bushes, sampling all our berries while filling up buckets full! That night, we would come home sticky, tired, and covered in thorn scratches, but we would sit down to a cool, refreshingly sweet bowl of berries and cream. This smoothie is an homage to the berries and cream of my childhood summers – berries and greens! Also cool and refreshingly sweet, this smoothie is delicious and packed with antioxidants (which gives it the pretty purple color), vitamins, healthy fat, and fiber. It’s as easy as tossing some ingredients in a blender, and I guarantee your whole family, kids included, will gulp it down! Your toddler may get super messy and turn purple, and may even have some chia seeds stuck in her hair the next day (true story), but messy, healthy fun will be had by all!

Berries and Greens Smoothie

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients:

  • Two large bananas – ripe with brown spots
  • 1.5 cups of frozen berries – I used a blackberry/blueberry/raspberry medley
  • 1 cup, packed down, of fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp of ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender
  • Blend and enjoy!
  • Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator and give it a shake/stir before drinking

I hope you give this short and sweet recipe a try – smoothies are a great breakfast or snack in the summer heat, and you’re giving your kiddos essential vitamins and nutrients! Without them complaining about eating veggies…which is an extra bonus 😉 If you like breakfasts in a jar/cup, be sure to check out my Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding and my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, and for more summer-y treats, check out my No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate CrustNo Bake Chocolate Date Cake, and Chocolate Banana “Nice” Cream. Wishing a happy start of summer to everyone! Get your antioxidants and vitamins in, 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 – helping me earn extra money to keep making recipes. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a chocoholic, and I am a lover of all desserts. I don’t discriminate, each dessert is delicious in it’s own way (except you, Jell-O, you’re a sick food and can’t pass as dessert), but I have a special spot in my heart for milkshakes. When my husband and I first moved to California, we lived within walking distance of a burger place that sold those really big milkshakes like in a 50’s diner. Of course, after thoroughly enjoying my usual chocolate covered strawberry shake, I would feel sick from all the sugar and dairy and did not enjoy the stomach ache…but would still usually get one whenever we went. Oops.

The first time I made this chia pudding, I was instantly transported to sunny Southern California and reminded of the flavor of my beloved chocolate covered strawberry shake. It’s a huge bonus that this deliciously sweet pudding is refined sugar free and dairy free – so no stomach aches or wacky blood sugar! Chia seeds are small but mighty, containing 11 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein in just one ounce. Plus they are high in magnesium, which has a calming effect, zinc, B vitamins, and calcium. So when people find out you don’t eat dairy and ask about your calcium intake – tell them you eat chia pudding! This sweet treat is perfect for breakfast meal prep, and is delicious eaten as is, mixed with overnight oats, or on top of smoothies or even nice cream. Let’s grab a spoon and dig in!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding

This recipe is for one half pint mason jar. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk – this can change depending on the consistency you want
  • 1 tbsp of no sugar added strawberry fruit spread or preserves
  • 1/2 tbsp of 100% cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of honey and/or pure maple syrup
  • Optional toppings:
    • more preserves
    • a drizzle of syrup/honey
    • fresh or frozen fruit

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a half pint mason jar
  • Stir to combine well
  • Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator overnight
  • Stir again before eating
  • Top with desired toppings and enjoy!

For more sweet breakfast treats, check out my Flax and Oat Pancakes or my Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal – both sure to leave your tummy, and your sweet tooth, satisfied. Don’t forget to pin this recipe by clicking the “pinterest” button down below – that way you can come back to it often. Chia pudding may be something new for you, but I dare you to try it! It’s light, sweet, refreshing, and high in fiber, healthy fats, and calcium. Eat your tummy-ache free “milkshake”, get your calcium in…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

tacos.jpg

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!

%d bloggers like this: