Tag Archives: roasted

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!

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Roasted Chicken with Carrots

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Money, Money, Money!

A hot topic when you’re trying to eat healthier is MONEY! How do you stay within a reasonable budget and feed your family well? It is not as hard as you may think; there are tons of creative ways to save money and stretch your dollar at the store. Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive or pretentious. We’re about to get real here and talk… budget.

One of my favorite ways to save money is to buy a whole chicken. I roast it, we have leftovers for days, then I make broth with the bones. For our family of three, we can have four meals from one six pound chicken. Guess how much I paid for my last six pound chicken? $4.74!!! It was on sale for $.79 a pound! Add a $.79 bag of carrots and some potatoes (on average 2-4 dollars per five pound bag), and you’ve got a few healthy meals for under ten dollars! *insert happy dance here*

So was my cheap chicken organic and pasture raised? Unfortunately, no. While I want to be able to buy everything grass fed/pasture raised/organic, we are simply not able to do so on our budget. My husband is an E5 in the Marine Corps, and I am currently staying at home with our daughter; right now, we have a tight budget, but I am doing the best I can to feed our family healthy, real foods.

Don’t guilt yourself if you can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods, or if you have to dig through the “reduced” bin at the store; you’re doing the best you can for your family. What do you think is healthier: a “regular” chicken from the grocery store, or a bucket of Colonel Sanders’ chicken? The answer is obvious, and, actually cheaper! (4.74 vs a 20 dollar 10 piece bucket)

The bottom line is just do what is right for your family. If you can afford grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken, and organic produce, that’s wonderful and I’m a little jealous, but you should buy it! If you can’t, get what you can afford! I shop at our base commissary, Walmart, and Aldi; I use coupons, I buy in bulk (I bought a ten pound bag of chicken leg quarters yesterday for $5!), and I shamelessly dig through the “reduced” bin of frozen meat. All to save us money while still eating healthy. You know how people ask what you would do if you won a million dollars? Well, I would go to the grocery store and NOT get out my calculator! Big spender!

Okay, enough talk about budget, let’s get to the chicken. Some ideas for leftovers: shred and add sauces (like hot sauce or BBQ) to top baked potatoes or salads, make sandwiches, or chicken salad! Then be sure to save the bones for a nutritious, low sodium chicken broth for all the soups you’ll be making this fall! This chicken is simple, healthy, and cheap, and it makes the perfect centerpiece for either a weeknight or a nice Sunday meal. Add some of my Roasted Potatoes or Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes for the side, and if you want more veggies other than carrots, try my Crispy Brussels Sprouts. There you have it; a simple, budget friendly, healthy, complete meal!

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Roasted Chicken with Carrots

Serves 10. 

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pound chicken
  • One lemon, cut in half
  • One head of garlic, cut in half widthwise
  • Two stalks of celery, cut in half
  • 1/4-1/2 tbsp kosher salt (I use kosher because it makes a better crust on the skin)
  • 1/4-1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 6-8 large carrots, quartered lengthwise

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Set quartered carrots on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish
  • Season with a little salt and pepper
  • Remove giblets and neck from bird, if necessary
  • Dry inside and out with paper towels
  • Season liberally inside and out with salt and pepper
  • Stuff the cavity with lemon, celery, and garlic
  • Season the outside with the dried herbs
  • Tie the ends of the drumsticks together with twine and tuck the ends of the wings into the bird
  • Set on top of bed of carrots
  • Roast for 70-90 minutes, until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F
  • Baste with juices
  • Let rest for 10-15 minutes

You will feel so fancy roasting a whole chicken, and it truly is a great way to save money. Not to mention, delicious! Feed your family well, keep your budget on track…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Roasted Potatoes

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A Happy Accident

What is the perfect side dish for basically anything and everything? Potatoes! Even better if they’re hot, crispy, and flavorful. These are not your average, plain roasted potatoes; the crust on these bad boys is insane, and they are covered in nutritional yeast to give them a cheesy flavor.

These potatoes came about as a happy accident when I was out of some of my usual seasonings. My husband took one bite, his eyes widened, and he said, “Oh wow! Did you do something different?! These are delicious!” I pretended I didn’t notice how amazing they were, and casually answered, “oh yeah, I used nutritional yeast.” Then we dipped our little crispy potatoes in Dairy free Garlic Herb Ranch and happily gobbled them up in silence. Well, mostly silence, except for Zemirah’s (and David’s) happy hums of “mmm” with practically every bite.

A happy table makes for happy bellies and a happy evening. I hope you add these potatoes into your side dish rotation this week and have a happy table, too!

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Roasted Potatoes

Serves six to eight.

Ingredients:

  • Three large russet potatoes, cut into one inch cubes
  • Half a tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray
  • Combine potatoes, olive oil, and all seasonings on baking sheet
  • Mix well until all potatoes are coated evenly
  • Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through
  • While still hot, sprinkle potatoes with extra salt to taste

These are perfect to roast alongside my Crispy Brussels Sprouts and some chicken thighs for a quick and complete meal. I hope these crunchy roasted potatoes bring a nice change of pace to your side dishes like it did mine. Gobble them up…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

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I have to admit that I’ve always been a brussels sprouts hater, but two years ago, my husband and I had a plate of fried brussels sprouts at a restaurant in Colorado that completely CHANGED MY LIFE! Okay, that’s dramatic, but they definitely changed my opinion on brussels sprouts; I saw the light and now love me some crispy brussies.

Brussels sprouts are high in vitamins K and C, fiber, and contain plenty of antioxidants, but deep frying them in oil kind of defeats their healthy purpose. So instead of frying brussels, I like to roast them on a high heat to get all of that crispy yumminess while still enjoying the health benefits.

This is a simple side dish that can go with almost any entree; I like to just toss them in the oven with some sweet potatoes and chicken thighs for a complete dinner on one pan. And they seriously could not be any easier; simply toss them with olive oil and seasoning then roast!

If you’ve previously been a brussels sprouts hater, try out these crispy bad boys and I guarantee you will change your mind! Dip them in some Lemon Garlic Aioli and you will love me forever. There I go with the dramatics again, but, really, you should try them.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Serves four to five.  

Ingredients:

  • One and a half pounds of brussels sprouts
  • One and a half tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Prepare large baking sheet with foil/parchment paper and cooking spray
  • Cut the brussels sprouts in half top to bottom, or into quarters if they’re larger
  • Place in a medium mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil
  • Add seasonings
  • Mix together until all the halves/quarters are covered with oil and seasoning
  • Arrange on baking sheet so that the brussels sprouts are all flat, none stacked on top of each other
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring twice to ensure even roasting

That’s all, folks! I hope these crispy brussies change your mind like they did mine. Eat your greens…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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