Tag Archives: vegetarian

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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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!

Perfect Boiled Eggs

Breakfast is important, but hard to make time for, so every Sunday night I do breakfast “prep”, which usually includes boiled eggs, overnight oats, and some form of breakfast casserole. It helps us get our days off on the right start nutritionally, without making us run late! I’ll admit it – I used to hate hard boiled eggs. The chalky texture, the gray ring around the yolk, the smell… yuck! Turns out, that was the wrong way to boil eggs! Well, unless you are trying to boil them to death… then that would be the correct method. So here it is, just in time for Easter, the perfect (in my opinion) way to boil eggs!

Perfect Boiled Eggs

Use as many eggs as desired. I usually do 6-8 for weekly meal prep.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs – as many as you need
  • Water – enough to cover all your eggs
  • A bowl of iced water

Directions:

  • In a large pot, bring water to a gentle boil
  • Just as it starts bubbling, gently add your eggs
  • Cover and let the eggs boil for 8 minutes
  • After 8 minutes, immediately submerge your eggs in the iced water to prevent them cooking further
  • Store eggs in fridge until ready to use

There you have it; a simple way to make tasty eggs with jammy yolks, not that chalky gray stuff. These are easy to peel, too! Eat them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper – perfect for breakfast meal prep or a quick snack on-the-go. For more breakfast prep ideas, check out my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight OatsTurkey Sausage Breakfast Bake, or Fruit and Nut Granola. You can eat your most important meal of the day and still get out the door on time! Drink some coffee, get a nutritious breakfast, slay that morning carpool or meeting…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

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Happy Fall, Y’all!

Hooray! Today is officially the first day of Fall! We are still wearing shorts and sandals here in sunny Southern California, but hey, it’s officially Autumn so I will sweat under my blanket while eating some warm soup no matter what the thermometer says.

I have never really been a huge soup lover, but I will slurp up bowls upon bowls of creamy tomato soup. Yum! I’ve made delicious tomato soups in the past, but usually they were loaded down with cream, which I now know to stay away from. For me personally, dairy really upsets my stomach, and if I want to have a bowl of soup and be all cozy, I’m pretty sure gas, bloating, and *digestive distress* (TMI?!) will ruin that for me.

On top of the discomfort dairy brings, usually homemade soup is quite the ordeal. Letting it simmer all day on the stove while constantly checking liquid levels is not my idea of fun in the kitchen. So here we have my VEGAN *dairy free* Creamy Tomato Basil Soup that takes literally 45 minutes start to finish! All you do is roast your veggies, then blend them up with some coconut milk. That’s it! Then go crazy with your toppings and you have a full meal that will leave you warm and cozy with a happy, healthy belly.

With cooler temperatures and the holiday season right around the corner, you will likely be making lots of warm soups and comforting sauces and need a reliable blender. My husband got me this KitchenAid blender for Christmas three years ago, and it has been amazing for everything from nice cream to baby food to sauces and soups. If you are in the market for a new blender, save this one to your Amazon wish list and give your hubby a helpful hint 😉

It may be only marginally cooler, but it’s late September so my tomato soup will be in the regular meal rotation until Spring. I truly hope you can ring in the Autumn season with this creamy, comforting soup, and maybe make it a regular for your family, too!

soup

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Serves six. Serve with some crusty bread for dunking!

Ingredients:

  • Four large tomatoes, quartered
  • Small yellow onion, quartered
  • 3/4 cup sliced baby carrots, or 2 large carrots chopped
  • One bulb garlic, roasted
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5-2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp pepper, divided
  • 2/3 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4-1 cup coconut milk
  • Optional toppings:
    • Chopped basil
    • Chopped scallions
    • Croutons
    • Lightly sauteed greens like kale or arugula
    • Avocado
    • Non-vegan options
      • bacon
      • parmesan

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Get the garlic roasting first:
    • slice off the top of the bulb
    • drizzle with olive oil
    • wrap in foil
    • place directly on oven rack
  • While garlic is roasting, chop your other veggies
  • Prepare baking pan by spraying with cooking spray
  • Arrange tomatoes, onion, and carrots in a single layer on baking sheet
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Place baking sheet in oven along with garlic
  • Roast for about 30-35 minutes
  • Carefully transfer all vegetables to the blender; the garlic should be able to be squeezed out like a paste
  • Add basil, vinegar, more salt and pepper, and coconut milk to the blender
  • Blend until desired consistency, adding more coconut milk if necessary
  • Serve warm with plenty of toppings

Wrap up in a scarf and eat some soup even if it’s in the 80s…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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