Tag Archives: whole30 recipe

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!

Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos

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My husband and I used to eat out fairly often, and it made me so sick. (You can read more about my journey with IBS and food here) I would have unexplained (well, what I thought was unexplained) vomiting and diarrhea about two or three times a month, yet kept going back to the convenience of fast food and staying sick. Now that I avoid processed foods and eat cleaner, I hardly ever have any IBS symptoms! Feeling (and staying!) healthy and having plentiful energy is well worth the time I spend in the kitchen!

But let’s be honest…sometimes you just need a junk food fix. When we used to eat out, we would often go get chicken wings, and my favorite flavor was Spicy Garlic. Yum! One of my favorite things to do is re-make junk food classics into a healthier version – eating healthy doesn’t have to be tasteless and boring! So I created a spicy garlic chicken, decided to top some crispy potato rounds with it, and there you have it – Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos! Serve these as an appetizer, or a big plate full for a delicious, albeit messy, dinner. Enjoy!

Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 2 lbs of dark meat chicken, boneless and skinless
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bulbs of garlic, roasted
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (get my homemade version here)

For the nachos:

  • 4 medium potatoes (sweet, russet, or a combo) sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

Toppings:

  • Salsa or hot sauce
  • Guacamole
  • Pickled banana peppers or jalapenos
  • A drizzle of ranch (get my homemade version here)
  • Chopped scallions or cilantro

Directions:

  • Place chicken, seasonings, and apple cider vinegar in your slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours
  • While chicken is cooking, roast your garlic
    • Slice the end off of the garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil
    • Wrap in foil, then roast in a 425 F oven for 45 minutes
  • During the last hour your chicken is cooking, bake your potato rounds
    • Simply lay the rounds out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet
    • Season with salt
    • Bake for 30 minutes in a 425 F oven
    • Broil for 1 to 2 minutes to get more crispiness
  • Once chicken is done, shred the meat
  • Add garlic (just squeeze it out) and mayonnaise
  • Stir to combine
  • Let the chicken mixture cook for about another 30 minutes on low
  • Place “nachos” on a plate or tray, top with meat mixture, then desired toppings
  • Store leftovers separate, covered, in the fridge
    • The leftover meat is also delicious stuffed in a baked potato, or with brown rice!

For more made-over junk food recipes, check out my Oven Baked FriesBBQ Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Potatoes, or Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup. Pretty much all of my dessert recipes are healthier versions of classics – mama needs sweets – but my current favorites are my Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CupsWholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies (my most viewed recipe!), and No Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust. I also recently posted Flax and Oat Pancakes; a made-over breakfast staple. I am sure you can find something to help you get your junk food fix – whether it is sweet or savory! Eat healthy foods that taste good…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links, it is of no cost to you, just a small commission for me to help me stock my pantry and keep the recipes coming. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

BBQ Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Potatoes

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Indulgent Flavors with a Healthy Twist

If you have been reading along with me (either this post or this post), then you know that I love BBQ sauce! I pretty much have to since I was born and raised in Texas, and because of that, baked or grilled BBQ chicken is a staple. A delicious staple. And even more delicious when you combine sweet and tangy BBQ chicken with crispy, salty bacon and cool, creamy ranch. Did I mention it was all dairy free and refined sugar free? Oh, and made in one pan, then stuffed inside a hot baked potato for minimal mess?! It just gets better and better! Flavors so delicious and indulgent, you wouldn’t know it was paleo and Whole30 compliant. Let’s get to the recipe, shall we?

BBQ Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 large russet or sweet potatoes
  • 2 lbs of chicken (if you have leftover meat from my Roasted Chicken with Carrots this would be the perfect use for it!)
  • 3/4 cup of compliant BBQ sauce (here is mine, and here is my favorite store bought brand)
  • 4 slices of compliant bacon
  • 1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • Six to eight mushrooms, sliced
  • Ranch dressing (here is mine , and here is my favorite store bought brand)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp pepper, divided
  • 2 tbsp of avocado oil
  • Optional toppings:
    • sliced avocado
    • chopped scallions
    • an extra drizzle of BBQ sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Pierce potatoes several times with a fork
  • Place in oven to bake for about 45-60 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork
  • Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper (skip the next few steps if using leftover chicken meat)
  • Cook the chicken in avocado oil in a large pan, over medium-low heat
  • Once cooked through, shred or cube the chicken
  • Set aside
  • In the same pan, cook bacon until desired crispness
  • Set aside on paper towels to drain
  • Crumble bacon once cooled
  • In the same pan, place the sliced onions and mushrooms, season with remaining salt and pepper
  • Cover and cook over low heat until desired tenderness
  • Place cubed or shredded chicken back into the pan with the vegetables
  • Cover with BBQ sauce, stirring to make sure it’s evenly distributed, and cook until warm
  • By now, the potatoes should be done
  • Slice them open and fill with BBQ chicken/veggie mixture
  • Top with crumbled bacon, a generous helping of ranch, and any other desired toppings
  • Leftovers will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week

For more potato recipes, check out my Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle RanchOven Baked FriesCreamy Whole30 Mashed PotatoesMustard Potato Salad, and Roasted Potatoes.

I hope you enjoy this cozy and comforting, healthy, minimal-mess meal! It’s a win-win; happy family with satisfied taste buds and full bellies, and less time cleaning up after dinner! Get out of the kitchen and go relax…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!

Kale Chips Two Ways

Cheap, Clean Snacking

My husband and I were just talking the other day about how drastically our snacking habits have changed. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I kid you not, between the two of us, we could sit down to watch a movie and eat an entire bag of salt and vinegar chips… and then because we were basically human salt licks, would follow that *light* snack with something sweet. So, yeah, we were the icons of health. (read more about our food journey here) After doing Whole30, we pretty much stopped snacking altogether because when you fill your body up on nutritious food you’re not hungry 30 minutes later! I know…shocker!

Sometimes, though, the munchie monster comes around, usually with my dreaded Aunt Flo, and I have to have something salty and crunchy. I was perusing the health aisle at the store for something healthier to munch on, and picked up a bag of kale chips… then promptly put them back down when I saw the price! Convenience isn’t worth my daughter’s college fund. Slightly hyperbolic, obviously, but if you buy a $6 bag of kale chips every week, that will add up! You can get one big bunch of kale at almost any grocery store for around $1, and you likely already have a bottle of olive oil and some salt in your pantry, right? If so, you can make your own kale chips!

My whole family loves crispy, salty kale chips for snacking, but they are also delicious atop a taco salad or to add texture to a creamy soup. Kale is high in vitamins A and C, and has been called a “super food”; so why not eat your super food in chip form?!

Kale Chips Two Ways

Makes about 3 loose cups.

Ingredients:

  • Four cups (about 2 small bunches, or one large bunch) of fresh kale, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil (any other light oil would be fine, too, like grapeseed or avocado, a more robust oil will change the flavor)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • For Chili Garlic Kale Chips:
    • all ingredients listed above plus
    • 2 tsp of garlic powder
    • 2 tsp of chili powder
    • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Grease a large, rimmed baking sheet
  • Lay kale out on prepared baking sheet
  • Drizzle with oil
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt
  • Massage kale until slightly wilted and softened
  • Add remaining seasonings if you’re doing Chili Garlic Kale Chips, ensuring all the greens are evenly coated in seasoning
  • Lay kale out in an even layer on baking sheet
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until dark green and crisp
  • Keep an eye on them – they burn quickly!
  • Once completely cooled, kale chips will keep in a sealed container or bag at room temperature for 3-5 days

For delicious dips to combine with your newfound love of veggie chips, check out my Spicy Garlic SalsaDairy free Garlic Herb Ranch, and Classic Garlic Hummus. And if you need a little something sweet to follow your salty snack, I’ve got you covered with my Wholesome Chocolate Chunk CookiesBanana Bread with Granola CrumbleChocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars, and Dark Chocolate Paleo Brownies to name a few. See what other sweets I have by using the drop down arrow on my “desserts” menu. Don’t forget to pin all your favorites by using the “Pinterest” button at the bottom of the post!

I hope your family enjoys these kale chips as much as my family does. Don’t let the munchie monster get you down! Happy snacking…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Slow Cooker Meatballs

App Attack!

For Christmas Eve, I made meatballs in the Crock-Pot, and thought it would be the perfect appetizer to serve at a New Year’s Eve party! Growing up, we always would eat tons of appetizers and finger foods on New Year’s Eve. It was so fun getting to stay up until midnight eating snacks, drinking sparkling cider, and waiting for the ball to drop! Our most common appetizer we would have on New Year’s Eve would be spicy cheese dip…made with a block of soft maybe-not-real cheese. Always a delicious crowd pleaser, but not the most healthy. And now that I know how my body reacts to copious amounts of dairy, I generally steer clear.

So I went a little healthier (and dairy free!) this year. These meatballs are tender, cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce, and so easy to make! Simply make the meat mixture, and toss it all in the slow cooker! I hope your 2019 is a wonderfully blessed year…and I hope you ring in the new year with these Slow Cooker Meatballs!

Slow Cooker Meatballs

Makes about 30-35 meatballs.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
  • Optional toppings:
    • Parmesan
    • fresh basil

For the sauce:

  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (no salt or sugar added)
  • 10 oz tomato paste (no salt or sugar added)
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp of dried basil

Directions:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a large slow cooker (lined with these for easy cleanup!)
  • Combine all meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Using your hands, make sure all ingredients are well incorporated
  • Shape about 2 tbsp worth of meat mixture into balls
  • Place meatballs into sauce, making sure they’re covered by sauce
  • Cover and cook on high for 3 hours
  • Serve warm, with sauce and optional toppings
  • Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for a week

For other appetizers, check out my Spicy Garlic Salsa, which is delicious with plantain chips, or my Classic Garlic Hummus…do you think I like garlic? 😛

For a beautiful centerpiece for your New Year’s Day dinner, take a look at my Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with GravySheet Pan SalmonCelebration Steaks with Pan Sauce, or my Roasted Chicken with Carrots; all are simple and delicious!

And for sides or desserts, there are so many options, including my ABC Brussels SproutsRoasted PotatoesTwo Layer Paleo FudgeDark Chocolate Paleo Brownies, or Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies to name a few!

Let me know what your New Year’s Eve/Day traditions are! Whatever you may be doing, I pray for blessings on your new year, with lots of healthy and good food. Celebrate the new year…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no cost to you, just a small pantry fund for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy

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Golly Ghee!

Before my first round of Whole30, I had never heard of ghee, and wasn’t even sure how to pronounce it. I’m nearly 100% certain that it rhymes with “key”, but my mom, because of her Armenian heritage, adds a guttural sound to it. Either way, I have now learned of the many health benefits of ghee! Ghee is butter that is heated to separate the milk solids; it aids in digestion while reducing inflammation, has plenty of healthy fats, and helps with weight loss. All while giving a buttery, yet nutty and toasty flavor!

So for the centerpiece of your Christmas dinner, I have a delicious turkey recipe for you, starring ghee! It is rubbed with plenty of ghee; it’s higher smoke point helps keep the bird moist without burning the skin, garlic and rosemary for a delicious herbaceous flavor, and lemon, and *surprise!* grapefruit for a citrus-y punch. It seems complicated written down, but I will include some helpful pictures of what it looked like before it went in the oven, and it honestly isn’t complicated at all; no need to be scared of a little turkey! I was babysitting my nephew on the day I made this turkey; both babes were napping at the same time, and I had this turkey cleaned, seasoned, stuffed, in the oven, and dishes washed in about an hour! It is a simple recipe that produces such a flavorful, buttery, moist turkey with perfectly crispy skin…and the gravy it makes is out of this world! Is your mouth watering, or is it just me? Let’s get to the recipe!

Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy

Recipe is for a 12-14 pound turkey; if your bird is larger or smaller, adjust accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • One 12-14 pound turkey
  • 1.5 cups of ghee, at room temperature
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves chopped finely, plus 4 additional sprigs for stuffing
  • 2 tsp of dried thyme leaves (ours froze in the garden, but I would say about 4 tsp of chopped fresh if you have it)
  • One lemon, halved, for stuffing and for zest
  • 1/2 of one large grapefruit, halved and peeled
  • About 1 tbsp of salt
  • About 1 tbsp of black pepper
  • For the gravy:
    • 1/2-1 cup of water
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine ghee, garlic, chopped rosemary, chopped or dry thyme leaves, and lemon zest
  • Clean out turkey cavity by removing the neck and giblets, trimming off any excess fat, and drying inside and out with a paper towel
  • Season liberally inside and out with salt and pepper
  • Rub about 2/3 of the ghee mixture under the skin as you can
    • you will need to slightly (and gently!) separate the skin from the meat
    • be sure to rub the ghee mixture on the breast, but also down on the legs
  • With remaining ghee mixture, rub all over the top of the turkey
  • Stuff the cavity with lemon, grapefruit, and remaining sprigs of rosemary
  • Position turkey on roasting rack with wing tips facing up
  • Tie the ends of the legs together with twine
  • Bake for 2.5 to 3 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 165 F
  • Move turkey to platter to rest and make gravy
  • Pour turkey drippings into a deep pan
  • On medium heat, heat the drippings until just starting to bubble
  • Lower heat, and add water and potato flour
  • Whisk until thick and well combined, season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Add more water for a thinner gravy and more flour for a thicker gravy
  • Slice turkey and serve with gravy
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for 5-7 days

I have a beautiful red and green Christmas-y side dish coming in a few days, but if you are dying to try this recipe out (I won’t complain about that!), I have my Roasted Potatoes or Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes, as well as Crispy Brussels Sprouts for side dish ideas! My Creamy Tomato Basil Soup would make a great appetizer, and my Classic Garlic Hummus with veggie sticks would be a great hors d’oeuvre…just sayin’ 😉 I also have many desserts to choose from, including some Christmas-y classics, like Two Layer Paleo FudgeMolasses Cookies, and Death by Hot Chocolate or Slow Cooker Apple Cider to go with dessert. I’d love to hear what your menu looks like for Christmas Day; let me know! No matter what you end up making, I hope you enjoy celebrating with loved ones. Remember the Reason for the season…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!

Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch

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! 

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Taco ‘Bout a Rough Day

Do you ever have one of those days? One of those days filled with toddler tantrums and tears, time outs, a power outage during potty time, resulting in toddler pooping on the floor, then everyone just eats PB&Js on old bread for lunch, and you sweat (because of no power) and cry while rocking the little one to sleep, wondering if you can start the day over? Yeah…me neither, and those are absolutely not examples from my actual day today…

Just kidding. This has been my day today, combined with the stress of our upcoming move and transition out of the military, plus the mom guilt over not being gentler with Zemirah during these stressful times. Whew!

Praise the Lord we are all healthy and safe, but on these kinds of days, you just need a quick dinner to throw together. Giant stuffed potatoes are such an easy, filling, and cheap dinner that everyone loves, and these Taco Stuffed Potatoes have just the right amount of spice combined with all the comfort of a baked potato. Top them with Avocado Chipotle Ranch for extra creaminess with a kick! I love making homemade sauces when I can, but if you would like to buy some you can purchase some of my favorite Avocado Ranch here; which always comes in handy on those pinch of crazy days!

No matter what kind of day you’re having, these stuffed potatoes will put a smile on your face and warmth in your belly; I hope your family enjoys!

Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the Avocado Chipotle Ranch:

For the Taco Stuffed Potatoes:

  • One potato per person eating (I used sweet for me and russet for my husband)
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Optional toppings:
    • salted pepitas
    • pickled jalapenos
    • chopped cilatro
    • chopped scallions
    • avocado

Directions:

For the Avocado Chipotle Ranch:

  • Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor
  • Blend until smooth
  • Keep leftovers, covered, in fridge for a week

For the Taco Stuffed Potatoes:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Poke holes all over potatoes (make sure you gave them a good scrubbing!) with a fork or knife
  • Place directly on rack
  • Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until soft and skin is easily pierced with a fork
  • With 20 minutes left on the potatoes, start your taco meat
  • Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat
  • Cook onion and garlic for a few minutes, until onions are translucent
  • Add ground meat, stirring to break up meat (or use one of these)
  • Add seasonings, stirring to combine
  • When meat is cooked through, drain fat if using beef
  • Add tomato paste, stirring to combine
  • Let mixture simmer for 10 minutes
  • Cut open potatoes and fill with taco meat
  • Don’t forget a drizzle of Avocado Chipotle Ranch and extra toppings!
  • Store leftover meat, covered, in fridge for a week

Be sure to check out my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale SoupOne Pan Chicken and Shrimp FajitasSheet Pan Salmon, and Roasted Chicken with Carrots for other quick and healthy dinner ideas! Everyone has those crazy days, you are not alone. Don’t forget to count your blessings…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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