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 ūüėČ 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!

Simple Guacamole

Avocado: a delicious healthy fat that tastes good on top of or mixed into anything. Seriously. There are avocado brownies, avocado toasts, avocado ice cream, fried avocados, stuffed avocados, the list goes on. Avocados are everywhere! But one of my favorite ways to eat those delicious, fatty, green guys remains the classic guacamole. Perfect for topping salads, sandwiches, tacos, dipping, or eating with a spoon. I mean…what? Guacamole can get really fancy; you can go spicy, sweet, and with all sorts of mix-ins, but this “recipe” (I feel bad even calling it that!) is one of my favorite ways to make a flavorful yet simple guac that will go good with anything. It’s quick to make, with minimal chopping, and loved by my whole family. In fact, I left my toddler with a bowl of it in her near vicinity, and when I came back into the kitchen, she had climbed up on a chair and was licking guacamole off her hand, saying, “mmm that’s good ‘cado!” I couldn’t even be mad because it was so cute, and I was glad she was getting her healthy fats in! Anyways, let’s get to this super simple recipe that can transform any meal!

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My guacamole thief ūüôā¬†

Simple Guacamole

Serves 4-5. Definitely double this recipe if you’ll be feeding a big crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Juice of one lime (I use¬†this juicer¬†to get out every last drop!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  • Other possible mix-ins
    • diced tomato
    • fresh garlic (just a little!)
    • fresh or pickled jalapenos
    • a splash of your favorite salsa
    • charred corn
  • Chips to dip

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the flesh of the avocado and lime juice
  • Mash until semi-smooth
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Stir until combined
  • Dip, spread, or spoon (not just me, right?) away!
  • Store leftovers, covered, in fridge. It will turn a little brown due to oxidizing, but just give it a stir and it will be fine!

And that’s it! Easy, huh? Adding a little guacamole will seriously transform your dinner. Boring chicken breast? Top with guacamole and you have “Fiesta Chicken”! Boring salad? Nope. Add guacamole and it’s “Taco Salad”! You get the point ūüėČ

For more delicious dips, check out my¬†Classic Garlic Hummus,¬†Dairy free Garlic Herb Ranch, and¬†Spicy Garlic Salsa. For some simple dinner ideas that would go perfectly with this guac, check out my¬†One Pan Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas,¬†Salmon Burgers, or¬†Spicy Garlic Chicken Nachos. These are all good ideas for any March Madness parties you may be throwing, too! I know you’ll find something easy to make that the whole family finds easy to eat. Add a little guacamole, and it’s a party! Party on…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 to keep my pantry stocked! Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Flax and Oat Pancakes

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You groggily open your eyes one Saturday morning. Spring is here; this fact is made evident by the warm sun streaming through the blinds and the cheerful songs of the birds outside your window. You hear your children and spouse giggling down the hall, you smell the freshly brewed coffee, with a light and happy heart you head to the kitchen and…pour the same tired, old, strangely-reminiscent-of-cardboard cereal for breakfast?! No! Such a perfect spring Saturday morning calls for pancakes! And, believe me, these hearty and healthy pancakes will have everyone around the table full, happy, and ready to enjoy their spring break adventures without a sugar crash.

Flax and Oat Pancakes

Makes about 12 pancakes, depending on size.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour (could be made gluten free by substituting¬†GF flour)
  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of¬†coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp of whole¬†flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup¬†coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4-1 cup of water
  • Optional toppings:

Directions:

  • Heat your skillet over medium-low heat, and grease with desired cooking oil
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour through salt)
  • Add egg, oil, and almond milk, stirring until combined
  • Add water about 1/4 cup at a time, until it makes a fairly thin batter
  • Spoon batter (your desired pancake size) into hot pan
  • Once bubbles form and pop, flip and cook on the other side
  • Repeat with remaining batter
  • Serve warm with desired toppings
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge – they reheat fine in the microwave, good to grab and go!

I hope you and your family can enjoy a slow Saturday morning breakfast together; I’d guess that these pancakes could rouse even the most sullen teen out of bed ūüėČ For more breakfast ideas, check out my¬†Whole30 Breakfast Hash,¬†Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bake,¬†Fruit and Nut Granola,¬†Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal, or¬†Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats. I hope this season, in all of its newness, starts off wonderfully for you. Have some quality time at breakfast…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

 

Smoky and Sweet BBQ Sauce

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The Stars at Night, are Big and Bright…

All my fellow Texans just clapped in their heads and sang “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. Admit it, you know you did! I’m certainly missing Southern California, but I am happy to be back in my great state. Texans are a proud people, and one of the things we pride ourselves on is our BBQ. You can find at least one little BBQ joint, if not three or four, in pretty much every tiny town in Texas, and probably every single one boasts it’s own “special BBQ sauce”. I love BBQ sauce; I cook with it, dip things in it, and top things with it! It’s so versatile; sweet, spicy, tangy…and loaded down with refined sugar. A popular brand of BBQ sauce has a staggering 16g of sugar in only 2 tbsp of sauce, and the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25g of added sugar for women and around 12 for children, depending on their age. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want nearly all of my sugar consumption for the day to come from a measly 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce.

So what are we supposed to do when we want that sweet, tangy sauce? Make some with no added sugars! This BBQ sauce is sweetened using dates, which are a sweet and sticky fruit, so the sugar content is natural and unrefined. The smokiness comes from charring an onion, and the tangy flavor comes from apple cider vinegar and garlic. This sauce is delicious in my Barbecue Meatloaf, is perfect to top shredded chicken or pork with, or use as a marinade. However you use it, I know you will love the flavor, and relish in the fact that there are no added sugars. Healthy food doesn’t have to be flavorless or boring; enjoy it!

Smoky and Sweet BBQ Sauce

Makes about 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 cups of water, or more for a thinner sauce
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste, no salt or sugar added
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 yellow onion, charred either over gas burner or in the broiler
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp of cayenne, depending on taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp of chipotle powder, depending on taste

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat
  • Stir until combined and just starting to steam
  • Carefully transfer ingredients to food processor or blender
  • Puree until desired consistency
  • Use immediately, or store covered in fridge for up to 2 weeks

For other flavorful sauces, be sure to check out my Dairy free Garlic Herb RanchSpicy Garlic SalsaClassic Garlic Hummus, and Lemon Garlic Aioli. For creative ideas on how to use this BBQ sauce, check out my Barbecue Meatloaf, or possibly with leftovers from my Roasted Chicken with Carrots. And, of course, all BBQs need a delicious side of Mustard Potato Salad. Yum!

I hope this BBQ sauce inspires you to cut out added sugars and to truly enjoy healthy foods! Cover everything in sauce…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!

ABC Brussels Sprouts

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Easy as 1-2-3!

When you think of “Christmas food”, what do you think of? I usually think of ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans with pimentos…an easy side dish that is red and green for the holidays. I wanted to do a Christmas-y side dish, too! Something red and green, but I wanted to change it up, and, of course, keep it simple and healthy!

So here we have ABC Brussels Sprouts. The “A” stands for almonds, the “B” for balsamic glaze, and the “C” for cranberries. This simple side dish would compliment any main course, and would look so pretty on your Christmas dinner table! Brussels sprouts are high in vitamins (especially vitamin K), minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, so you will keep your family and friends healthy by serving these!

Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t like brussels sprouts, and since she’s hosting Christmas dinner, asked me not to bring them ūüėõ However, I think if she tried these, she might turn into a brussels lover, and you will, too!

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ABC Brussels Sprouts

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of brussels sprouts, with the stem cut, and cut length-wise
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of¬†raw honey¬†(or maple syrup if you follow a vegan diet)
  • 2 tbsp of¬†balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of¬†unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp of slivered or chopped almonds

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Prepare large, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper
  • Lay brussels sprouts halves in a single layer on baking sheet
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and honey until it is thickened and combined
  • Pour half of the mixture on the brussels sprouts
  • Using your hands or a large spoon, mix brussels sprouts until all are coated
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Remove from oven and add cranberries and almonds
  • Stir to combine all ingredients
  • Bake for another 15 minutes
  • Toss with remaining balsamic glaze
  • Top with extra cranberries, if desired
  • Serve warm
  • Leftovers will keep, covered, in the fridge for 5-7 days

I originally made these Christmas-y veggies to go with my¬†Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy, and it was delicious! However, they would also be an excellent pairing with my¬†Roasted Chicken with Carrots, or even my¬†Barbecue Meatloaf,¬†Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, or¬†Celebration Steaks with Pan Sauce! I am a brussie lover so I will eat them with almost anything! For more Christmas recipes, be sure to check out my holiday posts:¬†No Bake Pumpkin Pie,¬†Death by Hot Chocolate,¬†Molasses Cookies,¬†Two Layer Paleo Fudge,¬†Slow Cooker Apple Cider, and, of course, the¬†Ghee, Garlic, and Herb Turkey with Gravy. I hope you make some of these healthier holiday recipes, please be sure to “pin” them at the bottom of the post, and follow me on Instagram or Facebook to let me know what you think! You should definitely make these sweet and sour, red and green brussels sprouts, get your vitamin K in…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!

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

This post contains promo codes and 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.

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Sibling Rivalry

When the mornings get chilly and the windows get frosty, that means it’s time for steaming hot bowls of oatmeal for breakfast. Growing up with four sisters, my mom would buy the giant variety packs of instant oatmeal, and I distinctly remember arguing with my big sister over the last packet of strawberries and cream…more than once. I think my mom would have us take turns; she could have the last strawberries and cream this time, and I could have the last one on the next box. When it wasn’t my turn for strawberries and cream, I would always snag cinnamon apple. Yum! Looking back now, cinnamon apple was better because it didn’t turn your oatmeal a strange pepto pink…

Now, I like to make us cinnamon apple oatmeal for those chilly mornings because it’s warm and comforting, with plenty of fiber and healthy carbs; I feel kind of silly for even writing this out as a “recipe”, but it changes up the breakfast routine of cereal, and it takes about 10 minutes tops! I’m sure you have most, if not all, of these ingredients on hand, and could make a pot for your family tomorrow morning. I know everyone will love the sweetness (shh…the kids don’t need to know that it’s refined sugar free), and it will make you feel good to get your family going with a healthy, hearty breakfast.

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Serves four to five, and could easily be doubled or halved if needed.

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of water
  • One small gala apple, skin on, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp¬†chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened raisins
  • One cup of old fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup, or according to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional toppings:
    • walnuts
    • more raisins

Directions:

  • Combine water, apples, chia, raisins, and salt in a medium pot
  • Place pot on stove and turn burner to high
  • Once boiling, add remaining ingredients
  • Let boil, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed
  • Serve hot with toppings, if desired

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it also includes the most important beverage of the day: coffee! Use¬†this¬†promo code to get 20% off some delicious cold brew coffees along with 10% off¬†these¬†delicious, dairy free, sugar free creamers. These promotions end soon, so grab them while you can! If you would rather prep your oatmeal the night before, you would probably like my¬†Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, or my Fruit and Nut Granola¬†for a quick grab-and-go breakfast. If oats aren’t your thing, I also have a¬†Whole30 Breakfast Hash¬†and a¬†Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bake¬†for you. I’m sure you can find something you like! Get a healthy and hearty breakfast…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping

This post contains a promo code and other 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. 

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Happy Halloween!

It’s that time of year for candy and sugar crashes. I think we experienced our first set of sugar-induced temper tantrums yesterday brought on by all the treats Zemirah’s been having lately. We are still going trick-or-treating tonight, but will be limiting the amount of candy to one or two pieces, and keep the rest hidden away for potty time rewards…or for Mama and Daddy ūüėČ

I am still working on finding my food freedom and living a balanced lifestyle, but you know what? A few pieces (not the whole bucket!) of the sugary, processed candy on Halloween is not going to kill you or your child! It’s a fun night for dressing up and eating candy, so let’s not spoil it with worrying. However,¬†after tonight’s candy, you might need some help getting back on track, and I have just the thing: this delicious, refined sugar free pumpkin bread! It is also dairy free, can be made egg free using flax eggs (directions in this¬†post), and gluten free! (I still have¬†this¬†promo code for 20% off a huge 3 pound bag of gluten free flour until Nov. 16th, good for all your gluten free baking.) This pumpkin bread is so flavorful and sweet that no one will be able to tell that it’s a healthier version, and you can snack away guilt free!

Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping

Makes one standard loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup of¬†coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup¬†pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup¬†coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs (or flax eggs for vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For crumb topping:
    • 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 1/8 cup gluten free flour
    • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Grease a standard size loaf pan
  • Combine dry ingredients for the loaf (flour through salt) in a bowl
  • Whisk together
  • Add wet ingredients for the loaf (pumpkin through vanilla)
  • Stir together until well combined
  • Spread into prepared pan
  • In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for the crumb topping with a fork, the mixture should look like damp sand
  • Press the topping on top of the batter
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Store covered, at room temperature for 3 days, or in the fridge for a week

If you are looking for more pumpkin recipes, be sure to check out my¬†Pumpkin Spice Cake¬†and¬†Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer; other non-pumpkin yet fall-y treats I have are¬†Banana Bread with Granola Crumble,¬†Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Bars, and¬†Wholesome Chocolate Chunk Cookies! Plus my¬†Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Scent¬†to make your home smell like fall. I love this time of year *happy sigh*. I hope you have a fun Halloween night! Eat some candy, bake all the pumpkin bread…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Celebration Steaks with Pan Sauce

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Celebrate Good Times! Come on!

If you’re like me, you just sang/read that title while having flashbacks to roller blade dancing with all your friends under the disco ball, most likely at the skating rink for a friend’s birthday party.¬†Obviously, a small child celebrating a birthday shouldn’t be cooking over an open flame, but apparently once you’re an adult, celebration means cooking an expensive and delicious cut of meat and having a glass of wine. I’m okay with that ūüėČ

I’m calling these “Celebration Steaks” because I first cooked these while on a second honeymoon, of sorts, with my husband. He had just gotten back from a six month deployment two weeks prior, and I surprised him with a trip to a little cabin in the woods while my parents kept Zemirah. It was my first time away from her overnight, and, while I missed her, honestly, it was great! No mom shaming here! It was a wonderful trip with my darling husband whom I had missed so terribly.

It was glorious being able to sleep all night without a care in the world, but it was also nice to just enjoy cooking *calmly* for my husband instead of a hungry baby clamoring at my heels and tugging on my clothes. We danced in the kitchen, drank wine, and I just enjoyed the process of making these delicious steaks. We didn’t have to worry about eating dinner early because there were neither bedtimes nor the threat of an early morning alarm, so we just leisurely enjoyed our delicious meal.

Since then, I’ve made these pan steaks to celebrate Father’s Day and our anniversary; each time with a different cut of beef, but each time it was equally delicious! I think I’ve used rib eyes twice and filet mignon once. This last time I made them, it was really just for a photo op, so I bought a cheap cut of beef at the store (I think it was a round steak?), and, though leaner, still had so much amazing flavor.

No matter what cut of beef you choose, the flavor will be scrumptious, but do take note of the thickness of your steak. The times I am giving are for a steak cooked medium; if you want more rare: do not put them in the oven, sear them only, and if you want more well done, keep them in the oven longer. I would suggest using a meat thermometer to make sure you achieve your desired temperature. Rare to well done, however you like your steak, I hope these can help you celebrate those good times with the ones you love.

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Celebration Steaks with Pan Sauce

Serves 2 or 3.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of steak (as mentioned above, any cut will do!)
  • 2 tsp¬†kosher salt¬†(for a better crust)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup of¬†ghee
  • For the sauce:
    • 2 tsp of red wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp of¬†coconut aminos
    • 1 tsp of raw honey

Directions:

  • Heat¬†cast iron skillet¬†over medium heat and preheat oven to 400 F
  • Dry steaks with a paper towel and rub with salt and pepper
  • Once skillet is hot (flick some water to make sure, it will sizzle when it’s ready), add ghee, garlic, and herbs
  • Add steaks to pan
  • Sear for 2-3 minutes, basting with the ghee mixture twice
  • Flip and sear for another two minutes, basting twice with ghee mixture
  • For a medium steak, pop in the preheated oven for 2 minutes (longer for more well done)
  • Remove from pan and let the steaks rest for 6-8 minutes, uncovered
  • While meat is resting, add the red wine vinegar, coconut aminos, and honey to the pan
  • Let simmer on medium-low heat while meat rests, the sauce should reduce down a little bit
  • Serve steaks warm covered with sauce, and don’t neglect the garlic cloves, they are delicious eaten right along with the steak!

If you make some Celebration Steaks for your family, I would love to hear what you thought; you can tag me on Instagram (mrsmollymills). If you are wanting to make the perfect simple yet romantic meal, I would *highly* suggest serving these steaks with my¬†Crispy Brussels Sprouts¬†and some¬†Roasted Potatoes¬†or¬†Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes; they all go together well! If you wanted to get fancy and make a three course meal, my¬†Creamy Tomato Basil Soup¬†makes a great appetizer, and my¬†No Bake Chocolate Date Cake¬†is a pretty classy treat ūüėČ No matter what you serve your steaks with, I know you’ll enjoy them! Celebrate with your family…and enjoy your 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 Soup,¬†One Pan Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas,¬†Sheet 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!

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer

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Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

The nights here in Southern California have been dipping down into the 50s; it’s so nice, crisp, and cool in the mornings. I just want to cuddle up under a big, fluffy blanket with a warm mug full of delicious, flavored coffee. Mmm. And since it’s fall, the flavor of the coffee should obviously be…PUMPKIN PIE!¬†

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is kindaaa unofficially the official first sign of fall, and one thing’s for sure: the sugar content is spooky. In a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte with 2% milk and no whipped cream there is… 48 grams of sugar!¬†*cue dramatic thunder clap and flickering lights* That’s scarier than anything you’ll see this Halloween.

I’m not a huge fan of really sweet coffee, and have never actually tried a PSL; however, at this time of year, I love all things pumpkin-y, cinnamon-y, and spice-y. If you want to make your own homemade and healthier version, I have just the thing for you! This creamer is dairy free and refined sugar free…not to mention pure pumpkin coziness in a cup! It includes real¬†pumpkin puree in the mix, which is great for gut health, and of course, delicious. You can mix the creamer right into your brewed coffee, or blend it up to make it foamy like a latte; I gulp it down either way. I hope you make a batch, or two, or 10 to enjoy this fall!

Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer

Makes two cups.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp¬†maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup¬†unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan
  • Warm over medium-low heat, whisking until well combined
  • Remove from heat
  • Pour directly into coffee to stir in or make a “faux latte”
    • To make a “faux latte”
      • combine desired amounts each of coffee and creamer in blender
      • blend on low speed for 30 seconds until foamy
  • Once cooled, store leftover creamer covered in fridge for a week (it still stirs in just fine when it’s cold)

If you like all things pumpkin this time of year, you should bake my¬†Pumpkin Spice Cake¬†and enjoy a slice along with your spiced coffee! If you make either pumpkin recipes, I’d love to see it; you can tag me on Instagram (mrsmollymills). Have some delicious coffee, cuddle up with your family, stay cozy…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!