The Scramblog

Making Healthy Family Dinners Happen with Less Time, Money and Stress.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave AND a Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Basil, Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the MicrowaveThe hardest, most terrifying thing about making spaghetti squash is trying to cut it when it’s uncooked! I was terrified of chopping off a finger so I found a solution. The key to how to cook spaghetti squash is to poke some holes in it with a skewer or knife, cook the squash whole in the microwave, let it cool, and then cut it in half and scrape out the seeds. Use a fork to scrape the strands into a bowl to top with your favorite sauce or just use butter, herbs and Parmesan cheese to season it. You can even clean and rinse the spaghetti squash seeds just like you do with pumpkin seeds! (See our tip below.) I haven’t had an easy relationship with spaghetti squash. My mom used to make it for us when I was young, and I was fascinated by the yellow squash that she would transform with a fork into golden pasta-like strands, and it certainly is much lighter and healthier than wheat-based spaghetti. However, every time I tried...
  Apr 10, 2017  Everyday Environmental

Happy Earth Day (April 22nd): Top 5 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact at Home

Did you know that the US population is 4% of the planet but generates 15% of greenhouse gas emissions? I know we can do better as a country and as individuals, starting in our own homes and lives.  If you're wondering how you can contribute, there are many ways you can reduce your environmental impact. What better time to start than this Earth Day, April 22nd? Read below for some simple steps we can take in our daily lives to reduce our environmental impact.5 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact at Home1) Eat less meat: Am I the only one that gets dismayed every time I see another steak or burger joint open in my neighborhood? By eating a vegetarian diet, you can cut the contribution to CO2 emissions from your diet by 50%! If your whole family of 4 goes meatless even 2 days a week, you can have the same impact. We could use more tempting veggie-centric restaurants like Beefsteak by Jose Andres instead of more...

Easy Chicken Breast Recipe: Mexican Chicken Packets

Mexican Chicken Packets is an easy chicken breast recipe that you bake in a packet in the oven with vegetables, salsa and cheese.  Your whole family will love Mexican Chicken Packets, an easy and flavorful baked chicken recipe to make with boneless chicken breasts. Watch the video and subscribe to the YouTube channel for weekly cooking videos Easy Chicken Breast Recipe: Mexican Chicken PacketsPrep (15 minutes) + Cook (35 minutes) 4 servings Sometimes it’s a fun change to serve the family a meal in a packet.  This easy chicken breast recipe is great for grilling, campouts, or simple dining at home.   We love how the chicken stays so moist and flavorful. You can assemble the packets in advance and cook in the oven, on the grill, or by the coals. Serve with guacamole and carrots.   For extra-fast clean-up, just do a quick rinse of the foil and put in your recycling bin! 1 tsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/4 tsp. ground cumin 4 boneless,...

How to Make Sweet Potato Toast in Toaster or Oven

Sweet Potato Toast (See below for Sweet Potato Toast recipe and topping ideas.) For most of my life I have suffered from frequent migraines, often as many as 10 - 15 a month. This is a condition known as chronic migraines, and often people like me who have it usually try numerous medicines, alternative health regimens and procedures, but sometimes we just get used to living with the pain of bad headaches a lot of the time. For me, my migraines are sometimes lie-in-bed-with-the-lights-off-and-cry-bad but usually they are a painful nuisance and I try to ignore them and go about my business if the meds aren't working. My mode iss never to NOT do anything because of a migraine because then I would miss 1/3 of my life. I have given presentations in front of 100 people and cooked on national TV with a migraine. Over the years, people have suggested LOTS of things to try to get rid of migraines and I have tried many of them, from acupuncture, to meditation, to getting 31 shots...
  Mar 1, 2017  cooking tips, side dish, vegetarian

How to Cut a Mango to make Mango Salsa (plus baked tortilla chips!)

Mango salsa is so flavorful and colorful. We love it with tortilla chips or on top of salmon, chicken or steak, like Grilled Flank Steak with Garlic Citrus Marinade. Watch the video:Watch the video:We eat so many mangos that we actually have a mango cutting tool from OXO that works really well. I like it because it gets so much of the fruit off of the pit with one slice. Of course you can also cut a mango using a simple serrated knife and a spoon. Watch the video: Serve the fresh mango salsa with crispy baked tortilla chips or with chicken, fish, or this Grilled Nicaraguan Flank Steak.Mango Salsa1 ripe mango, diced (about 1 cup) ¼ - 1/2 sweet yellow onion, finally diced (1/2 cup) 1/2 - 1 jalapeno, finely diced (with or without seeds, depending on your tolerance for spice) (about 2 Tbsp.) 1/2 lime, juice only (about 2 Tbsp.) 1/4 tsp. salt Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive serving bowl and refrigerate it until ready to serve (up to 24...

Grilled Flank Steak with Mango Salsa and Pan-Fried Plantains

Over winter break, my family took an incredible trip to Nicaragua. Some people wondered why we chose Nicaragua for our family vacation, because few people we know had thought of vacationing there. We were drawn to the natural beauty, abundant wildlife, the well maintained Colonial cities of Granada and Leon, the gorgeous beaches near San Juan del Sur, and the dramatic volcanoes like Momotumbo and Cerro Negro. We also appreciated how easy it was to get to—just a two-hour flight from Miami—and the reasonable prices and good weather in Nicaragua, which is in Central America. Nicaragua boasts so many activities for a curious family like ours, from sand boarding down an active volcano, to kayaking through the mangroves and holding newly hatched sea turtles, to speeding down cobblestone streets in a horse-drawn carriage in a gorgeous Colonial city, to making your own chocolate bars from scratch in a chocolate educational center. There were so many other things to do that we...
  Feb 15, 2017  roast vegetable

How to Roast Vegetables: 7 Secrets to Making Perfect Roasted Vegetables Every Time

How to Roast Vegetables: 7 Secrets to Making Perfect Roasted Vegetables Every Time.

You can roast any vegetable, including carrots, broccoli, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onions or green beans, and roasting them makes them perfectly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and a little bit sweet from the caramelization in the oven. It’s the best way to get your family to eat—and love--their vegetables.

How to Roast Vegetables: 7 Secrets to Making Perfect Roasted Vegetables

  1. Use a rimmed baking sheet. You can use parchment paper or foil on pan for easier cleanup, but it’s not necessary
  2. Use high heat (450) and roast in the center of the oven
  3. Cut the vegetables into even pieces. The smaller they are, the faster they will cook.
  4. Don’t crowd the vegetables—spread them evenly and give them a little space
  5. Toss with oil (1 - 2 Tbsp. for 1 lb. of vegetables) and salt (1/4 – 1/2 tsp.) (plus other seasonings if desired) in a bowl or directly on the pan with...
  Feb 15, 2017  health food, no-sugar added, vegetarian 1

How to make Cauliflower Rice or Couscous (with or without food processor)

Cauliflower rice is a big rage among people who want to eat healthier, include more vegetables in their diet, or are following a Paleo, low carb, Whole 30 or other grain free diet. Cauliflower rice, which is simply cauliflower grated into rice size “grains”, is low in carbohydrates, low in calories (about 1/10 of the calories of brown rice), high in fiber, and versatile and easy to make and use. Although it’s not indistinguishable from rice, it is a pretty darn good and extremely healthy substitute for white or brown rice. Sauté it, make fried rice, or top it with a flavorful sauce In this video Aviva Goldfarb shows you how to make cauliflower rice or cauliflower couscous by hand using a box grater, or using a food processor.You can buy cauliflower rice fresh or frozen but it usually tastes better when you make your own. One 1 lb. head of cauliflower yields 4 – 6 cups of “rice”. You can steam it in the microwave and use it like you would...
  Feb 10, 2017  Healthy Snacks, Recipes

What are Chia Seeds and How Do you Use Them?

What are Chia Seeds and How do you Use Them?What are chia seeds and how do you use them? Chia seeds have big health benefits.  They are grown in South America and come from a plant called salvia hispanica. Traditionally they were used by cultures in South America for fuel and strength. They have caught on big time in the US because they are such an easy to use and affordable source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and many other nutrients. Chia seeds are tasteless and odorless. Because they are so absorbent, they can be used to thicken soups, smoothies, beverages and even make fruit jam, and because they expand in liquid, they can help keep you full.We love to use chia seeds to make:Chia pudding Chia lemonade Smoothies Yogurt Thicken overnight oats/oatmeal As a vegan egg substitute As a thickener for soupsTry this chia pudding as a quick breakfast or snack:Maple Vanilla Chia Pudding2 servings, 3/4 cup each (or divide into 4 smaller servings to serve...

Easy Black Bean and Corn Soup (Just 4 ingredients!)

Black Bean and Corn Soup is a super easy, flavorful and incredibly healthy recipe that kids and adults love. Just 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to make it from start to finish! Watch the video (and please subscribe to my YouTube channel!)Soup-er Easy Black Bean and Corn SoupPrep + Cook Time: 10 minutes Make six 1 1/3 cup servings 45 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup salsa 1/2 tsp. cumin, or more to taste 14 oz. canned corn kernels, drained and rinsed, or use 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels Optional toppings: sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded Cheddar cheese, hot pepper sauce, chopped fresh cilantro, tortilla chips In a medium stockpot over medium heat, combine 2 cans (3 cups) of the beans, the salsa, cumin, and 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil (cover it for faster boiling). While it is heating, use an immersion blender (also called stick or hand blender) to puree the mixture right in the pot, so it is still a...