The Scramblog

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

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...
  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 soups Try this chia pudding as a quick breakfast or snack: Maple Vanilla Chia Pudding 2 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 Soup Prep + 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...

Ward off Winter’s Chill: 10 Most Popular Six O’Clock Scramble Recipes for Soups and Stews

Ward off the winter chill with our most popular recipes for soups and stews.  Not only are they comforting and warming during the cold, short days of winter, but they are also delicious, nourishing and easy to make.  You can easily customize this week’s meal plan to add one of these to your weekly dinner menu or add them to your recipe box to try this winter. Hungarian Cream of Mushroom Soup  Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Noodle (or Farro) Soup Tomato Soup with Basil and Goat Cheese Soup-er Easy Black Bean and Corn Soup Chicken (or Chicken-Less) Tortilla Soup Meatball and Orzo Soup Roasted Corn, Potato and Bacon Chowder ...

How to Pan-Fry Crispy Tofu in the Skillet

How to Pan-Fry Crispy Tofu in the Skillet I would love to show you how to make my family’s favorite crispy browned tofu in the skillet (my husband Andrew deems it BTE, or Best Tofu Ever!) to use in all your favorite Asian stir-fries or as a vegetarian substitute for chicken or beef in recipes or toss it in salads. We also like to dip it into the  Korean sesame-soy sauce dipping sauce below. Watch the video: Crispy Tofu in the Skillet 16 oz. extra firm tofu in water 2 Tbsp. canola, vegetable or peanut oil Drain the tofu, cut it into 1-inch cubes, and wrap it in a clean dishcloth for as long as possible (up to 12 hours), but at least 5 minutes. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tofu in a single layer and brown it, turning occasionally, for 10 - 15 minutes until it is golden brown. Using a spatula, transfer the tofu to a plate and set it aside. Korean Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce for Crispy Golden...

How to Make Whole Chicken Noodle Soup in the Slow Cooker

Whole Chicken Noodle Soup in the Slow Cooker

My hairdresser Christa Forgue told me she likes to make a whole chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker. This method is so easy and the flavor is just right—kind of like my Jewish grandmothers would have made if either of my Jewish grandmothers had been good cooks (they had lots of other good qualities.)

And for another great Slow Cooker Recipe, check out our Spicy Szechuan Ground Turkey and Green Beans recipe.  To see our how-to video, click on this:  Spicy Szechuan Ground Turkey and Green Beans video.

Watch the YouTube video:

Chicken Noodle Soup in the Slow Cooker 8 servings, about 1 3/4 cups Prep (30 minutes) + Cook (3 – 10 hours) 2 carrots, sliced (about 1 cup) 3 stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup) 1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup) 2 garlic cloves, smashed peeled and coarsely chopped 3 1/2 lb. whole chicken, some or all skin removed, if desired 8 cups water 2 – 3 tsp. salt, to taste (3 works...
  Jan 3, 2017   Easy Dinners, Giveaway

Enter to Win an Instant Pot by Starting or Renewing Your Membership Now!

Enter to Win an Instant Pot:  Renew Your Membership Now! You’re going to want to pay close attention to this post for a BIG GIVEAWAY- a chance to win a brand new Instant Pot ($99 value) and a 1-Year Membership to The Scramble. Have you heard of this appliance sensation, or perhaps OBSESSION? So many people are going crazy for the Instant Pot. In one compact (and kind of adorable) machine, you get a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, soup cooker and warmer, steamer, sous vide machine.  This thing can probably even pack your kids’ lunches! You can either set it and forget it in the morning, or you can come home late and have:
  • frozen chicken ready to eat in 15 minutes
  • spaghetti squash cooked in 6 minutes
  • perfect easy to peel hard-boiled eggs in 6 minutes
  • beans cooked from scratch in 25 minutes
  • and so much more
I’ve been experimenting with my Instant Pot and am super impressed with all it can do. ...

How To Do A Sugar Cleanse And Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe

How to Do a Sugar Cleanse and Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe I'm engaging in a sugar cleanse to hit the reset button on my eating in the new year.  After a delicious but not-so-healthful holiday, it's time for me to get back to eating mindfully.  A year ago, I created a sugar cleanse challenge Surviving a Sugar Detox: Anyone Want to Join Me?  and started a Facebook group to have a month-long sugar cleanse.  It was so popular and successful, that our group continues to support each other.  We have found so many positive benefits, including (but not limited to) weight loss and increased energy.  Please join our Facebook group for this January's sugar cleanse and healthy eating challenge to get your sugar addiction and sugar cravings under control by eliminating added sugar for 7 – 30 days. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite recipes to start your day or power your afternoon or evening with healthy, filling, no sugar added creamy smoothies. Watch the...