Family Dinner

The Scramblog

Let Kids Use Sharp Knives and Hot Stoves: 7 Ways to Let Go of Our Fears and Get Kids Cooking

Would you let your 2-year-old use a chef’s knife? Many people think that sounds not only dangerous, but INSANE. However, that’s just what my friend J.M. Hirsch, who is a prominent food writer and cookbook author, did with his son Parker. Just like our kids’ maiden voyage down a steep slide or the moment they wobbled away without training wheels on a bicycle, that first chop through a carrot is absolutely terrifying (for the parents!). We’re bound to question ourselves and picture them slicing off a fingertip (or two).  But if we want our kids to love to cook and do it with confidence, we parents need to put aside our fears and let them do more than we are comfortable with in the kitchen to really get kids cooking. If we REALLY want our kids to love good food and ultimately to be able to shop for and prepare meals when we’re out of the picture, we need to seek ways to give them confidence in the kitchen rather than (often inadvertently) driving them away. ...

Question from a Teen Who Cooks: How Far In Advance Can I Make Dinner?

Dear Aviva, My name is Sydney, I am 13 years old. I love to cook, and I have been following your recipes to make dinner for my family using your weekly meal plans, and we all love it! I have recently attempted cooking meals ahead of time (on Sunday). It has worked really well for my family so far, but I'm concerned about how far in advance you can make certain foods. I have been following your "Do Ahead or Delegate" section, but sometimes it does not specify how long you can make it in advance. I am interested in prepping food ahead of time because I really like to eat the food from your recipes, but I don't always have time to make things when I have homework or after school activities. If I prep the food ahead of time, I can make food that I like very quickly without changing my schedule very much.  I am wondering if you have any tips on food prep, or "rules" to make sure the food is good when it is time to eat it.  Sincerely, Sydney Dear Sydney, First,...

Wheat Berry Salad with Grapes and Feta

I’m a fan of wheat berries because they are high in fiber and vitamins and cook as quickly as rice, but you can certainly make this recipe with another whole grain. You can sometimes find parboiled wheat berries that only take 15 minutes to cook which would reduce the total time for this recipe to 30 minutes. My whole family loves this combination of flavors, and we think this would also be a good dish to bring to a potluck or picnic.

Wheat Berry Salad with Grapes and Feta

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 60 minutes    Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

1 cup wheat berries, or use farro, orzo or other grain, or use 3 – 4 cups cooked lentils 1/2 lemon, juice only, about 2 Tbsp. 1 tsp. honey 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 1 1/2 cups red grapes, halved 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped, or use pepitas 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese Cook the wheat...

Sorrento Seafood Stew

A chilly Sunday had me craving a flavorful seafood stew, especially when I saw beautiful shrimp and scallops at our farmer’s market. I daydreamed about it all day and when I set it on the dinner table, my family thought it lived up to my fantasies. You can use whatever seafood looks freshest at your market, or if you are using frozen seafood, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator or in a warm bowl of water until it is thawed before adding it to the stew. Sorrento Seafood Stew Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Total Time: 45 minutes 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 - 3 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup) 1 yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 – 2 cups) 2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 4 cloves) 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional) 28 oz. canned whole plum tomatoes, with their liquid 3 Tbsp. tomato paste 16 oz. reduced-sodium fish or vegetable broth, or use clam juice 1/2 cup white wine (optional) 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley,...

Great Make-ahead: Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata

It took me a few attempts, but I finally made the strata of my dreams. In case you aren’t familiar with it, strata is an Italian baked egg and bread dish. Recipe tester Alexandra Taylor said, “Even my spinach hating son ate a piece and gave it a thumbs-up.” This is a great dish to serve at a brunch, especially because you can make it in advance, but it also makes a nice change for a family dinner.

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This recipe can be found in my latest cookbook, The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner. Take the stress and guesswork out of planning healthy and delicious dinners, whether you are cooking for 1, 2, or your whole family, including kids. The book, featuring color photos for every dish, includes 160 delicious recipes that require 30 minutes or less to prepare, and 32 weekly menu plans complete with main dishes and sides—and an organized grocery list for each week!

Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata

Marinate Time: 4 hours   Prep Time: 15 minutes  ...

  Feb 3, 2016   Easy Family Dinner, Family Dinner 1

Easy Family Dinner Recipe: Carpool Chicken

This easy family dinner recipe in my new cookbook, The Six O’Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes, is a snap to throw together on a busy night. You can get it ready hours before dinner (or before you have to drive the carpool) and refrigerate it until it’s time to bake. Use any vegetables you like instead of those I’ve suggested, such as asparagus, artichoke hearts or potatoes. Serve it with farro or brown rice.

Carpool Chicken Marinate Time: 60 minutes    Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces, or use shrimp or extra-firm tofu packed in water 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced 1 small yellow onion, chopped 8 oz. balsamic vinaigrette dressing (see recipe...

Slow cooker recipe: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Many of us love our slow cookers, but even if you don’t own one, don’t let that stop you from making pulled pork sandwiches. It turns out that a Dutch oven and an oven set to 300 degrees make a fantastic stand in for a slow cooker. But if you have one, by all means, use it! If it didn’t taste so darned awesome, I would say the best part of slow roasting this herb-infused meat is that the house smells heavenly all day.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 4 hours    Total Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes 1 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. garlic powder 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 3/4 tsp. ground cumin 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. allspice 3 lbs. boneless pork loin roast, or use pork butt or shoulder 3 sweet yellow onions such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, halved top to bottom and thinly sliced 12 small soft whole wheat rolls or buns (use wheat/gluten-free if needed), sliced open 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, for serving (optional) Preheat the oven to 300...

Easy appetizer: Queso Dip and Homemade Tortilla Chips

At the grocery store, my son Solomon asked if we could buy some cheese dip for tortilla chips. I took one look at the ingredients (ewww!) and told him that it would probably be fun (not to mention healthier) to make our own snack or easy appetizer. It makes me so happy when my kids realize that we can easily make something ourselves with a few simple ingredients rather than buying more processed, and often expensive, versions at the store. Here’s the creation that we made that day.  With only three ingredients, it’s such an easy and rewarding recipe for kids to make. If you have a little more time, you can make your own tortilla chips, too. Queso Dip 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1/4 cup milk, any variety 1 Tbsp. salsa (optional) Heat the Cheddar cheese and the milk in a microwave-safe bowl, loosely covered, at full power for 1 - 1 ½ minutes (depending on your microwave's power), stirring at 30 second...
  Feb 1, 2016   Family Dinner

Healthier Versions of Pasta (including one made out of edamame!)

Looking for healthier versions of pasta? Like most kids, our children Solomon and Celia have always enjoyed pasta.  Whether it was Rigatoni with Tomato and Artichoke Sauce, Spaghetti with Creamy Avocado Pesto, or Fettuccine with Shredded Carrots and Zucchini, they were usually happy to eat just about anything healthy when I tossed it with noodles. Because they love it so much, every week I include a pasta recipe at our dinner table and in The Scramble’s weekly menus. The only drawback was that the noodles themselves weren’t that healthy, as they were mostly refined carbohydrates. In the past I had tried several varieties of whole wheat noodles, but my kids just weren’t into them.  They didn’t seem to have the right texture and the flavor was a little off. But a few years ago, new varieties of whole grain pastas came on the market, and so I kept trying healthier versions of pasta. We found that the...

Easy Diabetes Cookbook: The Six O’Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes

Our newest Easy Diabetes Cookbook, The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes, is here!

There's something soul-soothing about flipping through a cookbook -- looking at the photographs, flagging recipes you want to try, and envisioning how wonderful they'll be when your family sits down to enjoy them. Although many of us love finding recipes online, it can't replace the simple pleasure of paging through a real book.

I'm so excited to tell you about my new cookbook, which comes out in less than 2 weeks! I am positive you will love this new book; it has all new recipes since my last cookbooks. It's also my first cookbook to have color photos for every single recipe.

The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner takes the stress and guesswork out of planning your dinners, whether you are cooking for 1, 2, or your whole family, including kids. Pre-order this book today via Amazon or at Shopdiabetes.org  crack it open...