Easy Family Dinner

The Scramblog

Pan-Browned Salmon Cakes

Ready in 20 minutes and healthy, these salmon cakes are a dream on those busy days when you have to get dinner on the table quickly. They are also a great way to introduce your kids to seafood as they are reminiscent of burgers (you can even serve them on buns to sweeten the deal). Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!Pan-Browned Salmon CakesPrep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 10 Minutes, Makes 4 servings of 2 cakes each. 15 oz. canned salmon, drained2 eggs, beaten2 Tbsp. mayonnaise 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 1/4 cup bread crumbs or panko (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 4 scallions, dark and light green parts, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)3 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
In a medium mixing bowl, using a fork, mix and mash all the ingredients except the oil and lemon until thoroughly combined. In a large preferably nonstick or cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat....

Rigatoni with Tomato-Artichoke Sauce

This basic recipe for a flavorful tomato sauce is a great recipe to play with based on your taste or refrigerator’s contents. Try adding chopped mushrooms, zucchini, walnuts, or whatever ingredients you have on hand.

Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!

Rigatoni with Tomato-Artichoke Sauce

Prep + Cook: 30 minutes, Makes 8 servings

16 oz. rigatoni noodles (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. minced garlic, (4 - 6 cloves)

6 oz. quartered and marinated artichoke hearts, with their liquid

28 oz. diced tomatoes, drained, or 7 - 8 fresh tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 2 tsp. dried

10 - 12 pitted Greek or Spanish olives, chopped (optional)

1/3 cup red wine, or use tomato juice or sauce mixed with 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving, or to taste

Cook the rigatoni...

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sourdough Croutons

This is a mild, healthy, and satisfying soup. It’s great on its own, but is even better topped with fresh sourdough croutons and a little Parmesan cheese. For a meatier version, crumble cooked bacon or sausage into the soup. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sourdough CroutonsPrep + Cook: 30 Minutes, Makes 4 servings 3 - 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 sweet yellow onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, chopped2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 4 cloves)29 - 30 oz. cannellini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 1 loaf loaf sourdough bread (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), (use 2 large slices for the croutons, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and serve the rest of the bread on the side)1/4 tsp. kosher salt, sea salt, or other coarse salt 2 Tbsp. sherry, or 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, or use 1/2 tsp. dried1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving...

Costa Rican Black Beans and Rice

Costa Ricans eat a version of this dish, called Gallo Pinto (which translates as spotted rooster) with nearly every meal, but it’s especially typical to eat it for breakfast! It’s great comfort food for any season - the curry and lime give it a Caribbean flare (Costa Rica borders the Caribbean sea). For even more Caribbean flavor, cook the rice in half water and half coconut milk. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!Costa Rican Black Beans and RicePrep + Cook Time: 25 minutes 1 cup white rice, or use quick-cooking brown rice2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 green bell pepper, finely diced1 yellow onion, finely diced1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 3 cloves)1 tsp. ground cumin 1/2 tsp. curry powder 15 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans, with their liquid2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce ( for a vegetarian and gluten-free alternative, use 6 drops hot sauce and 1/4 tsp. sugar per each Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce), or use Salsa Lizano, if...

Tender Fish and Tomato Curry

This curry is the epitome of a simple comfort food dish: a few quality ingredients, warm and soothing flavors, and ready in 30 minutes! Serve it over rice or with naan. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!Tender Fish and Tomato CurryPrep + Cook: 30 Minutes, Makes 4 servings 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, halved top to bottom and thinly sliced2 stalks celery, thinly sliced1 tsp. curry powder 15 oz. fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with their liquid1 lb. catfish or other thick white fish fillet, cut into 1-inch chunks1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste1/4 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
In a Dutch oven or deep skillet, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the onions and celery and sauté them, stirring often, until they are tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the curry powder for about 30 seconds, and then add the tomatoes. When it starts to bubble gently, stir in the fish and keep it at a simmer for about 7 minutes until the...

The Night the Meat Went Bad

The other night I had a plan for dinner. It was a good plan and I knew all the guys in my house would be excited about it since it involved red meat, which we don’t eat very often. And then I unwrapped the meat. I had bought just it a few days before and it was still within its “sell by” date, but it was bad. Really bad. The color was off, the smell was terrible, and my dinner plan was ruined. What made the situation worse: the plan had been a stir fry, which meant I had allotted just 20 minutes to get dinner on the table. What to do?The Night the Meat Went BadA normal, sane person probably would have opted for takeout, but I have a stubborn (and cheap) streak and the plan had been for me to make dinner, so I was determined to make that happen. So it became improvisation time. I quickly looked through what I had in the fridge that was not already set aside for a different dinner and came up with: 2 packages of ravioli (not quite enough anymore with the two growing boys...

Simplify in 2019!

2018 has been a whirlwind, hasn’t it? So many fast-moving news stories, schedules that never seem to stop, and kids growing before our eyes. As we enter 2019, it can be tempting to come up with a long list of resolutions or goals that will make life better: get healthier, get organized, spend more time with family, get finances under control, the list goes on and on. I don’t know about you, but that growing list just adds to my anxiety and if I don’t accomplish the changes I hoped to see, then it also adds to my guilt. No thanks. So, as I sat down to think about how The Scramble could best support busy families in 2019, it occurred to me that the thing we could offer would be a one-stop solution that could help to simplify daily food routines and make them more pleasant, all while supporting many of the resolutions that busy parents tend to be drawn toward. Done and done! So, this year instead of giveaways or prizes, instead of challenges or competitions, we have put...

Spanish Oven Omelet with Diced Potatoes

Spanish tortillas - or oven omelets - make a delicious breakfast, brunch or dinner. They can be served warm, cold or in between (in Spain they cut them into small wedges and eat them cold!). Though the recipe calls for goat or feta cheese, you can use any hard or soft cheese that you like. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live.Spanish Oven Omelet with Diced PotatoesPrep + Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Makes 4 servings 3/4 lb. Yukon Gold or russet potato, peeled and diced2 - 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, finely chopped1/2 cup chopped ham or smoked turkey, sundried tomatoes, or sliced mushrooms(optional)1/2 - 1 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper 5 eggs 1/4 cup nonfat milk (or use any variety) 3 Tbsp. goat or feta cheese, crumbled
In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the potatoes with about 1 Tbsp. water, cover them lightly, and microwave them on high heat for 3 - 5 minutes until they are...

Beef and Broccoli Teriyaki

Scramble recipe tester Debbie Firestone said this dish got “rave reviews” from her whole family, and her 9-year-old daughter asked if they could have it again soon. This doesn’t even need a side dish because it’s a complete meal with protein, veggies, and grains. Another perk? This dish is easy to make vegetarian by using tofu or mushrooms (see below). Watch Jessica make this on Facebook Live!Beef and Broccoli TeriyakiPrep + Cook Time: 20 minutes, Makes 4 servings 1 1/2 cups white or quick-cooking brown rice 1 Tbsp. sesame oil 1 lb. boneless beef steak such as top round or top sirloin, sliced into thin strips, or use extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced, or 8 oz. portobello mushrooms, sliced1 lb. broccoli, trimmed and cut into spears2 carrots, (about 1 cup)3/4 cup reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), (store-bought or make your own – see directions below)4 scallions, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
Prepare the...

Spinach Burritos

Burritos make such a simple and satisfying meal, and there are endless variations you can create, depending on your family’s palate. These are reminiscent of some fantastic burritos from Burrito Brothers in Washington, DC. Watch Jessica make then on Facebook Live!Spinach BurritosPrep + Cook Time= 20 minutes, Makes 6 servings 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 30 oz. canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed1/2 cup salsa (look for brands with no sugar added), plus extra for serving9 oz. baby spinach 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese 6 large (burrito size) whole wheat or flour tortillas (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beans and salsa and cook them for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Meanwhile, in a loosely covered, microwave-safe bowl, wilt the spinach in the microwave, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach to the beans and salsa and stir it...