Family Dinner

The Scramblog

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...

Black Bean Burgers

These burgers, suggested by Scramble member Sherry Ettleson, are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and full of wonderful fiber and protein for your family. Dress them up like any burgers, with lettuce, tomato, Cheddar cheese, or your favorite toppings. They’re also great topped with salsa. Watch Jessica make them on Facebook Live!Black Bean BurgersPrep + Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Makes 6 Servings 15 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans, drained and rinsed1 Tbsp. tomato paste or salsa (look for brands with no sugar added) 1/4 red onion, minced (1/2 cup)1/2 cup bread crumbs (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar 1 egg, lightly beaten1/4 cup yellow cornmeal 3 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil 6 whole wheat hamburger buns (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 6 leaves iceberg lettuce, for serving (optional)1 tomato, sliced, for serving (optional)6 slices Cheddar or Muenster cheese, for serving...

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Pomegranates and Peanuts

This month’s challenge from The Recipe Redux was to share a fun spin on soup. For a while, I thought about offering up a curried soup or a whimsical soup bowl or bread bowl, but then I realized that this was a great opportunity to share one of the suggestions I make in workshops all the time: pureed vegetable soups with fun toppings are a winning option for parents of picky eaters. When my younger son was in the depths of his super picky phase, I had all but given up hope that there would ever be a time when he ate vegetables other than the occasional raw carrot. Then, one day, I made a pureed vegetable soup and served it with saltines. I showed him how you can crush the crackers into the soup and then scoop them out. And, like magic, he was hooked! I think he ate two bowls of soup that night as I sat (in shock) watching him shovel (and he was pretending to be a backhoe at the time) the soup and saltines into his mouth. From there we were off and running, topping soups with...

Homemade Ramen Noodle Soup

This is a homemade version of the packaged stuff that was inspired by a recipe on the Today Show website. While it takes more than 4 minutes to make, the resulting savory soup is so delicious it justified the extra 26 minutes. Scramble tester Debbie Firestone said, “We thought it tasted WAAAAAAY better than regular ramen noodle soup. This one is a Scramble Homerun!” Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live.Homemade Ramen Noodle SoupPrep & Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Makes 4 Servings 9 oz. udon noodles or curly Japanese noodles (use rice noodles for a gluten-free option) 1 Tbsp. sesame oil 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped, or more to taste1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)8 oz. sliced cremini or white button mushrooms, or use 1 oz. dried wild mushrooms, added with the broth32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, (for a brothier soup use 5 – 6 cups of broth)2 carrots, sliced1/4 cup red or yellow miso paste, or use 2...

Potato and Prosciutto (or Mushroom) Scramble

This one-skillet meal will bring your breakfast-for-dinner game to a whole new level! Scramble recipe tester Leanne Guido said, “This recipe was delicious and perfect for a chilly night.” Watch Jessica make Potato and Prosciutto (or Mushroom) Scramble on Facebook Live!Potato and Prosciutto (or Mushroom) ScramblePrep + Cook Time: 25 Minutes, Makes 4 Servings 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 russet (baking) potato, peeled and finely diced3 - 4 oz. prosciutto, chopped, or use mushrooms8 eggs, beaten1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste1/8 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
In a 10-inch nonstick skillet or a heavy skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the potatoes (and mushrooms if you are using them) and cook, stirring occasionally, until their outsides start to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the prosciutto and cook it with the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to get crispy,...

Chipotle Beef, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Stew

This recipe was a finalist for the National Beef Cook-Off. The trick here is to microwave the potato before adding it to the stew to make the meal preparation go much faster. The addition of chipotle peppers gives the stew an enticing smoky flavor. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live.Chipotle Beef, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato StewPrep + Cook Time: 25 minutes, Makes 6 servings 1 medium sweet potato, peeled3/4 - 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef, turkey, or meatless crumble 1 yellow onion, chopped28 - 30 oz. reduced-sodium canned black beans, drained and rinsed28 oz. crushed tomatoes 1 - 2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, with some of the sauce, minced1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped1 - 2 lime, 2 Tbsp. juice plus 6 wedges
Pierce the sweet potato with a fork. Microwave it on top of a paper towel on high for 4 – 6 minutes until it is tender. Let it cool slightly and cut it into 1/2–inch cubes. Meanwhile, in a heavy stockpot, brown the beef...

The Power of Sharing a Meal

The Power of Sharing a MealOver the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to share a meal with someone. I serve on the Board of Trustees for my sons’ school and we have recently been involved in a search for our next head of school (our beloved current head is retiring). This has meant a lot of dinners away from my family. It has also meant a lot of meals shared with others. As I have been sitting down to these meals away from home, both with people I know quite well and with others I barely know at all, it has been wonderful to see how the food on the table brings us together—it lightens the mood, it shifts the dynamic, and it strengthens the bonds that we are building. The food also becomes a topic of conversation and leads to discovering shared experiences and interests. It is essential to the community building that we are doing. At one of these dinners, a friend humorously recounted his childhood when he was the slowest eater in his...

Vegetarian Sopa Poblano with Avocados

This recipe is a kid-friendly favorite! Between mixing in the avocado and cheese toppings and dipping bread or tortilla chips in the broth, there are so many fun ways to interact with the meal. If you want a more traditional version, sauté 1/2 lb. of diced pork before adding the other ingredients. For a more Southwestern version, stir in cooked shredded chicken and/or tortilla strips. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!Vegetarian Sopa Poblano with AvocadosPrep + Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Makes 6 Servings 1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil 1 yellow onion, finely chopped1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)1 zucchini, finely chopped (about 2 cups)1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed15 oz. canned pinto beans, with their liquid, or drain the liquid and replace with 1/2 cup of water, chicken or vegetable broth4 oz. canned diced green chilies, with their liquid1/2 tsp. ground cumin 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 5 1/2 oz....

Polenta with Mushroom Bolognese

This amazing recipe comes from a new cookbook called The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook written by my friends Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly of Teaspoon of Spice. It is so simple and quick to make, but has that comforting depth of flavor that will make everyone thing you slaved for hours. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live.Polenta with Mushroom BolognesePrep Time: 5 Minutes, Cook Time: 25 Minutes, Makes 4 Servings 2 (8 oz.) packages white button mushrooms 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (about 3/4 medium onion) 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (about 1 medium carrot) 4 cloves of garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.) 1 (18 oz) tube plain polenta, cut into 8 slices 1/4 cup tomato paste 1 Tbsp. dried oregano, crushed between your fingers 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup dry red wine 1/2 cup whole milk 1/2 tsp. sugar Put half the...

Worry Less About the Halloween Sugar with these Dinner Recipes

When my kids were first old enough to understand and appreciate Halloween, I was stressed—how was I going to be able to control the sugar intake? How was I going to navigate the meltdowns and fights over how many pieces of candy they could have? Could I cut trick or treating short to try and limit how much sugar came into the house? In short, I wanted to control the situation. My feelings about Halloween have evolved a lot since those early days. Over the years, I have decided that instead of focusing on the “bad” sugar, I would turn my attention to maximizing the nourishing and delicious meals that we can enjoy throughout the day so that when the candy gorging starts, I can relax knowing that their bodies already have been taken care of. If this approach relieves some of the Halloween-related stress for you, here are some fun ways to celebrate the holiday while filling those bellies with substantial food that will keep them going.Worry Less About the Halloween...