Family Dinner

The Scramblog

Rice Salad Recipe: Mango, Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad with Lime and Cilantro

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This rice salad recipe is inspired by a dish served at the Genesis retreat in Ek Balam, Mexico.  It’s spa-healthy yet satisfying enough for hearty eaters. Serve it with sliced avocados with lime.

Watch the video (and subscribe to Aviva's YouTube channel!)

Rice Salad Recipe: Mango, Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad with Lime and Cilantro

Makes six servings

1 cup quick-cooking brown rice (about 2 cups prepared) 15 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed 1 fresh mango, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, or use 1 ½ cups frozen 1/4 sweet yellow onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, finely diced (about 1/2 cup) 1/4 cup scallions or chives, green parts only, finely chopped 1 lime, juice only, about 2 Tbsp. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional) 1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste Cook the rice according to the package directions and when cooked, remove it from the heat. DO THIS IN ADVANCE IF YOU CAN SO IT’S COOL (If you want to serve...

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...

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...

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...

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 Cooker8 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...

How to Make Potato Pancakes: Indian Potato, Ginger and Carrot Latkes

In my house, we can’t go through Hanukkah without eating latkes at least once, so I decided to pour my holiday spirit into creating a new Hanukkah recipe. I’ve been on an Indian cooking kick lately, and I realized that Indian flavors would meld well with traditional potato pancakes.  If you make the batter ahead of time, refrigerate it until you are ready to cook them, and drain the excess liquid from the bowl before frying them. In the video below I'll show you how to make potato pancakes, in this case, Indian Potato, Ginger and Carrot Latkes.  You can serve them with a side of chickpeas and mint. Try an Indian twist on a beloved Hanukkah potato pancakes (latkes) recipe. Serve these crispy potato pancakes with mango chutney for a delicious vegetarian or vegan meal or side dish.Watch the YouTube video (and subscribe to the channel for more recipes like this one from Aviva Goldfarb)How to Make Potato Pancakes: Indian Potato, Ginger and Carrot Latkes 1 lb....
  Nov 29, 2016  Family Dinner, Picky Eaters

Avoid Restaurant Meltdowns! 10 Tips for Eating Out with Young Kids

Tips for Eating out with Young Kids

Sure, The Scramble is all about making family dinners happen at home more often (and with less stress!) through meal planning and quick and easy recipes. But we all need a night off sometimes, even if it means eating out with young kids.

Those nights out in restaurants seem to happen more often during the holidays. But it sure doesn’t feel like a night off if junior has a meltdown while waiting for the meal.

To make the most of your family dinners out, read these tips from my friend and acclaimed parenting coach, Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions.  These tips for eating out with young kids will help to make dinner more pleasant and less stressful.  While you’re there, sign up for one of Amy’s powerful FREE webinars, “How to Get Kids to Listen WITHOUT Nagging, Reminding or Yelling!” The information Amy shares is pure life-changing goodness!

10 Tips for Eating Out with Young Kids

1. Practice at home...

She’s ONLY Cooked Family Dinners from The Six O’Clock Scramble for 8 Years!

I want to share this very special letter from a devoted mom who for 8 years has cooked nothing but Scramble recipes for her family dinners.  I love her dedication to healthy family dinners and am humbled that she chose The Scramble to make them happen. The holidays are an excellent reminder to focus on gratitude.  Scramblers, I am so grateful for YOU. For 13 years you have cooked with me, sent me encouraging letters, shared your feedback on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., shared my cookbooks and The Six O'Clock Scramble online meal planner with friends and family, and have supported The Scramble’s mission to help more families enjoy healthy family dinners together in so many ways—including making family dinners a priority in your own homes!    I’m always eager to read your notes. Please send them my way at aviva@thescramble.com.Warmly, Aviva Dear Aviva,In 2008 I made my annual resolution to cook more at home. I went to my local library and found The...
  Nov 14, 2016  Family Dinner

I Screwed Up: Now I’m Savoring Our Last Months of Family Dinners

Savoring Our Last Months of Family DinnersFamily dinners at our house are central — and centering.  In the mornings one or more of us race out of the house by 7:15, exchanging few words. After school, my husband and I work and Celia, our 17-year-old high school senior, often has ultimate Frisbee practice, homework, or other commitments.  But at 6 p.m. most days, I am in the kitchen pouring my energy into making dinner for our family. In addition to being the focus of my meal planning business, The Six O’Clock Scramble, family dinner is the heart of our family time. Lately, work and social events had kept me out more than usual in the evening and I had been missing too many family dinners. On top of my husband’s more demanding work schedule last month, I realized that Celia, who was in the midst of college application stress and a minor health challenge, was feeling our absence and the absence of our nightly routine. So what happened last month to throw us off...

Introducing Two New Six O’Clock Scramble Features to Make Your Life Easier!

The Scramble's New Features to Make your Life Easier!You asked, and we listened!  By popular request, we've added two new features to The Scramble's meal planning service to make your life easier (and meal planning more streamlined):
  1. You can now choose not to include any or all of the side dishes we recommend on your weekly menu plan and grocery list.
  2. It’s now much easier to refer a friend and earn free months when they join The Scramble. Give our new referral system a try by visiting your account page. We so appreciate your referrals!
What improvements would you like to see next? We LOVE hearing from you! Please share your feedback on these new features and your requests for future improvements here, or just shoot me an email at avivag@thescramble.com.