Scramble Back-to-School Recipes featured in The Washington Post!

As The Six O’Clock Scramble is headquartered in a suburb of Washington, DC, we’re thrilled that over the next five weeks The Washington Post will feature one of our easy, family-friendly recipes in their food section each week in their Dinner in Minutes column.

Week 1

As you Washington Post readers may have already seen, our first featured recipe is for Grilled Steak and Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches. We recommend serving it with a Light Potato Salad.





Light Potato Salad

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. Yukon Gold or white potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. minced garlic, (about 1 clove)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lime, juice only, about 2 Tbsp.
1/4 white onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 – 1 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, finely chopped, to taste

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for 15 minutes, or until they are fork tender.  In a large serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mayonnaise, garlic, salt and lime juice.  Add the cooked potatoes, the onions, and the parsley or cilantro.  Toss it thoroughly and chill it until ready to serve.


Week 2  Saffron Rice and Bean Salad This Scramble signature dish (I often make it for tasting events) tastes divine and is so colorful that it brightens up any plate.  It is a meal in itself, or is great wrapped in a tortilla or as a side dish with any meat or fish.  You can also make it heartier by adding cooked shrimp or chopped turkey sausage to the salad — it’s that flexible!  For picky eaters, serve some of the rice and beans separately.  Serve with blueberries or raspberries and with Crispy Honey Peanut-Oat Bites for dessert.


Crispy Honey Peanut-Oat Bites

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter
1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
1 cup crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the honey, peanut butter, and butter or coconut oil, and stir until smooth, 1 – 2 minutes. Remove it from the heat and stir in the rice cereal and rolled oats. Let it cool for 1 more minute and stir in the chocolate chips or raisins. Using two spoons, drop compact spoonfuls onto a silicone or wax paper lined baking sheet (alternatively roll into balls using wet palms). Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. (Makes 18 cookies, adapted from Everyday Food magazine.)




Week 3   Garlic Crusted Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes

This delectable Italian-style shrimp takes just minutes to whip up (as long as you purchase the shrimp already peeled and deveined), but it’s not short on flavor. The shrimp would also be delightful on top of angel hair noodles.  Serve it with Mediterranean Rice and Baked Asparagus.





Mediterranean Rice

1 – 2 cup white or quick-cooking brown rice
1 – 2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
1 – 2 Tbsp. dried currants or dried cranberries

Cook the rice according to the package directions, using water, chicken or vegetable broth for the liquid.  Stir the pine nuts and dried currants or cranberries into the cooked rice.

Baked Asparagus

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 lemon, juice only (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt-free lemon pepper seasoning (optional)

Toss the asparagus spears with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lemon pepper seasoning, if desired.  Roast it flat in a baking dish in a single layer in the oven at 400 degrees until they are slightly browned, 15 – 20 minutes.

Week 4  Santa Barbara Salad with Apples, Dates and Goat Cheese

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Ann Callison, has become a gifted cook since our Santa Barbara High School pizza scarfing days.  She invented this delectable salad that is a perfect contrast of sweet apples and dates and tart goat cheese.  If you have family members that won’t eat salads, serve extra fruit and chicken separately.  Serve it with baked breadsticks.






1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup raspberry or balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 oz. baby greens, 1/2 head soft leaf lettuce (such as Boston or butter)
4 dates, pitted and chopped
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted until light brown
1 red apple, such as Gala or Fuji, or 1 persimmon, diced
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken strips or 15 oz. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

(Start baking the breadsticks, if you are serving them.)  In a measuring cup or salad dressing bottle, combine the oil, vinegar, shallots and cinnamon.  Refrigerate it until the salad is ready to be tossed.

In a large serving bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Shake the dressing thoroughly and toss it with the salad (you probably won’t need to use all of the dressing) and serve it immediately.  Refrigerate any remaining dressing for future use.

Do Ahead or Delegate: Make the salad dressing, pit and chop the dates, halve the tomatoes, and toast the nuts.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Use pre-seasoned chicken strips for extra flavor and add a dash of cayenne pepper to the dressing for extra heat.





Longtime Scramble subscriber and recipe tester extraordinaire Nancy Bolen sent me her family’s favorite recipe for these yummy quesadillas.  The crab filling is so versatile — you can use it as a sandwich filling, or serve it as a salad over lettuce, or even as a dip with crackers or toast.  Serve it with Sautéed Sweet Corn, Onions and Zucchini.






Sauteed Sweet Corn, Onions a Zucchini

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
4 ears corn, kernels cut off, or use 2 cups frozen corn
1/8 tsp. salt, to taste
1/8 tsp. black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. chili powder, to taste (optional)
1 tsp. curry powder, to taste (optional)

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the onions for 2 minutes.  Add the zucchini and sauté it for 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the corn kernels to the skillet and sauté everything for 3-5 more minutes.  Reduce the heat if it’s browning too much.  Season it with salt and pepper to taste, or for a flavor boost, add chili powder or curry powder.

Here’s a grocery list you can use to shop for the all 5 weeks of recipes and side dishes.


Our collaboration with The Washington Post couldn’t come at a better time.  Not only is The Scramble celebrating its 10th birthday, but we are also in the midst of our Family Dinner Challenge, an initiative to help make family dinners a reality in everyone’s home.  A recent poll found that half of children live in homes where families don’t regularly eat dinner together.  The Scramble’s mission over the past 10 years has been to improve the world one family dinner at a time.

Sign Up for the Family Dinner Challenge

So, enjoy the recipes from the Washington Post and join more than 6,000 families who’ve already signed up for the Family Dinner Challenge. It’s easy! Just commit to eating dinner as a family at least three times a week for four weeks.  We’ll give you everything you need to make it happen including 4 weeks of family dinner recipes and corresponding grocery lists, tips and tools for healthy family eating, and a chart to track your progress.  To further motivate participants to give the valuable gift of time and healthy meals to their families, we have some wonderful prizes for participating in The Challenge.  Find out more about how to be eligible for prizes like Vitamix 7500 Blender (retail value $529), a Cuisinart Elite Collection 14-cup Food Processor (retail value $299) and more.

Healthy family meals on the table in 30 minutes or less!

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