health food

The Scramblog

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...

Healthy Snacks for Any Craving

You have gotten the homecooked dinner thing down (hopefully The Scramble is helping you in that department. If not, check out our two-week free trial to see how much easier getting dinner on the table can be), but what about snacks? For me, finding healthy snack foods that will satisfy my family and don’t require a lot of prep on my part, has been one of the biggest challenges. Because, let’s be honest, all those beautiful snack platters on Instagram and Pinterest are inspiring, but who has time to put one of those together every day? Not me! Over the years I have figured out some tricks that have helped me to avoid potato chips, cheese curls, yogurt tubes, and Kind Bars (although we still do enjoy those from time to time!), while still satisfying everyone’s cravings for salty, sweet, creamy, and/or crunchy without spending too much time in the kitchen. Here are some ideas for you, organized by craving type.Healthy Snacks for Any CravingCrunchyApples Rice...

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...

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....

East Meets West Stir Fry

This unconventional recipe has been a surprise hit in Scramble houses around the country! By combining Italian and Asian flavors in the sauce, the recipe links the traditionally Italian ingredients with the Asian preparation. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!East Meets West Stir FryPrep + Cook Time: 20 Minutes, Makes 6 servings 1 1/2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil 1 red onion, quartered and sliced1 lb. broccoli, florets and sliced stems3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. black pepper, to taste15 oz. canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed, or use 2 1/2 cups homemade beans 2 cups cooked brown rice, (frozen rice works perfectly for this), or use 3/4 cup uncooked rice
(Prepare the rice, if using uncooked rice rather than frozen.) Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add the canola oil. When it is...

Creamy Chickpea Tomato Curry (Chana Masala)

Chana Masala is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods-- packed with flavor, warm, and nourishing. If you have never had or never made Indian food before, this is a wonderful introduction. The combination of these Indian spices will give your stew plenty of flavor, and you can vary the amount to accommodate your family’s “heat” preference, plus it takes 30 minutes or less to make! “This was a total hit. It was so perfectly spiced - a balance of sweetness and a tinge of hotness, richness and healthfulness. Just yum!,” said Scramble recipe tester Amy Stanley. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live.Creamy Chickpea Tomato Curry (Chana Masala)Prep + Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Makes 6 Servings2 Tbsp. coconut oil, or use butter or vegetable oil1 yellow onion, diced1/2 - 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (leave the seeds in for spicier flavor)1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)1 Tbsp. ground...

Why I Believe Snacks and Treats Are Important

The other day, my son came home from a birthday party and was starving and cranky. I was taken aback because this was a celebration that he had been really looking forward to. When I asked why he hadn’t eaten he said, “I didn’t think you would want me to eat too much junk food.” Given what I do for a living, you might think that this was a moment of pride for me—that he was able to determine which foods were healthy and which weren’t and had avoided the unhealthier options—but, in fact, it made me deeply sad. Sad because instead of just living in the moment and enjoying the celebration with his friends, my son had spent time thinking about which foods I would approve of and had chosen to skip certain snacks and treats because of what he thought I might think.Why I Believe Snacks and Treats are ImportantAs someone who struggled to build a healthy relationship with food for much of my life, my goal has always been to raise kids who have a positive relationship...

Getting Your Kids to Pack Their Own Lunches: Mistakes I’ve Made and How I’ll be Doing it Differently This Year

My kids go to a school where there is no cafeteria, so we have to pack lunches every. single. day. And while my husband is in charge of school day breakfasts, I still have the task of overseeing school lunches. Last year, when they were in 2nd and 4th grades, I decided that it was time for the boys to start packing their own lunches. There were definitely days when it didn’t go as planned, days when I threw up my hands and just packed the lunches because otherwise the boys never would have left on time, but for much of the year, they successfully pulled their own lunches together every day. And it was awesome. So now that we have done it for a year in my house, I wanted to share the lessons that I have learned and thoughts on what I will do differently this year.How to get your kids to pack their own lunchesBe clear on expectations, then step backBefore the school year started, I shared The Scramble’s lunch packing printable chock full of lunch packing ideas with...

5 Tricks to Make Breakfast a Breeze

We’re a family of breakfast eaters—some out of passion for the meal (my youngest and my husband) and some out of necessity (my eldest and me). For my eldest and me, breakfast is not our favorite meal, but we both fall apart without it so we’ve had to figure out ways to make it work for us. Even on the best of mornings, though, our family rarely has more than 15 minutes to make breakfast happen, so we have come up with a lot of tricks to make it work.5 Tricks to Make Breakfast a Breeze1) Make-aheadOne weekend morning a week, I try to prepare a big batch of a make-ahead breakfast of some sort. My family gets to enjoy the breakfast that morning and we freeze the leftovers for upcoming weekday mornings. These include muffins, breakfast sandwiches, burritos, waffles, pancakes, and frittatas. Did you know that for the past year The Scramble has been sharing a make-ahead breakfast option as part of the weekly meal plan? Plus, if you sign up or renew now, you’ll also...

4 Watermelon Recipes for the 4th!

I don’t know about you, but the first food that comes to mind when I think of the 4th of July is watermelon. I have vivid childhood memories of watermelon juice sliding down my chin and spitting the big black seeds into the grass as I watched the fireworks from the banks of the Charles River in Boston. There is nothing more summery to me than watermelon. So this year, I wanted to share some of my favorite, creative ways to serve up that consummate summer treat at your celebrations on this 4th of July. All of these would be great to bring to a potluck, eat out in the backyard, or pack up for a picnic.4 Watermelon Recipes for the 4th!Watermelon Feta and Mint Cubes. This appetizer, invented by Scramble founder Aviva’s son Solomon, is so delicious, simple, and easy to prepare. Get your kids in on the fun by asking them to assemble the towers.Watermelon Caprese Salad with Arugula. A Scramble favorite! As Scramble recipe tester Jen Grosman said, “it tastes...