lunch

The Scramblog

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...

Freakin’ Amazing Freekah Salad

Have you heard of freekeh? It’s a traditionally Middle Eastern grain that has a nutty, smoky flavor and has more fiber and protein than many other whole grains. It is fantastic in this salad, which is inspired by a recipe from New York Times food writer Martha Rose Shulman. This version is vegan but would also be amazing with shrimp, chicken, or feta cheese (although cut back on the added salt if you use feta, which has a salty flavor). Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live. Freakin' Amazing Freekah SaladMarinate Time: 30 Minutes, Prep + Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Makes 6 Servings 1 cup freekeh, or use bulgur wheat, farro or other whole grain (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint, chopped (throw in some fresh oregano if you have some)4 - 6 stalks celery, thinly sliced (1 cup)6 - 8 scallions, dark and light green parts, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)15 oz. canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained...

On-the-Go Meals You Can Feel Good About Serving Your Family

As you know if you have been following The Scramble for any length of time, family dinners are our top priority and we encourage everyone to make family meals happen at least 3 - 5 times a week. But let’s be honest, even if we have the best of intentions, there are nights when having everyone sit down together is impossible. For my family, the hardest time of the year to get everyone to the table together is the mid-spring craziness of April and May when one son has soccer practice twice a week, the other son has a guitar lesson one afternoon and band practice another, and my volunteer work kicks into high gear with lots of end-of-the-school year obligations. It is crazy town and sometimes it feels like we are ships passing in the night (well, evening really, but you know what I mean). Even if we can’t all sit down together, though, both for health and budgetary reasons, I still want to make sure everyone gets a home-cooked meal, so on the nights when we are all dashing...

Grilled Cheese Melts with Brie and Baby Spinach

This is a gourmet twist on grilled cheese. You can opt for mustard or apricot jam, depending on your preference for savory or sweet, or use both if you can’t decide. If your kids aren’t very adventurous eaters, make traditional grilled cheese sandwiches for them with Cheddar or Muenster cheese (they might even like Brie), and serve the spinach on the side. What Jessica make them on Facebook Live!Grilled Cheese Melts with Brie and Baby SpinachCook + Prep Time: 15 Minutes, Makes 4 Servings 2 - 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)6 - 9 oz. baby spinach 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard or apricot jam (use wheat/gluten-free mustard, if needed) 8 medium-thick slices firm whole grain or sourdough bread (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 8 oz. Brie cheese, cut into thin slices
In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. of the butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook it for 30 seconds. Add the spinach and stir it until it...

Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The key ingredient in these wraps, Asian sweet chili sauce, is a popular Thai seasoning sauce, which is getting easier to find in North American grocery stores as those flavors gain in popularity. If you can’t find it, you can make your own by combining 1/4 cup orange marmalade, 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar and 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. Thai Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce WrapsPrep + Cook Time: 20 minutes Makes four servings 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce (also called Mae Ploy) 2 limes, use 2 Tbsp. juice, plus 4 lime wedges 1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or mint, coarsely chopped (optional) 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 2 scallions, dark and light green parts, thinly sliced 1 head Boston or other wide leaf lettuce, leaves separated Put the chicken in a microwave-safe dish with a lid. Partially cover it and microwave it on high until the chicken is just cooked through, 6 – 8 minutes, turning it once...

Veggie Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower rice has some health benefits over rice—high fiber, concentrated nutrients, and it’s low in calorie, low in carbs and is Paleo friendly. You could also sauté a cup or two of cooked diced chicken or peeled shrimp instead of the edamame. My thanks to R.D. Jessica Levinson of Small Bites by Jessica for inspiring the addition of rice vinegar and sriracha to the sauce. “Dana and I couldn't get over that we were eating cauliflower and not rice. It looked and tasted and felt exactly like rice. The flavors and the texture were spot on. The dish was satisfying, filling and tasty. Just right!” according to Scramble recipe tester Amy Stanley.

Watch Jessica make this on Facebook Live.Veggie Cauliflower Fried RicePrep + Cook Time: 20 minutes Makes four servings 2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced (1 cup) 1 carrot, finely diced 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves) 3 eggs, beaten 1 lb. riced cauliflower or 1 head cauliflower,...
  Aug 22, 2017  lunch, News, Time Saving Kitchen Tips

4 Tricks to Unpack the Stress of Packing Lunches (for School or Work!)

As much as I don’t want to admit it, the summer is rapidly coming to an end. For many of us, this means a return to “real life” and regular routines. It is also a time that many of us choose to focus on getting back into good habits after summertime indulgences. One of the best ways that you can help yourself get back on track is by packing lunch, whether it is for school or work, because while we often focus on a healthy dinner (and sometimes breakfast), a lot of us depend on convenient food options at lunch that are harder on our bodies and our wallets. For example, a typical salad at Cava (a fast casual restaurant in Washington, DC, where I live) costs over $9 and has over 700 calories! A lot of people I talk to dread packing lunches for their kids and/or themselves. I hear all the time that it feels time consuming, stressful, and even boring. I get it, I really do. While I am someone who grew up always bringing a lunch to school and then to work, there are still...

10 Best Simple Recipes to Soak Up Summer Flavors

One of my favorite childhood memories is of visiting my godmother’s family house in New Hampshire. Each summer we would head up for a weekend visit that was packed with summer fun like hiking, swimming in the lake, and a cookout. The house had a vast garden with rows upon rows of raspberry bushes. My brother and I would dart in and out of the rows, scratching up our arms and legs, collecting as many raspberries as we could find, placing some into a bowl, but mostly just stuffing them into our mouths. In the afternoon we’d shuck fresh corn and wrap it and some potatoes in foil. Then, as evening arrived, my godmother, parents, brother, and I would hike up a hill on the property and visit the fire pit that we had perfected over the years. We would make sure that the stones were well placed, collect kindling, and start a fire. On that fire we would cook fresh corn, potatoes, and burgers. As my brother and I (impatiently) waited for dinner to be ready, we would rush...

Easy Zucchini Recipe: Amazing Zucchini Pie

So many Six O'Clock Scramble members and cookbook owners and friends are crazy about this easy zucchini recipe.  Zucchini Pie is mild and simple enough to appeal to the palates of many different tastes. Kids love this easy zucchini recipe because it tastes a little like pizza! Watch the zucchini pie video to see how easy it is to make! For more easy zucchini recipes, try our Ravioli Soup with Grated Zucchini and Spinach, Raw Zucchini Pasta with Pesto, and our Stuffed Zucchini Gondolas. Easy Zucchini Recipe: Amazing Zucchini PiePrep (15 minutes) + Cook (30 minutes) 8 servings 1 Tbsp. butter or extra virgin olive oil 2 zucchini, or use yellow squash, thinly sliced (4-5 cups) 1/2 large yellow onion, diced 1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves) 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 1 prepared 9-inch pie crust 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (use wheat/gluten-free if needed) 2 eggs,...

Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Feta

You can make this Israeli couscous salad recipe ahead of time for dinner and pack it for a picnic or pack leftovers for lunch. Pulling flavors from across the Mediterranean and Middle East, but the salad remains kid-friendly.  It’s also good served with grilled shrimp or chicken. Watch the Video (and subscribe to the YouTube Channel) Israel Couscous Salad Recipe with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and FetaPrep + Cook = 25 minutes, plus time to cool or chill 6 servings, about 1 3/4 cups 8 oz. Israeli couscous also called pearl couscous, whole wheat if available, or use orzo or farro (1 1/2 cups) 8 oz. cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 English or Persian cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped (2 cups) 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts 1/2 sweet yellow onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, finely diced (1 cup) 1 cup crumbled feta cheese 1 ½ cups cooked chicken breast, diced (optional) 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 lemon,...