The Scramblog

Making Healthy Family Dinners Happen with Less Time, Money and Stress.

Crispy Tofu Triangles with Fried Rice

These Crispy Tofu Triangles are great place to start if you are curious about tofu. Vegetarians and Midwestern steak eaters (even an avowed tofu-hater from Texas) all agree this dish is delicious. You can use the same recipe for chicken tenderloins or breasts (or even steak!), if you are adamantly opposed to tofu. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live.Crispy Tofu Triangles with Fried RicePrep + Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Makes 6 Servings 1 1/2 cups white or quick-cooking brown rice 16 oz. extra-firm tofu packed in water, drained6 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup or honey 1 Tbsp. sesame oil 2 tsp. rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar 1/4 tsp. ground ginger 5 scallions, dark and light green parts, thinly sliced2 Tbsp. peanut oil 1 egg 1 cup frozen peas 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Cook the rice according to the package directions (or use day-old rice). Meanwhile, cut the tofu...

Spring Cleaning in the Kitchen

Washing windows, scouring floors, thumping out cushions, switching from coats and winter clothes to the warmer weather versions… spring is the time of fresh starts and deep cleanings. As the sun comes out and the temperatures start to rise, we tend to have more energy to make some changes. For me, it is also when I like to do a reset in the kitchen—when I feel the urge to clear out my pantry, fridge, and freezer and to look through my cooking tools and utensils to see what is serving me and what isn’t.Spring Cleaning in the KitchenIf getting a fresh start in your kitchen sounds appealing—whether it’s to make it a place where you want to spend more time, to build up your motivation for some healthier eating, or to get rid of the clutter—then try some of these simple steps to spring cleaning in your kitchen. Each task should take between 30 and 60 minutes to complete, so you can do them all in one afternoon or spread them out over time. Either way, the change will...

Broccoli and Chickpea Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This colorful salad, suggested by Scramble member Anne O’Neill, is perfect to make a day or two ahead of a busy evening or bring to an informal gathering. Its Mediterranean ingredients are flexible—you can add sliced Kalamata olives, a finely chopped shallot or 1/2 red onion, farro (an Italian grain), or even tuna. “It is exactly what I love about a free-form salad. Lots of textures and flavors that add layers to each bite and make you want to go back for more,” according to Scramble recipe tester Debbie Falkow. Watch Jessica make this salad on Facebook Live!Broccoli and Chickpea Salad with Lemon VinaigrettePrep + Cook: 20 Minutes, Makes 8 Servings 1 large head broccoli, cut into florets1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (1/4-inch pieces), or use 1/2 cup chopped jarred red peppers15 oz. canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained or rinsed, or use 1 ½ cups homemade beans1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped1/4 cup chopped walnuts, lightly...

Cooking While on Vacation: How to make it simple, stress-free, and delicious

My family just got back from a week’s vacation in Paris. It was the first vacation that just the four of us had ever done together—before now we had always either traveled with or to other family members—and it was absolutely wonderful (not just curated Facebook wonderful, but really wonderful). As I walked with a friend this morning recounting many of the fantastic moments, I told her that one of the best things we did was stay in an apartment, rather than a hotel, so that we could have a real home base and cook some of our meals, and she said, “you should write a blog post about how you fed your family, even in another country, without it being stressful!”Meals at home and meals outMy husband and I decided that we would try to eat most breakfasts and all dinners at home and all lunches out. For lunches, we did one meal at a family member’s house, two at restaurants, and the others were made up of street food enjoyed in parks where the boys could run around...

Fusilli with Pistachio-Arugula Pesto

While classic basil pesto is one of the most ingenious food creations of all time, experimenting with other nuts and flavors in pesto, like this version with pistachios, arugula, and lemon, is a lot of fun, too. Arugula can be a little peppery, but baby arugula is milder. If it is still too peppery for your family, substitute baby spinach.
Watch Jessica make Fusilli with Pistachio-Arugula Pesto on Facebook Live!
Fusilli with Pistachio-Arugula PestoPrep + Cook Time: 25 minutes, Makes 8 Servings 16 oz. fusilli noodles (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, or use sunflower seeds, cashews, or other nut or seed5 oz. baby arugula, or use baby spinach1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 lemon, juice only, about 2 Tbsp.1 - 2 clove garlic, to taste
Cook the noodles in salted water according to the package directions until they are al dente, and reserve about 1/2 cup of their...
  Apr 1, 2018  Uncategorized

Finding Flexibility: What to do When Life Throws you a Curve Ball

I was just saying (ok, maybe complaining) to my mom that in the past two plus months, every single time I have had a day to catch up on work projects, there has been a sick kid or “snow” day. And the other day was no exception. Waking up to discover that we had a delayed opening for school was frustrating enough, and by 8am school had been closed. Boy, did I get grumpy. As I sulkily sat down to figure out a plan for the day, though, I noticed that something interesting happened: when I took a deep breath and accepted the unexpected, I was then able to come up with a plan that would allow me to do some work, but primarily focus on getting other obligations taken care of -- tasks it would be easier for me to do with kids around, which would then free up time on other days. In other words, I was being flexible. When our lives get super busy, remembering to remain flexible can be really challenging. We come up with a set idea of how things are going to go and oftentimes...

Double Duty Holiday Dishes: Recipes That Work for Easter and Passover

As an interfaith (Jewish-Christian) household we are lucky enough to have twice the holidays to celebrate, twice the traditions, and sometimes twice the cooking. At this time of year, the focus on meals gets turned up a notch as we celebrate both Passover and Easter, which often intersect—after all, the last supper was actually a Passover Seder! This is both a joy and a challenge. It is a joy because they are both meaningful holidays that share messages about the importance of renewal and of sticking to your beliefs, even in times of adversity and sorrow. It is a challenge because, at least for me, one of the most important ways to celebrate these holidays is through sharing meals, yet many of the foods for these two holidays don’t naturally overlap.Recipes for Passover and EasterSo in honor of both of these wonderful holidays, I pulled together a list of recipes that will work for both celebrations. Happy holidays to those of you who celebrate one or the other (or...

Quick Couscous Paella

I love Spanish paella, but until this one, suggested by Scramble member and our friend Jolynn Dellinger, I had not found a recipe that is quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner. This unconventional version uses couscous instead of rice, greatly reducing the cooking time. Recipe tester Alice Clark said her kids gave this recipe “100 thumbs up!” Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!Quick Couscous PaellaPrep + Cook Time = 20 Minutes, Makes 4 Servings 6 strips bacon (turkey, pork, or meatless), or use 1 cup of diced sausage, shrimp, or drained and diced extra-firm tofu2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 red bell pepper, diced4scallions, dark and light green parts, sliced1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)1 tsp. curry powder 1/4 tsp. dry mustard 16 oz. reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or use one 14.5 oz. can of broth + 1 1/2 oz. water1 cup frozen peas 1 cup plain couscous, regular or whole wheat
Cook the bacon...
  Mar 15, 2018  cooking tips, Uncategorized

5 Ways to Kick-Start Your Cooking this Spring

Spring is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and fresh starts! It’s an opportunity to shake off the old and start with the new. For me, it has always been a more logical time than the new year to start new habits—I have more energy and enthusiasm as the days get brighter and longer. This is the time of year when I tend to empty out my closets, purge toys, and get inspired to make new dishes (I love spring produce!). If you are itching to get some new, healthier habits started this spring, then what better way than starting to cook more? Home cooking has been shown to be better for your health, your waistline, and your wallet! So to help you get going, I’ve come up with 5 ways to kick-start your cooking this spring:1. Try one new recipe a week. Feeling like you are tired of your go-to recipes but overwhelmed by the idea of starting from scratch? Then try picking one new recipe each week to take on. If you need help or inspiration and you are not already a member, join...

Make Your Own Luck This St. Patrick’s Day with Fun, Healthy, Green Foods

Green. Green is the color of St. Patrick’s Day. When I was a kid growing up in Boston, if you weren’t wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, you’d get punched in the arm. Then, in college (and beyond) it was all about the green beer. Neither of these celebrations were ever particularly appealing to me, despite my Irish lineage. So instead of punches and terrible hangovers, I thought it would be fun to pull together some green food ideas that are healthy, simple, and delicious crowd-pleasers for your family and friends, or to help you to get some nourishing food in your system before the celebrations begin. Watch Jessica make the Spinach Muffins and Green Machine Quesadillas on Facebook Live!Make Your Own Luck This St. Patrick's Day with Fun, Healthy, Green FoodsIncredible Hulk Power SmoothieBe a lean, green fighting machine with this fun and delicious smoothie, packed with nutrients and lots of flavor. It is as good as gold at the end of the rainbow! ...