The Scramblog

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

Tender Fish and Tomato Curry

This curry is the epitome of a simple comfort food dish: a few quality ingredients, warm and soothing flavors, and ready in 30 minutes! Serve it over rice or with naan. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!Tender Fish and Tomato CurryPrep + Cook: 30 Minutes, Makes 4 servings 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, halved top to bottom and thinly sliced2 stalks celery, thinly sliced1 tsp. curry powder 15 oz. fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with their liquid1 lb. catfish or other thick white fish fillet, cut into 1-inch chunks1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste1/4 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
In a Dutch oven or deep skillet, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the onions and celery and sauté them, stirring often, until they are tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the curry powder for about 30 seconds, and then add the tomatoes. When it starts to bubble gently, stir in the fish and keep it at a simmer for about 7 minutes until the...

The Night the Meat Went Bad

The other night I had a plan for dinner. It was a good plan and I knew all the guys in my house would be excited about it since it involved red meat, which we don’t eat very often. And then I unwrapped the meat. I had bought just it a few days before and it was still within its “sell by” date, but it was bad. Really bad. The color was off, the smell was terrible, and my dinner plan was ruined. What made the situation worse: the plan had been a stir fry, which meant I had allotted just 20 minutes to get dinner on the table. What to do?The Night the Meat Went BadA normal, sane person probably would have opted for takeout, but I have a stubborn (and cheap) streak and the plan had been for me to make dinner, so I was determined to make that happen. So it became improvisation time. I quickly looked through what I had in the fridge that was not already set aside for a different dinner and came up with: 2 packages of ravioli (not quite enough anymore with the two growing boys...

An Interview with My Formerly Picky Eater

The other night at dinner my 8-year-old, who was a picky eater for many years, said, out of the blue, “Do you remember when I used to be picky? I’m so glad I’m not anymore.” We then talked about how much things have changed and memories he had from dinners when he was younger. It was a wonderful moment because it showed how much his identity as an eater has changed. As we talked, it struck me as an amazing opportunity to learn more about a child’s experience as a picky eater, so I asked if I could interview him.An Interview with My Formerly Picky EaterWhat is your favorite food?Do I have to say one thing? Pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, burgers.What is your least favorite food?I don’t know because I haven’t tried many bad foods. Well, I don’t like stir-fry.Do you remember when you were a picky eater?Yes.What did it feel like to be offered a food you didn’t like?Well, I didn’t even eat it. But I also felt sad that I wouldn’t eat...

Simplify in 2019!

2018 has been a whirlwind, hasn’t it? So many fast-moving news stories, schedules that never seem to stop, and kids growing before our eyes. As we enter 2019, it can be tempting to come up with a long list of resolutions or goals that will make life better: get healthier, get organized, spend more time with family, get finances under control, the list goes on and on. I don’t know about you, but that growing list just adds to my anxiety and if I don’t accomplish the changes I hoped to see, then it also adds to my guilt. No thanks. So, as I sat down to think about how The Scramble could best support busy families in 2019, it occurred to me that the thing we could offer would be a one-stop solution that could help to simplify daily food routines and make them more pleasant, all while supporting many of the resolutions that busy parents tend to be drawn toward. Done and done! So, this year instead of giveaways or prizes, instead of challenges or competitions, we have put...

Spanish Oven Omelet with Diced Potatoes

Spanish tortillas - or oven omelets - make a delicious breakfast, brunch or dinner. They can be served warm, cold or in between (in Spain they cut them into small wedges and eat them cold!). Though the recipe calls for goat or feta cheese, you can use any hard or soft cheese that you like. Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live.Spanish Oven Omelet with Diced PotatoesPrep + Cook Time: 30 Minutes, Makes 4 servings 3/4 lb. Yukon Gold or russet potato, peeled and diced2 - 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, finely chopped1/2 cup chopped ham or smoked turkey, sundried tomatoes, or sliced mushrooms(optional)1/2 - 1 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper 5 eggs 1/4 cup nonfat milk (or use any variety) 3 Tbsp. goat or feta cheese, crumbled
In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the potatoes with about 1 Tbsp. water, cover them lightly, and microwave them on high heat for 3 - 5 minutes until they are...

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...

8 Tricks to Make the Cleaning After Cooking Easier

One of the complaints I hear most often from people is that while the cooking is ok, the cleaning afterward makes them crazy. I get it, I really do. You’ve made a meal for everyone, they’ve eaten (or not), and then you either have to kick back into high gear for cleaning OR have to do bedtime duty. You finally get the kids to sleep and then you face a messy kitchen when all you want to do is collapse. It stinks… But it doesn’t have to! While I don’t have a fairy godmother who can come in and do the cleaning for you (if you figure out how to get one of those, please let me know!), I do have some tricks that can help to make the cleaning less of a chore.8 Tricks to Make the Cleaning After Cooking EasierMake a DealFor most families, I know the deal is this: whoever doesn’t do the cooking does the cleaning. But this doesn’t have to be the deal. Other options include whoever is not on bedtime duty does the dishes or one person loads the dishwasher and the...

Beef and Broccoli Teriyaki

Scramble recipe tester Debbie Firestone said this dish got “rave reviews” from her whole family, and her 9-year-old daughter asked if they could have it again soon. This doesn’t even need a side dish because it’s a complete meal with protein, veggies, and grains. Another perk? This dish is easy to make vegetarian by using tofu or mushrooms (see below). Watch Jessica make this on Facebook Live!Beef and Broccoli TeriyakiPrep + Cook Time: 20 minutes, Makes 4 servings 1 1/2 cups white or quick-cooking brown rice 1 Tbsp. sesame oil 1 lb. boneless beef steak such as top round or top sirloin, sliced into thin strips, or use extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced, or 8 oz. portobello mushrooms, sliced1 lb. broccoli, trimmed and cut into spears2 carrots, (about 1 cup)3/4 cup reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), (store-bought or make your own – see directions below)4 scallions, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
Prepare the...

Spinach Burritos

Burritos make such a simple and satisfying meal, and there are endless variations you can create, depending on your family’s palate. These are reminiscent of some fantastic burritos from Burrito Brothers in Washington, DC. Watch Jessica make then on Facebook Live!Spinach BurritosPrep + Cook Time= 20 minutes, Makes 6 servings 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 30 oz. canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed1/2 cup salsa (look for brands with no sugar added), plus extra for serving9 oz. baby spinach 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese 6 large (burrito size) whole wheat or flour tortillas (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beans and salsa and cook them for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Meanwhile, in a loosely covered, microwave-safe bowl, wilt the spinach in the microwave, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach to the beans and salsa and stir it...

Holiday Eating: How to Let Go of the Guilt and Enjoy the Food

We’ve reached that time of year when the treats are plentiful, the food is rich, and the drinks enticing. We’ve also reached the moment when many of us start to make deals with ourselves:“I’ll go all out until the New Year and then I’ll reset in a big way.” “I’ll go nuts today and then will only eat salad and exercise every day for the rest of the week.” “I’ll only eat a little bit/skip all the carbs/avoid anything with sugar, so that I can have X, Y, or Z.” I know these deals because I used to make them with myself, not just at the holidays, but all year round. My eating was in a constant state of negotiation, until I learned to let go, listen to my body’s cues, and enjoy food again. It wasn’t an overnight change, but this switch changed my life, so I wanted to share some of the baby steps that helped me to get to where I am (modified for the season we are in, so that maybe you can enjoy the holiday goodies, while staying sane in the...