Busy, Busy, Busy

Camp is almost here.  As you pack the duffel bags, label the underwear, and organize the toiletries you have to remind the kids that camp hasn’t yet started and that they need to continue to do their school work…you must be tired!  Your kids, on the other hand, have never had more energy.  You want to plan a festive meal to give them an extra warm memory of home (even though they will likely forget all about you the minute they find their bunk bed and hug their best friend from last summer), but you just don’t know if you have the energy for it!

This scenario can be replaced with any of a hundred others at any time during the year.  Meetings, sports games, activities, errands, play dates, doctor’s appointments and more seem to crowd our calendars, and often healthy food is one of the casualties.  Instead of dinners full of whole grains, lean protein and ample fresh veggies, many of us opt for convenience foods like frozen meals and fast food.  I promise- life doesn’t have to be this way!  Take a look at some of these tips for quick, healthy cooking and try out the recipe below for a delicious meal that promises tasty, easy and healthy leftovers.

– Look for one pot meals and recipes
– Purchase pre-prepped veggies- the extra cost is worth your time!
– Purchase frozen veggies to use in soups and casseroles- they have just as much, if not more, nutrition as fresh veggies
– Raid the salad bar to make a salad for your family
– Train yourself to have better knife skills
– Prepare things according to the time it takes to cook them- start the foods that take the longest first!
– Purchase and cook foods with other meals in mind- cook chicken once for two different meals
– Use a crock pot
– Use recipes with fewer ingredients
– Pre-read the recipe
– Keep food in the house!  Chicken and meat in the freezer and a stocked pantry mean less trips to the store
– Get older kids to help

 Black Bean Edamame Pasta Salad
Serves 8


8 ounces soba noodles
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
¼-½ tsp sriracha sauce or other Southeast Asia chili sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove
1 x 1 inch piece ginger
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 can black beans
1 bunch scallions
1 ½ cups sugar snap peas
1 carrot
1 small head bok choy
1 red pepper
1 cup frozen edamame


  1. Boil the water for the soba noodles and cook them according to the package instructions
  2. Whisk the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, teriyaki sauce, canola oil, sesame oil, Sriracha sauce and brown sugar in the bottom of a large mixing bowl
  3. Mince the garlic and ginger together on the cutting board with the kosher salt until they release their juices and form a paste
  4. Whisk this into the soy sauce dressing at the bottom of the bowl
  5. Drain and rinse the black beans and partially mash them with a fork
  6. Thinly slice the scallions and add them to the mixture.  Set aside
  7. Remove the ends from the snap peas and cut them in half
  8. Thinly slice the carrot and bok choy and dice the red pepper
  9. Spray a large sauté pan with cooking spray and sauté the sugar snap peas, bok choy, carrots, red pepper and edamame over high heat until the leafy parts of the bok choy are just wilted and the rest of the vegetables are still crispy
  10. Add the vegetables to the noodles and serve while still warm, or refrigerate and eat cold

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