There is something so soul-soothing about flipping through a cookbook, looking at the photos, flagging recipes you want to try, and envisioning how wonderful they’ll be when your family sits down to enjoy them. Although many of us love finding recipes online, it can’t replace the simple pleasure of paging through a real book. “The Six O’Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes” by Aviva Goldfarb (St. Martin’s Griffin) is one of those books that you really must have to soothe soul and body, and make your daily life easier.
Goldfarb believes that this cookbook will make it easier for people to eat healthful, delicious meals with the people they love and get healthier, both physically and emotionally. Of the four books she has written, this is the first to have color photos for every recipe—a real bonus for those who select recipes by looking at the picture—directions for slow cookers, helpful tips to make cooking and shopping easier, and 32 complete weekly menu plans with shopping lists all endorsed and published by the American Diabetes Association. Even if you are not diabetic, this endorsement guarantees great recipes and meals.
Cajun Fish Sandwiches with Crunchy Slaw
Prep + Cook Time: 30 minutes
12 oz. bagged coleslaw or broccoli slaw, or shred 3 cups of cabbage, carrots and/or broccoli stems
2 tbsps. reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp. honey
1/16 tsp. salt
1/16 tsp. black pepper
3/4 cup flour (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
2 tsp. Cajun or Old Bay seasoning
4 whole wheat buns
2 tsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. flounder, catfish, tilapia or other thin white fish fillets, cut into 4 even pieces
In a medium serving bowl, combine the slaw, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Set it aside. (If possible, make this up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve. Mix it well before serving.)
In a shallow dish or bowl, combine the flour and Cajun or Old Bay seasoning. In another shallow bowl, beat the egg. Warm the rolls in a 300-degree oven, if desired. In a large, heavy skillet (a cast iron pan works great for this), heat the butter and oil over medium heat until it is bubbling.
Dip the fish pieces in the flour mixture to coat them, then the egg, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then back into the flour mixture to recoat. Cook the fish until it is nicely browned and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (Meanwhile, prepare the dessert, if you are serving it.) Remove the fish to a plate. Serve the fish inside of the rolls topped with the slaw.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Prepare the coleslaw and refrigerate, combine the flour and the Cajun or Old Bay seasoning, beat and refrigerate the egg, cut the fish if necessary and refrigerate.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Serve the sandwiches topped with barbecue sauce. Grate ¼ onion into the coleslaw.
Nutritional Information per Serving based on 4 servings (percentage based upon daily values)
Calories: 350; calories from fat: 110; total fat: 12g; saturated fat: 3g; trans fat: 0.1 g; cholesterol: 115 mg, 30.5%; sodium: 440 mg; potassium: 560 mg; total carbohydrate: 34g; dietary fiber: 4g; sugar: 6g; protein: 27g; phosphorus: 390 mg
Spaghetti with Creamy Avocado Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes
Prep + Cook Time: 30 minutes
16 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5/8 tsp. salt
16 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, (2-3 cloves)
1/2 lemon, juice only, about 2 tbsp., or more to taste, plus 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, if desired
2 avocados, halved, pitted and scooped out of the peel
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (and start the cauliflower now, if you are serving it). In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp. oil and 1/8 tsp. salt. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast them for 20 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions in salted water until it is al dente.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, puree the garlic, lemon juice and 2 tbsp. oil until smooth. Add the avocados, basil (reserve 5 basil leaves to slice thinly and serve on top of the pasta, if desired) and 1/2 tsp. salt and blend until creamy.
In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti, the avocado pesto, and 1/2 of the cheese. Top the pasta with the tomatoes (do this at the table if you have picky eaters), and season it with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve it immediately, topped with extra cheese, if desired.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Halve the tomatoes, cook the spaghetti and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, peel the garlic, juice the lemon and zest it, if desired, prepare and refrigerate the pesto, grate the cheese if necessary and refrigerate it.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the garlic, serve it with crushed red pepper flakes, and top the pasta with ½-1 tsp. lemon zest.
Tip: The easiest way to get the flesh out of an avocado is to slice it in half lengthwise, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon.
Nutritional Information per Serving based on 9 servings (percentage based upon daily values)
Calories: 295; calories from fat: 100; total fat: 11g; saturated fat: 2.1g; trans fat: 0 g; cholesterol: 5mg; sodium: 270mg; potassium: 365mg; total carbohydrate: 43g; dietary fiber: 5g; sugar: 3g; protein: 10g; phosphorus: 185mg
Editor’s note: For more edible delights by Sheilah Kaufman, go to www. cookingwithsheilah.com.