Red Lentil and Chicken Slow-Cooker Soup

This Nov. 21, 2016 photo shows red lentil and chicken slow-cooker soup in New York. The soup is thick from the lentils, and fragrant with cumin and coriander. (Sarah E Crowder via AP)

I am a Football Mom. A New York City Football Mom, so Football Moms from, say, Texas or California might smirk at me a little. That’s OK. I recognize the difference.

Ten-Minute Tortilla Soup is filling comfort food

This Oct. 4, 2017 photo shows a bowl of ten-minute tortilla soup in Bethesda, Md. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP)

I owe the idea to well-meaning fans, who over the years would approach me to thank me for the genius of making 10-minute-meals. I never had the heart to correct them: I hosted Ten Dollar Dinners. Ten-minute meals, I always mused, would be about a thousand versions of PB&J, which sounded like hard television to pitch my producer. But the idea marinated. And then it became a challenge: what could I make in 10 minutes that wouldn’t be a PB&J (no disrespect to the sandwich-anthem of my childhood)?

Cauliflower with Sesame Drizzle

This Jan. 27, 2017 photo shows roasted cauliflower with a sesame drizzle in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Katie Workman. (Mia via AP)

Food writers (and I include myself) are often talking about what new things you can do with that package of chicken breasts or that pound of ground beef to get out of the same-old, same-old cooking rut. But we might not spend enough time talking about what to do with that head of cauliflower or broccoli. We can all feel as uninspired looking at those stoic spheres as we do with our proteins, right?

Flexible Frittata is thick, satisfying omelet

This Oct. 2, 2017 photo shows an Italian sausage frittata in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (Sara Moulton via AP)

What to do on a busy weeknight when you poke your head into the fridge and discover a variety of souvenirs left over from previous meals — including veggies, protein and starch? Just reach for a carton of eggs and turn the whole thing into a one-skillet meal. Leftovers? Not at all. The Flexible Frittata is a thick, satisfying omelet.

Natural look shrub pruning

Question: We recently moved into a home with established trees and shrubs. We love the landscape, but do not like the way the shrubs have been pruned. The previous owner used a power clipper to prune the shrubs. Their shapes are artificially thick and round or flat on top. Can they be pruned to give them a more natural look?

Mongolian Beef

This 2017 photo shows Mongolian beef over rice in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Katie Workman. (Katie Workman via AP)

My family cannot get enough of Asian food, and any time I crank out a dish that announces itself with aromas of garlic, ginger and soy sauce, I pretty much know dinner will be a success.

Cheese stars in this meatless burger

This Oct. 2, 2017 photo shows a meatless cheesy oat burger in Bethesda, Md. Part-skim ricotta cheese is the star of a tasty meatless burger patty that looks almost like a turkey burger, but tastes more like an Italian-inspired fried cheese appetizer. (Melissa D'Arabian via AP)

As much as I love a juicy beef burger, I’ve become a little obsessed with creating veggie burgers that step in and satisfy without any meat.

Tasty and healthy Kung Pao Cod

This Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 photo shows Kung Pao cod in Bethesda, Md. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (AP Photo/Melissa d’Arabian)

Eating healthy doesn’t mean there isn’t room for occasional treats like Chinese takeout or a drive-thru for our favorite one-of-a-kind cheeseburger. As long as we keep these kinds of meals reserved for true cravings, not convenience, then I can probably keep our healthy eating in check.

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