Top 5 easy dinner recipes for your busiest weekdays.

My favorite busy weeknight dinner solutions.

Fruit sushi! Super fun and healthy school lunch recipe.

Turn fresh fruit into Fruit Sushi, a healthy (even protein-packed) school lunch that the kids will love. So fun!

How to cook quinoa like a pro in 5 easy steps

Ever had quinoa gone wrong? Bitter? Hard? Dry? No more. As part of my new video series, How-To Like A Pro, I'm going to show you how to cook quinoa like a pro in 5 easy steps. These new videos are short by design. They give a quick overview of how to cook or prep something like a pro in just a few easy steps. But, of course, you know me: I'll always elaborate a little bit to make sure that you get it just right. Here are a few notes on each quinoa-making step. (more after the jump)

Berry Almond Breakfast Polenta: A healthy 10-Minute breakfast recipe

This is one of my favorite breakfast recipes. It might even be one of my favorite One Hungry Mama recipes ever. It's a beautiful thing when a handful of humble ingredients come together quickly to make something delicious and elegant. And that's exactly what happens with this Berry Almond Breakfast Polenta. One of the things that I love most about polenta is that, despite being nothing more than cornmeal, it feels luxurious. Compared to its down-home American counterpart, oatmeal, polenta is down-right elegant. But don't let that fool you into thinking that it's hard to make or should be kept only as a decadent treat. You can make this quick breakfast just as easily on a rushed weekday morning as you can for a Sunday brunch with friends (who will think you're very fancy). (More after the jump)

Healthy, on-the-go breakfast recipe: Baked Oatmeal Bites

A make-ahead breakfast that you can store in the freezer for a nutrient-rich, grab-and-go breakfast.

Quinoa, Black Bean, and Mango Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

I have it, hungry mamas and papas: your new favorite cookbook. I'm holding it in my hands. Okay, not really (since I'm typing), but it's in my kitchen, already creased and stained. It's a beauty, isn't it? How can it not be with the promise of a 150 recipes that can be made and prepped ahead. America's Test Kitchen had done it again, this time with The Make-Ahead Cook: More than 150 kitchen-tested recipes youc an prepare on your schedule. Prepping meals ahead saves me. I know that the planning required trips some of you up, but that's where this book comes in. Instead of pulling a stack of recipes and having to organize what should be made when, the always-helpful folks at America's Test Kitchen take care of it for you. (more after the jump)

Quinoa Fritter Pita with Cucumber Yogurt Spread & Quick Pickled Onion

I've been obsessed with the recipe for Little Quinoa Patties from Super Natural Every Day, the cookbook by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, ever since I first cracked the book open. The recipe is simple and delicious and my favorite way to serve quinoa. Maybe because it's the only way that I can serve quinoa that goes totally unquestioned by both boys every time I serve it. It's fool proof, at least in my house. (And, toddler mamas, these make a particularly awesome finger food.) The only challenge with this recipe is finding ways to serve the patties so that they feel satisfying as dinner. They make a fab side but, though they are simple to make, they require enough effort that I say they have to be the main. During the week especially, I don't have time to make these and another significant recipe. I've served them with a huge, hearty salad and with leftover soup. I've also served them as a side to leftover chicken. I've always known, though, that there can be so much more to this healthy, delicious dish. And, finally, I figured it out: serve these fritters as you would falafel. It works perfectly to make a lovely weeknight dinner. (more after the jump)

Dairy-Free Coconut Rice Pudding

I've been craving rice pudding for a long while now—the kind my yiayia used to make. I remember her standing by the stove, a big pot of rice and milk simmering in front of her, with only sugar, a cinnamon stick, and lemon peed added. The rice pudding she scooped out of that pot when she was done was perfection. Sweet, creamy perfection. And oh so wrong for someone who, like the hungry boy, has a hard time tolerating dairy. Though he eats dairy from time to time now—sometimes with consequences, other times without (a mystery), and always with Lactaid—I still avoid desserts like rice pudding that are squarely centered on dairy. I mean, dairy is sort of the point of rice pudding. I've known that I can make a good rice pudding using a dairy alternative like coconut or nut milk, but I just didn't believe that it could be as delicious as my grandmother's recipe. It would be something else: delicious but different. And since I didn't want different, I just avoided rice pudding all together. Until now. I couldn't hold out longer. Determined to put a nagging craving to rest, I broke out a can of coconut milk and went to work creating a dairy-free rice pudding. It wouldn't be as good, I told myself, but it might satisfy, especially if I kept myself from expecting something as good as what yiayia made. Little did I realize. (more after the jump)

Cheesy Garlic Bread

On Monday it was Chicken Marsala, so today it must be garlic bread. Let's do it Jersey style and make it Cheesy Garlic Bread. Because why not? If we're going to make an old school Italian red sauce restaurant meal, we might as well do it right! This garlic bread is heavenly and, in keeping with my Chicken Marsala, it's also buttery. Very buttery. (I believe there is a causal relationship between buttery and heavenly. Who's with me?) It's also cheesy thanks to thin slices of fresh, melted mozzarella. You'd think that tasty, buttery, and cheesy covers all the most important features of my Cheesy Garlic bread, but there's something else. Something that, if you ask me, is the most important note about this bread: it isn't over garlicky. (more after the jump)

Healthy Breakfast Donuts with Yogurt Glaze & other easy breakfast recipes

As breakfast week comes to a end here at One Hungry Mama, allow me to put down my bowl of Lucky Charms, uh, I mean, my super healthy power breakfast, and leave you with healthy breakfast recipes that will realistically fit into your mornings, including these Whole Grain Pear Breakfast Donuts made in one bowl. And, yes, you caught that right: realistically. I told you at the beginning of the week when we first talked about taking control of breakfast: this is hard for me, too. These breakfast ideas are ones that I've committed to at home and lets just say that I like to sleep until 7 a.m., even on the weekdays. I know a little something something about the morning rush, and these recipes—which I'm sharing in the form of my meal plan— are working. (more after the jump)

Amaaaaazing quick and easy homemade bread in minutes

I don't typically like making bread. Even no-knead seems like too much work, or at least too much time. But a new cookbook discovery has changed all that. Thanks to The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, I'm currently obsessed with baking bread from scratch. It's easy with this book's completely groundbreaking-to-me approach to bread making. Seriously. I think you could be hooked, too. (And, yes, I know how busy you are!) Making bread from scratch might seem insane to many of you busy mamas and papas, but part of what's so great about The New Artisan Bread approach is that you can take 10 active minutes on Saturday or Sunday to make dough that will sit ready-to-go in your fridge for up to 14 days. Then, when you decide it's time to make bread anytime in that 2 week period, you take another 10 minutes to prep a loaf, let the bread rest, and then bake. There is no kneading, no punching, and only one major rise (with some rest time on bake day). And though the book encourages a pizza peel and baking stone, I managed to make that amazing looking and tasting boule using a thin cutting board coated with cornmeal and small cast iron skillet. No special equipment. Seriously amazing. (more after the jump)

Simple Vegetable Biryani

The title of this post is a little bit of a cheat because, truthfully, biryani is simple by nature. I can't lay claim to making it so, but I also have to call it out. There's something just so great about a bowl of rice and vegetables that satisfies for dinner. And biryani certainly does. The term biryani refers to a wide variety of spiced rice dishes from South Asia where the rice is cooked and flavored separately from a sauce made with meat, fish or vegetables, that are then mixed together. Though the sauce is traditionally thick on its own, the high volume of rice in the final dish ultimately gives biryani a dry texture. The rice is plentiful enough to soak up the sauce, leaving bits of veggies, meat or fish embedded in richly flavored rice that I, for one, can eat forever. If you're familiar with biryani, you might know it from your local Indian restaurants, but the dish is also popular in Southwest Asia around Iraq and Pakistan. The specific spice combinations used to flavor the rice and the sauce vary based on the country of origin. You can find biryani made with anything from saffron to cumin seeds, cinnamon to coriander. Or all of the above. It's also not uncommon to find raisins, sultanas, and nuts mixed into biryani. Are you sold yet? If not, take a closer look. Feast your eyes: (More after the jump)

Pumpkin and Feta Risotto

Enjoy looking at all those pumpkins around your house because, after Thursday, it's a take down. At least it will be on my little patch of Brooklyn. I always leave a few pumpkins uncarved so that I can roast them without having to cut around jagged, shriveled edges or smoky bits blackened by flame. Cooking pumpkin from your jack-o-lantern is not good, but cooking from what I like to call my decorative pumpkins—which, like my decorative pillows, are not to be touched unless I say so—is a good thing. The pumpkin hack begins right after Halloween and continues until they are all gone. This year, I plan on making this Pumpkin and Feta Risotto right away. (more after the jump)

Everyday Pancakes

Do you know how many pancake recipes I've posted on One Hungry Mama? A lot. Allow me to demonstrate: Apple Pie Pancakes Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes (gluten-free adaptable) Coconut Quinoa Pancakes (gluten-free) Orange Scented Hazelnut Quinoa Pancakes (gluten-free) Cook's Country Better Than The Box Pancake Mix Coconut-Banana Pancakes Orange Cranberry Spice Pancakes Corn Griddle Cakes with Strawberry Syrup (gluten- and dairy-free adaptable) And this does not include crepes, savory pancakes, Japanese pancakes, potato pancakes, or waffles. Yet for all of these recipes, over all of these years, I have never posted a recipe for perfect, simple, basic pancakes. Until now. (more after the jump)

How to make an easy weeknight stir fry: Stir Fry 101

One of the most common questions about my client practice is how I'm able to work with clients from all around the country. Most people assume that any practice that helps parents fit healthy family eating into their busy lives must include in-person cooking instruction. But the truth is that I don't need to give you cooking lessons to help you become a better home cook. Yes, knife skills help. And, of course, knowing a few proper techniques can ease things along in the kitchen. More importantly, though, anyone at any level of cooking skill can be a confident, healthy home cook. Developing cooking skills is a wonderful way to elevate your home cooking if you're interested in learning technique. But if you're not into cooking, it's just not necessary. I know how busy you are and refuse to tell you that you need to spend your time doing something you don't like in order to feed your family well. Instead, I share a few basic approaches to food. I encourage you to select and practice a few easy techniques. I help you figure out how to select recipes that match your skill and schedule. I guide you towards healthy, whole ingredients that fit your family's taste. And then you get the job done. Because you can. Stir fry is one of my favorite things to teach because it's an easy technique that works for every family. It's fast, simple, and adaptable to nearly any palate. It's a universal family cook lifesaver. And, in true form, though it would be fun to visit your kitchen, I don't need to stand over your shoulder to teach this one. All you have to do is follow my Stir-Fry 101 tutorial. (more after the jump)

{video} Rice, Grain & Pasta Lunch Bowls

Check out the latest installment of my school lunch video series. This week's lunch idea is as good for little ones as it is for big kids, teens, and even grown ups! One of the best parts of my school lunch video series is all the comments I've gotten from high schoolers about wanting more ideas for packed lunches that work for them. How awesome that older kids are looking for healthy lunch options when they can't find them at school? (Very!) Since there was no way I was willing to let my teen fans down, I whipped up some easy-to-pack rice, grain, and pasta lunch bowls. The best part of these is that they work just as well for little kids as they do for big ones. In fact, start packing lunches for work, mamas—these are awesome for grown ups, too. (more after the jump)