April 3, 2014

Kale avocado breakfast smoothie recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Kale avocado smoothie, a perfect start to the day. #vegetarian #glutenfree

Do you ever just crave kale? No, I don't, either. I know it's good for me, and I feel saintly when I tuck a portion of dark leafy greens into my breakfast, but I'm not a kale fanatic. I like it, but I don't crave it. So, for someone like me, a smoothie is the perfect vehicle for adding a serving of kale to my diet. Hide it behind something I love, like avocado, and toss in a few raisins to make it just sweet enough (you can add agave to taste, if you like your breakfast even sweeter). A smoothie meets all the requirements for breakfast on a busy day: you can make one in minutes, and eat it on the run. Don't forget to polish your halo before you run out the door.

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February 16, 2014

Recipe for Costa Rican gallo pinto (black beans and rice) {vegan, gluten-free}

Gallo pinto (Costa Rican black beans and rice), with scrambled eggs for breakfast.

On every vacation my husband Ted and I have ever taken, one element of the local cuisine defined the entire trip. In Malaysia, I greeted every morning with mee goreng (fried noodles) for breakfast, in restaurants or from street carts; in Brazil, pao de queijo, cheese balls made of manioc, appeared everywhere with breakfast or afternoon coffee. Recently, on vacation in Costa Rica, gallo pinto was the constant. Throughout the country, there are beans (red or black), and there is rice (always white). And then there is gallo pinto, black beans and rice combined with some of the bean cooking water, garlic and bell peppers. You'll never see it with red bell peppers, but I like the color; green peppers are the norm. Cook the rice and beans separately, ahead of time (even a few days ahead), and reserve some of the bean cooking water in a small jar in the refrigerator. Then, toss the dish together in minutes, just before you're ready to serve. It's common to eat gallo pinto for breakfast, with eggs and plantains, or later in the day, with grilled fish or chicken.

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August 29, 2013

Blueberry spinach smoothie recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Blueberry spinach smoothie, perfect back-to-school breakfast.

My husband Ted, a.k.a. the Smoothie King, suggested we name this blueberry spinach smoothie Dark and Anti, thanks to its rich color and mega-dose of antioxidants. I love this smoothie, but think the name doesn't do it justice, so I've dubbed it Purple and Powerful. The spinach plays a supporting role, so what you have is a vibrant fruit smoothie with a bonus of dark leafy greens tucked inside, perfect for sending kids back to school with a serving of vegetables for breakfast. I tried on two different days to get a good photo of this amazing smoothie, and believe it or not, these photos are the best of the bunch. Purple and Powerful looks much better in real life than it does here. Alas, I don't seem to have the smoothie photography gene. You'll have to trust me, and taste for yourself.

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July 11, 2013

Blueberry, apple and basil smoothie recipe {vegetarian}

Blueberry, apple and basil smoothie.

The first time my husband Ted whizzed up this blueberry, apple and basil smoothie, it was Memorial Day weekend, when we'd just planted our basil in the herb garden, and a few leaves needed to be trimmed. On a whim, Ted tossed the leaves into his new blender. Who knew that blueberries and basil could be so happy together? You can use frozen blueberries or fresh, whatever is easiest to find. The fresh herb adds a little savory edge to what would otherwise be a sweet smoothie, just enough but not too much, a bit of brightness that tickles your tongue in a pleasant way. Now, if only we could do something to brighten up the color.

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July 4, 2013

Green goodness smoothie recipe with banana and raisins {vegetarian}

Green goodness smoothie, with spinach, banana and raisins.

To be honest, I thought I'd be the last person ever to utter these words: "I like green smoothies!" Yet, when my husband Ted whipped up this green goodness smoothie, with baby spinach leaves providing the green, and bananas and raisins serving up the goodness, I fell in love with the whole green smoothie thing right then and there. Cold and refreshing for breakfast on a hot summer morning, this smoothie might be equally good with tender baby kale, and apple juice instead of the white grape juice, and dates in place of raisins, but it was pretty perfect just the way Ted made it.  After I finished this little glass, I had another, and another after that. What a great way to start the day, with a serving of dark leafy greens dressed up in something icy cold and sweet.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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